Why Do People Develop Phobias?



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“What’s to blame for our fears? Are we destined to have fears and phobias based on the genes we inherit, or are our experiences to blame?” – Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D.


One of the most human and instinctive traits that we humans have is fear.  Fear is one of the primary reasons why humanity will and has survived all throughout these years.  Fear allows us to discern and evaluate the potential dangers around and within the environment that may cause us harm or pain.  This emotion is natural not just to us but to almost all living organisms as it is programmed within the very consciousness of our existence.


Rational and Irrational Fears

Fear can be classified into two factors – rational fear and irrational fear.

  • Rational fear is fearing something within reason to a particular situation or scenario where the potential harm can occur.
  • Irrational fear is far more different.  It is an abnormal fear of a specific thing or situation that induces the desire to avoid it even if awareness and assurance that the given object or situation does not pose potential harm and danger. This irrational fear is called a phobia.



A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder where people develop a persistent fear of a specific thing or situation. These fears are often excessive and without reason, where people who have developed phobias to different things often intensely fear things that in reality are no threat or danger to their physical or mental wellbeing.

Dr. Dena Rabinowitz, a licensed psychologist from New York City, said in an interview, “Phobias tend to cluster around common themes, animals, storms, certain unnatural environments. But there are some unique phobias. So, for example, in New York City, we have a lot of pigeon phobias. Because pigeons are around.”

Genetics and Environmental Factors

The causes of the different phobias are not specific. They can develop during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, depending on the present situation or environment a person is subjected to.  People can also develop phobias by linking or associating specific past events that were frightening and stressful to them, causing them to fear a repeated incident regarding that one particular thing or situation.  Environmental factors may also lead to the development of phobias, like children learning to fear what people around his or her early years also fear.

Margie Mader, LMFT, wrote, “When someone comes into my office and says they are suffering from anxiety, panic attacks or phobias, I ask them one question. “When did this start?” We can usually pinpoint it back to at least one traumatic incident that has impacted their system (mind, body, and spirit) so severely that it keeps replaying and therefore causing discomfort.”


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Small or big events a person experiences can trigger emotional distress, which in turn can lead to phobias.  These experiences may or may not be first hand but can play a factor in fear of occurrence to the self.  There are also phobias that are developed genetically, where memories are passed down from generation to generation that allow offspring to inherit these fears from their ancestors.  Also, there have been studies that support that both rational and irrational fear of things and situations are imprinted to genes that can be passed on.


How You Will Respond To Your Phobia Makes A Difference

Distinguishing the origin of phobias is not exact as it differs from individual to individual. The sources of fear may be the same, but the emotional response to them can vary. Experiences are also subjective and personal which may lead to different interpretations and associations.  There is no particular cause for why we develop phobias, only genetic and environmental factors that play specific roles in the development of our thoughts and our psyche that often defy logic and reason.

Living with phobias may sometimes be difficult, but facing these fears is the only solution for you to master and own them.



I Have An Abusive Husband, And I’m Monophobic [I don’t Think I Can Break Free]

I hope I can be like most wives who tell heart-melting stories about their husbands. I know it’s not right, but I do get envious whenever I watch romantic movies, and I ask myself, “Does a man like that really exist?” I don’t want to sound cynical, but at the age of 31, I already had a fair share of this cruel world.

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Continue reading I Have An Abusive Husband, And I’m Monophobic [I don’t Think I Can Break Free]

Gamophobia: Fear Of Commitment

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The generation nowadays has come up with so many ways to enjoy life. The technology has somehow taught us that there is more to life than getting married and raising a family. In some ways, it is a dream to have no responsibility to anyone but yourself. The thought of living young and free is becoming popular that a lot of people choose to stay unattached. But did you know that there is a fear of commitment? It is called gamophobia.

Continue reading Gamophobia: Fear Of Commitment

Reasons Why Commitment Scares You And How Online Therapy Can Help

Do people always ask you why you’re still not married? Does the thought of having to spend your life with someone scare you? You might have a fear of commitment – but why do you fear it? There is a phobia related to this which is called gamophobia. It is not necessarily the fear of commitment but fear of marriage.

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Continue reading Reasons Why Commitment Scares You And How Online Therapy Can Help

Your Guide To Becoming More Confident Today

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Every single day is an opportunity for you to keep on improving yourself. As much as possible, make a true promise to yourself that you will do whatever it takes to be happier than ever. When you do this, you will begin to become more inspired and interested in getting on with the day. One of the aspects of your life that you have to change is the way you look at yourself. Barbara Markway Ph.D. wrote, “Low self-confidence is often based on unhelpful or untrue interpretations of a situation.”

Be sure that you will find time to invest in activities or change your mindset about becoming more confident.


Confidence is one of the things that you have to achieve in your life. Keep in mind that the moment you have mastered the art of self-confidence, the easier it would be on your part to meet your goals and objectives. Aside from this, you can also begin to develop more meaningful relationships with the people around you. If you want to experience all the other great benefits of becoming a more confident person, then read the rest of this post.


Be With Positive People

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The first thing that you must consider is to surround yourself with the best people in your life. Learn how to determine those who never get tired of being your source of happiness and positivity. You need to build more stable relationships with persons who keep on sharing good influence over you. Conversely, you must also begin to avoid the individuals who will only make you feel stress or anxious.


Say Affirmations Daily

“Imagine the difference in your psyche and in your interactions with others if you move from saying “I’m worthless” day after day to saying “I am worthy and deserving of goodness.” Repeat “I am worthy and deserving of goodness” each time you go outside.” – Tonya Ladipo, LCSW

Another thing that you have to keep in mind is the significance of saying affirmations daily. It is best if you do it in the morning when you are still in a good mood. You can start your day right by reminding yourself of how amazing and fantastic you are as an individual. Some of the affirmations that you can use include: “I am in charge of life,” “I can make things happen,” “Everything I need and want will come soon,” and “ Things are starting to go my way.” The more you say these to yourself, the easier it would be for you to feel better.


Take Care Of Your Body

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Do not give yourself a hard time to appreciate who you are as a person. As such, you need to begin putting your overall wellness as the number one priority in your life. No matter how busy you are at work, be sure that you still have sufficient time for doing physical activities. At the same time, you must also start to eat a balanced diet. When you do all these things, your body will start to improve. If you can sustain this kind of lifestyle, you will eventually develop a different set of self-confidence. You will become more interested and inspired to love yourself, especially once you see the progress. If you are not sure how to care for yourself, do not hesitate to ask for help from the people around you.

“People with a good and healthy self-esteem are able to feel good about themselves for who they are, appreciate their own worth, and take pride in their abilities and accomplishments,” says John Grohol, PsyD. 

Be honest enough to deal with your weaknesses so that you can find a way to change it into strengths.




Guidelines On How To Give A Speech

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Getting invited to speak in front of a crowd and to influence them with your words can be rewarding yet overwhelming on your part. Of course, you will feel excited because it is a rare opportunity that has come your way. At the same time, you may also feel nervous or anxious about the endless possibilities that can happen when you are speaking. Do not fret nor worry because we got you covered.

“The art of public speaking holds many practical benefits that go far beyond delivering a project presentation or holding a successful meeting, “says psychologist and personal coach Arina Nikitina.

For today’s write-up, we are going to share the top guidelines that you need to observe so that you can become better when it comes to giving speeches. Take note that the more you expose yourself to speaking engagements, the more confident you will become. As such, if you are still having doubts about yourself at the moment, do not worry because such a feeling is only normal. However, you must begin to fight your self-doubts so that you can keep going. Here are the guidelines to remember:


Preparation Is Key

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In everything that you do in life, be sure that you are always equipped with the right skill sets. The best and ideal way to make this happen is to prioritize preparation. As much as possible, make an effort in writing down your speech ahead of time and memorizing them. We understand that this crucial process can be challenging, but once you do it, everything will become a lot easier when you speak. Aside from this, it can also boost your morale as you continue your talk.


Get To Know The Audience


Before showing up for the scheduled talk, it is best if you will take time to get to know the people who will listen to your speech. Find out what interests them so that you can incorporate it into your talk. Aside from this, you must also make an effort in studying the demographics of your listeners. The significance of all these is to ensure that you will not say something that can be offensive to him.

“Remember,” says Carol Fleming, Ph.D., “the point of giving a toast, a presentation or a speech is about communicating your message to your audience. It’s not about you.”

Choose The Right Words


When speaking in public, be sure that you will avoid using flowery words. People do not like to listen to long speeches that do not make any sense. Use words that are easy to understand and find a way to insert an icebreaker that can make your audience hooked to your speech. Never use vulgar words or comments because it can have an adverse effect on your entire talk. Most importantly, be sure that you know how to take deliberate pauses while speaking.


Be Cool At All Times

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Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. suggests the old counting trick. “The next time something or someone frosts your cookies,” he said, “just slowly count, and with each number, remind yourself that by getting upset you are only hurting yourself.”

Speaking can be nerve-wracking, especially if you have a little expertise in this area. Because of this, it will be a lot easier for you to have mind-limiting doubts about yourself. You will begin to realize that you may not be good enough to become a speaker at a particular event. During these moments, all you have to do is to remind yourself how pretty and fantastic you are. Master the art of controlling your thoughts and emotions. Know when is the right time to relax and keep your cool.


How To Start Communicating Effectively

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If there is one thing that you need to master in this life, it is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively to the people around you. Take note that your failure to communicate well can give rise to several issues or conflicts. According to a recent study on personal relationships, one of the most common sources of fights among individuals is miscommunication. Unfortunately, one person may not easily understand what the other means because of some communication barriers. Conversely, you may also fail to convey your true intentions to others because you do not know how to speak up.

Jennifer J. Uhrlass, LMFT strongly believes that blame won’t get you anywhere. “Whether you are struggling to navigate a difficult situation together or daily arguments have become the norm, everyone can benefit from improved communication.”

For this reason, we have decided to come up with an article that can provide our readers with some techniques or strategies that can be used in communicating effectively. Our primary objective is to help you become better when it comes to getting in touch with others and communicating with them in the best way possible. Make sure to familiarize yourself with these:


Think Clearly Before Speaking

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As much as possible, make it a habit to think clearly before you will utter words from your mouth. Keep in mind that the moment you speak up, you can never take back those words again. As such, if you are too tactless when it comes to communicating, you may end up hurting your friends or family members. At the same time, you may also offend them with your thoughtless comments or feedback. Because of this, you have to be careful as you try to connect with them. Think your words over and over again before speaking what’s on your mind.

“Diplomacy is a skill that is well worth learning. The need of diplomacy isn’t felt just in international relations; it’s also highly valuable in “domestic relations,” including your own personal nearest and dearest relationships, as well.” – Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

Choose The Right Timing


Another tip that you must always remember is the significance of choosing the perfect timing for communicating with those surrounding you. If you want to convey or send a message to someone, make sure to check if the circumstances at the moment are excellent for a conversation. For example, if you are going to give constructive criticism to the work of your friend, you have to see to it that both of you are not in a public place. The right thing to do is to find alone time together before talking to her.


Focus When You Speak

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Are you the kind of individual who gets distracted easily? Do you find it hard to sustain your focus or interest in a particular topic? If yes, then you have to exert more effort into controlling these negative tendencies. What you must do is to engage in activities that can help you increase your ability to focus on certain things. Otherwise, you will keep on experiencing distractions along the way, and it can soon have an adverse effect on the relationship you have to the people surrounding you. Take note that the other person will surely appreciate it if he can sense that you are giving him the right amount of attention when you are speaking. On the contrary, if he can feel that your mind is off to a different place while you are conversing, then he may begin to dislike you for being disrespectful.

Talking about effective communication skills for women, Cheryl Sexton, LMFT says, “I would advise women not to use qualifiers or passive speech to make their position seem smaller or less than someone else’s position.”



Public Speaking 101: Tips And Tricks

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According to Theo Tsaousides Ph.D., “While fear teaches you to protect yourself in risky situations, letting that fear stand between you and your audience could prevent you from sharing inspiring ideas, speaking about important work, and presenting interesting solutions to problems that affect many people. In short, it’s everyone’s loss.”

Are you going to speak in front of a big crowd anytime soon? Are you have second thoughts about your ability to talk about a topic and relate it to the crowd? Is it frightening on your part to think about the possible issues or concerns that may arise during your speech? If you answered yes to all these questions, then make sure to check out the rest of this article.


For today’s post, we are going to talk and discuss the various tips and tricks to keep in mind the next time you engage in a public speaking event. Before anything else, we want to remind everyone that you can get over your fears and doubts. What is essential at this point is that you are 100% sure that you want to do public speaking. On the other hand, if you have been forced to do it for the sake of impressing others, then there is a high tendency or chance that you will not succeed. Take note that you can only become a great and excellent speaker if you love public speaking genuinely.


Here are the top techniques to consider:


Keep Your Cool

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As much as possible, try to control your negative thoughts and self-limiting doubts. The ideal thing to do is to learn how to appreciate yourself. Once you make this happen, it will be a lot easier on your part to stay relaxed during the speech. Try to practice regularly so that you can know the strong points of your talk. If this continues to happen, there is a high probability that you will begin to act more confident in front of the crowd.

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. still believes that the old counting trick works. “The next time something or someone frosts your cookies,” he said, “just slowly count, and with each number, remind yourself that by getting upset you are only hurting yourself.”

Think Twice Before Speaking


One of the essential tips that you must never forget is the significance of thinking clearly before you open your mouth. Make sure that you will not end up offending any of your listeners. Because of this, you must do your homework before going to the place where you will give your speech. The proper process is to get to know your audience first. Talk to the organizer of the event and ask little details about the potential guests who will attend the event. In so doing, you will already have an idea as to the type of people that you will talk to.


Make The Speech Interesting

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“In my work with clients around public speaking, I have seen a common theme of self-doubt. I’ve seen clients express that they don’t believe in their own skills and abilities and view their skills or abilities as less than their peers.” – Christie Hays, LPC.

The challenging part of public speaking is to relay the message of your speech, without being too dull for the listeners. As such, you must find a way to insert fantastic commentaries on your statement. When you do this right, the audience will be hooked to listen to your entire talk. At the same time, they will also find you as an excellent speaker who has to succeed in capturing their attention.

Nonetheless, you must also see to it that you know how to insert the exciting pieces in your speech. Make sure that you will not offend any person. Failure to do this can have adverse effects on your reputation. Moreover, people will find it hard to invite you again for future speaking engagements.


Find time to master the art of public speaking!


Qualities To Look For In A Speech Therapist

Finding out that you have a speech problem can be annoying and stressful on your part. First of all, you may feel that the said disorder can prevent you from building a meaningful relationship with the people surrounding you. Second, you may also start to think that having such a problem can also make it challenging for other people to understand what you truly mean. Fortunately, there is a way on how you can solve this issue. One of which is to get in touch with a speech therapist.

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Psychology 101: People’s Weirdest Phobias

In psychology, we know that phobia is a condition of having an irrational fear of something. “Simply put,” wrote Nicole Martinez, LCPC, “a phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something … Usually, somewhere in their childhood they associated this ‘thing’ with fear, or had a bad experience.”

There is this presence of unbearable anxiety and terror that sometimes affects people’s daily functions. That is the reason why the National Institute of Mental Health considers it as one of the mental illnesses that require treatment and medication. Though some of its conditions may be common such as having a fear of heights, a fear of flying, a fear of spiders, a fear of snakes, and a fear of injection, there are types of phobias that seem a little bit freaky.

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Weirdest Types Of Phobias

Omphalophobia – It is a bizarre type of phobia where people feel afraid of the navel or what’s commonly called the “belly button.” Whether it is their navel or not, it doesn’t matter. Though it does not mean that these individuals are afraid of people, but getting too close with their navel is a big No-No. In some extreme cases, some people who imagine their belly button getting touched by others can cause severe panic attacks.

“While some things that scare people make sense due to the reasonable threat they cause, other things people fear can seem be come from an unreasonable place of fear due to the lack of threat that the things or situations cause.” – Shannon V. McHugh, PsyD

Turophobia – It is an entirely irrational fear of cheese. We might not believe it, but there are tons of people in the world who can’t seem to go near a piece of cheddar. People with turophobia often avoid consuming foods that are cheesy or anything that has cheese in it. These include cheese pizza, lasagna, cheesecakes, and so on.

Triskaidekaphobia – It is a condition that feels familiar to all people. It is the fear of the number 13. Well, it is mostly due to superstitious beliefs. Other causes of it sometimes relate to religion and myths too. Generally, a lot of people don’t like the number 13 because they feel it is not that nice. The severe cases are more like a psychological malady than an irrational belief.

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Nomophobia – It is a type of phobia that feels a little off. However, according to research, the cases are becoming common, especially to the younger generation. It is a condition where people fear being away from their cellphones, having low battery issues, and as well as having no connection to the internet.

Papaphobia – It is a phobia that seems a little bit questionable. However, it does exist. It is the fear of getting near or seeing the Pope. These people who have the condition suffer from increased heart rate, too much sweating, and sometimes nausea every time the Pope is around. The state is thought to relate to any fear concerning getting near any religious objects also.

Ablutophobia – It is the worse condition to have when people want to secure hygiene. That is because it is the phobia of washing or bathing. It is more common in kids than adults, though. However, without any assistance of therapy, it becomes a life-long issue when individuals reach adulthood. It will require treatment because it is believed to be the result of a traumatic experience as a child when bathing.

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Ephebiphobia – It is a condition where adults are irrationally scared of younger people. Yes, children, these days get subjected to moral panic due to older people’s constant complaints about them being spoiled. These kids get chastised for being out of control in some way. That is the reason why some adults don’t want to be anywhere near the youths.

Phagophobia – It is a type of phobia that entirely does not make any sense. It is the fear of swallowing. It differs from the fear of eating because it does not concern weight or whatsoever but merely focuses on the fear of choking. Though in some research, an individual’s throat has the potential to close during panic attacks making the condition a little bit scary.

Dextrophobia – It is one of the most irrational fears people could have. It is the fear of having things arranged in the right side position. According to sources, the condition is related to obsessive-compulsive personality disorder where these individuals avoid organizing stuff on the right. That is why they often clutter things at home or the office all to the left side.

Phobophobia – It is quite amusing because phobophobia is the fear of having a phobia. From a source of description, the condition may feel like a panic attack. At some point, the anxiety forms in the unconscious mind that when it begins, individuals feel tense and dizzy as well as experience heart pounding.

As strange as these phobias sound, these conditions genuinely exist.

Nevertheless, Dr. Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist, said, “In general, approaching phobias is about teaching the body and the mind that the feared object or situation doesn’t have to automatically elicit the anxiety response.”