Phobias – Inherited or Learned Behavior?

Those irrational and often uncontrollable fears that so many of us have, phobias, can be a complicated thing. How do we get these phobias? Recent research has seen that phobias can run in families, because of the behaviors that we learn from our parents by imitation and so on.

phobiasFor instance, if the first time you self caught a spider and showed it to your mother and she elicited a terrified scream, you are much more likely to be arachnophobic yourself (scared of spiders that is). Other instances where spiders are encountered in potentially scary situations may cement that likelihood of being scared of spiders and a phobia may actually set in.

Stressful situations also increase the chances of one developing an actual phobia. Parents can be a trigger, but one’s own experiences are what may ultimately be responsible for phobias.

Take for instance the fact that phobias can spread within a peer group as well – a fear of injections (trypanophobia), may well be something that each member of a group of friends may have – one girl fainting at the sight of a needle will instigate the others to do the same.

Socially speaking, background stresses being on the rise, tend to increase the number of phobias as well.



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