There is a distinct difference between fears and phobias. While some of you may think this to be common knowledge, the truth is that many get the two confused, assuming that they can represent the same thing. They can’t. These are very different issues and, to put it plainly, you should understand those differences so you will not make the wrong decisions on how to treat them. Knowing what constitutes as fears verses phobias can be the difference between getting the proper help or allowing things to build to a critical point.
And there can certainly be a critical point. With phobias, panic attacks and more serious issues are not uncommon. You could put yourself in medical danger by not seeking treatment. Of course, if you think you simply have a fear rather than a more deeper issue, you will do nothing about it. That is why you need to know the difference; your health can depend on.
Phobias are deep-rooted problems, border-lining on the unnatural. They are usually caused by some past trauma and cause an unreasonable amount of fear, sometimes to the point of being unable to function at the mere thought of the cause. This is the real difference between fears and phobias. While you may have a certain level of fear for objects (a spider, for example), you will not panic and be unable to go through your day with the knowledge that one could be in the room. With a phobia of spiders, however, you could go into an anxiety attack and have to have medical treatment. That is the difference.
Fears are shallow versions of phobias. The sooner you understand this, the better. You can’t go running to your doctor every time you realize you are afraid of something. You would probably be thought a hypochondriac. This is not about fear; this is about being paralyzed by deeper issues. For phobias, medical and psychological treatment can be necessary. And, as hefty as that may sound, it is nothing compared to the problems you will face later if you do nothing about it.
If you understand that you are much more than afraid, you should contact your doctor. He or she can recommend services to help. No matter what phobias (we hope you do not have more than one but there are times when the issues cannot be contained to just one area) you may have, there are people to help. And you must take it!
We can’t stress that enough. While understanding the difference between fears and phobias is essential, it is even more essential that you seek help once you have identified the problem. You cannot let this go. If you do, you risk hurting yourself in the future and, worse, you will have to live with something that disrupts your entire life.
Why would you want to do that? Why not seek treatment for phobias instead of trying ti cope with them? There is no coping; there is only the option of healing.