There are more phobias than people can actually realize. Everyone has some sort of phobia whether they realize it or not. They each work in different ways and work differently of everyone. Researchers are starting to find and use different types of technologies for phobias; For example, FMRI and PET. They are using these to look more deeply into the brain and learning how it really functions to better understand how phobias work.
They found something called an amygdala. Which is a small almond shaped structure in the middle of the brain’s temporal lobes. The amygdala and the brain structures give the phobias a higher advantage of affecting people. Researchers still don’t fully understand how this happens though.
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Phobias are the same as PTSD and panic disorders. Other researchers had the idea to mask the phobias stimulus, which have came out with interesting results. One third of the people were given nine weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy, half were given selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor Citalopram, and the rest had no treatment at all. After the therapy was over the patients were tested again at the nine weeks mark and again after one year.
Researchers figured out that the amygdala and the cortical areas at nine weeks could predict which symptoms would get better after a year had passed. Phobias are more serious than people think they are and people can not control their reaction to their fear says Tom.
A phobia is a fear of one particular trigger. Researcher amy james says some areas of the brain store and recall dangerous or potentially deadly events.
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