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Date posted: February 1, 2012

Dr Varsha V Sharma

We all frequently come across the word ‘PHOBIA’ in our daily routine. There are various questions which arise in our minds related to phobia like, “What is phobia?, How does it arise?, Does Homoeopathy have any role in treating phobia?” and many more. To have a better understanding of phobia let’s go through the article below.

Definition: Phobia is defined as an irrational fear of a specific object, situation or activity, often leading to persistent avoidance of feared object, situation or activity.

Classification:-
As per The Clinical descriptions & Diagnostic Guidelines (CDDG) of International Statistical Classification of Diseases & Related Health Problems – 10th Revision (ICD-10), Phobias have been classified under neurotic, stress related & somatoform disorders. In DSM III, phobic disorders are sub classified as Agoraphobia, simple phobia & social phobia.

Course:-
Common in women.
Onset in late second decade or early third decade.
Sudden onset.
Chronic course increasing with restriction of daily activities.

ETIOLOGY:-
1. Psychodynamic Theory -
In phobia, by displacement, anxiety is transferred from a really dangerous object to a neutral object. This neutral object chosen unconsciously is the one, which can be avoided, in day to day activities.
2. Behavioural Theory -
Phobia is explained as a conditioned reflex to a neutral object.
3. Biological Theory -
Genetic factors.

Characteristic features of phobia:-
1. Presence of fear of an object, situation or activity.
2. Fear is out of proportion to the dangerousness perceived.
3. Patient recognizes the fear as irrational and unjustified (insight is present).
4. Patient is unable to control the fear and is very distressed by it.
5. This leads to persistent avoidance of the particular object, situation or activity.
6. Gradually the phobia & the phobic object become a preoccupation with the patient, resulting in marked distress & restriction of the freedom of mobility (afraid to encounter the phobic object- phobic avoidance).

Miasmatic background:-
Psora lies in the background of all sorts of phobias. As psoric miasm manifests various types of

fear, they are anxious to the point of worry & fear.

Differential diagnosis:-
- Anxiety Disorder.
- Panic disorder.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Delusional disorder.
- Major depression.
- Hypochondriasis.
- Avoidant Personality Disorder.
- Schizophrenia.

Treatment:-
1. PSYCHOTHERAPHY-
Supportive psychotherapy in adjunct to behaviour therapy. Cognitive therapy is used to break the anxiety pattern in phobic disorder.
2. Behaviour Therapy –
If well planned this mode of treatment is usually successful. Important techniques of behaviour therapy are –
a) Flooding.
b) Systematic desensitization.
c) Exposure & response prevention.
d) Relaxation techniques.

3. Homoeopathic –  Along with all these above therapies, Homoeopathic treatment is quite essential. There are various important remedies for different types of phobias along with their constitutional remedy. Some of them are as follows

Medical term meaning       Remedy

  •  Zoophobia Fear of animals       China
  •  Coitophobia Fear of coition       Kresote
  •  Cynophobia Fear of dogs         Belladonna
  •  Phagophobia Fear of eating      Causticum
  •  Coprophobia Fear of faeces      Cuprum met.
  •  Pyrophobia Fear of fire            Cuprum met.
  •  Thermophobia Fear of heat       Ars. Alb.
  •  Bacillophobia Fear of infection   Borax
  •  Traumatophobia Fear of injury  Stramonium
  •  Noctophobia Fear of night        Camphora
  •  Androphobia Fear of man        Lycopodium
  •  Algophobia Fear of pain          Bryonia, Pip. M.
  •  Peniaphobia Fear of poverty   Bryonia
  •  Ombrophobia Fear of rain       Elaps.
  •  Anthrophobia Fear of mankind Hyoscyamus
  •  Xenophobia Fear of strangers  Carbo veg
  •  Autophobia Fear of self           Arg. Nit.
  •  Syphilophobia Fear of syphilis  Hyos
  •  Phronemophobia Fear of thinking Phos.
  •  Astraphobia Fear of thunder     Phosphorus
  •  Haphephobia Fear of being touched Ars. Alb.
  •  Emetrophobia Fear of vomiting       Ars. Alb.
  •  Phonophobia Fear of voice   Cann. Indica
  •  Anemophobia Fear of wind   Chamomilla
  •  Gynophobia Fear of women  Pulsatilla
  •  Hydrophobia Fear of water   Lyssin

 So the answer is “YES”, Homoeopathy does have a significant role to play in phobic disorders.

Dr Varsha V Sharma MD(Hom.)
E mail : varsha139@yahoo.com

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