Biological and Chemical Phobias

Everyone is afraid of something. Whether is snakes, spiders, or ghosts, every single person has an irrational fear. Some people actually have a fear of biological and chemical properties. Well, maybe not as much as a “phobia”, but definitely hypersensitivity to these elements. Some of the most common biological and chemical fears are: Heliophobia (reaction to sunlight), Hydrophobia (reaction to water), Lipophobia (reaction to fats or fatty foods), and Ombrophobia (reaction to rain). Even though they seem crazy, these phobias are able to affect the lives of the ones who suffer through these fears every day.

Some of these phobias are from genetics, while others are developed on throughout the course of the person’s life. Psychiatrists look into the phobias before treating it, to see if it’s severe enough to get long term help for the phobia. Usually you can treat it with medication and counseling, but what if you believe you have a reaction to these biological elements? This is most likely caused by the person tricking themselves into thinking that “the water is burning my skin” or that “the sun is blinding my eyes”. The only way to treat these type of physical phobias is to go through a treatment plan of getting rid of the hypersensitivity impulse and reaction. If the phobia is deemed psychological,  then cognitive-behavioral therapy is required. This teaches the patient that their phobia is psychological and it actually does no harm to them.

Since in the past we learned a little about water molecules, I thought it would be acceptable to apply the concept of “hydrophobic molecules” to humans, by talking about how some actually do have a fear of water. It is estimated that one out of every ten people has some type of fear involving water to some degree. They avoid activities that involve water, like boating, bathing, flying over bodies of water, and putting their face near or under water. This phobia contributes to not only physical barriers, but emotional barriers too. Some of the emotional tolls it takes on these patients include decreased self-esteem and drive to be ambitious, feeling of guilt, shame and failure, and problems solving internal conflicts. I highly doubt that a hydrophobic molecule can have self-esteem issues, but a human is much more complex than any molecule will ever be.

If a hydrophobic gets anywhere near water or out of their comfort zone, their bodies can go through high levels of physical and emotional stress. This is shown through headaches, shaking, increased heart rate, nausea, and many more. The only way to treat people through hydrophobia is going to a mental health professional and practicing relaxation techniques to cope with this burden. Although it doesn’t seem like it, fear is a good thing to have. It helps us from making unhealthy choices and keeps us out of dangerous situations. It is an important part of our mental health and it makes us unique. When the fear becomes abnormal, then it will be time to take action and help suppress or even cure the fear from the person it is affecting.

About Mr. Mohn

Biology Teacher

This entry was written by Erika N. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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