Sure, we all probably have something that makes us a bit afraid, perhaps a trip to the dentist or a little spider climbing up the bedroom wall. But when these “small” fears become so overwhelming that it keeps us from functioning in our daily lives, it has crossed over into a phobia.
In this post, we are going to explore the difference between fears and phobias, the categories and types of fears and phobias, what the symptoms are and how having an emotional support animal could help with these conditions.
To qualify for an Emotional Support Animal, you need to get an ESA Letter.
What is the Difference Between Fears & Phobias?
Fear is a normal response to something that could be potentially dangerous, like being in a bank when it’s being robbed. This fight-or-flight reaction is helpful in keeping us alive. A phobia, on the other hand, is an intense and debilitating fear of something that in all actuality poses little threat. Even though the person with a phobia knows it is an irrational reaction, he/she still cannot control their fear-based response to the situation. Here are the differences between a fear and a phobia;
- Normal Fear – feeling anxious on a bumpy, turbulent airplane ride
- Phobia – skipping a wedding or a dream vacation because you would have to fly to get there.
- Normal Fear – being squeamish when looking down from a tall ladder or skyscraper.
- Phobia – missing a great job opportunity because it is on the 8th floor of a building.
- Normal Fear – being nervous of larger breed dogs
- Phobia – avoiding any area where any type of dog may be.
- Normal Fear – being anxious or even nauseous when having a needle or blood work drawn
- Phobia – avoiding any medical check up or a test for an illness in case it involves a needle.