The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, January 16, 2002, Image 3

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from page 1
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— Aaron Caro:;!:
Wednesday, January 16, 2002
Who's afraid of Che
big bad
From flying to feet, students face
common and uncommon phobias
By Beth Muldoon
afraid of heights,”
just always
In an interview with, actor Billy Bob Thornton
admitted to an intense phobia of antique furniture.
“I just try to stay away from really old furniture,” Thornton said.
‘Pieces from 17(X) and 18(X) France and England really freak me
out, especially harpsichords ”
Thornton said he also has fears of hair and germs in general.
Dr. Ada Kahn, author of Facing Fears, said the term phobia is
derived from the Greek word “phobos ” which means fear, panic, ter-
lowen’s parar::; ror and fright. The word phobos comes from the name of the ancient
atiable anddM Greek gcxl. Phobos, who provoked fear and panic in his enemies.
I return forthc ! One of the most common phobias is a fear of flying. Some peo-
e because i jie who are afraid to fly react with violent anxiety before and dur-
iing the
the chief coo.^
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of 1976.
ite associate
tion like AA.V
ng an airplane trip and some will avoid a trip at all costs.
The fear of flying is included in the same category as fear of
leights, crowds and traveling. These fears compose the most com-
:y to take care J -pon type G f phobia called Agoraphobia. Agoraphobics find it diffi-
given what
t cannot creat:
which so mar
)f crashing.
For Gabe Shutt. a junior English major, overcoming her fear of
leights simply means backing away from the situation and thinking
about something else.
‘Tm fine as long as I don’t think about being up high or what
:ould happen if I fall,” Shutt said. “It’s not the height so much as the
nstability of the thing I am in or on,” Shutt said. “I also try to avoid
ituations that might have an adverse effect on me.”
Beck said symptoms of Agoraphobia usually appear after the age
)f 20 and are caused by sudden panic attacks from a loss of control
n a certain situation.
For Shutt, the symptoms of her phobia began at a young age.
“I don’t remember anything ever happening to me that caused
:ult to remain calm in any situation they cannot control such as large
.rowds of people, traveling in airplanes or trains and heights. |
■Dr. Aaron Beck, author of Anxieties, Fears and Phobias, said I
severely inp most common fear involved with airplane phobias is a fear
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Shutt said. “I’ve
been this way.”
Beck said phobias do not
stem from a fear of an object,
but rather from a fear of con
tact with the object. For exam
ple, a person with a fear of nee
dles is not necessarily afraid of
the needle itself, but they do
fear the pain that could be
inflicted by the needle.
Jenny Day, a senior interdis
ciplinary studies major, has an
intense fear of feet.
“I find them disgusting,” Day
said. “I don’t want anybody to
touch my feet and I don’t want to
have to touch anyone else’s feet.”
Day said she gets a lot of
criticism from her friends for
her phobia.
“My friends like to torture me
and touch me with their feet a lot,”
Day said. “They think my fear of
feet is a pretty ridiculous fear.”
Historically, phobias are clas
sified by the name of the object
of fear and Beck said there are at
least 107 different names for
phobias. Some of the most com
mon include Claustrophobia, a fear of tight spaces, Ailurophobia. a
fear of cats, and Arachniphobia, a fear of spiders.
Kahn and Beck said a simple three-step program can help any
one conquer a phobia, anxiety or fear.
“The first step is to identify your fears through a process of self-
diagnosis,” Kahn said. “Next, pinpoint what triggers your fears and
lastly, develop an exposure program to help you face your fears.”
Phobias can restrict one’s life and can keep people from doing
what they love, but with three simple steps and some courage, pho
bics can experience normal lives.
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