Fear, phobia and anxiety

What is the difference between fear, phobia and anxiety?

Fear is a perfectly normal way for a living being to survive in hostile nature. For us, however, fears can be very abstract. Fear of commitment, for instance, is related to all conscious or unconscious connotations that burden the word “relationship” with negative meaning. Fear of failure may be very logical, at first glance, but it is also a product of many personal motives that do not have a universal explanation.

Anxiety is a very frequent reason why people nowadays are seeking a psychotherapist. Sometimes it can become incapacitating. The most stressful thing about it is that anxiety has all the physiological dimensions of fear, but there is no specific source related to it. An anxious individual lives in a constant state of fear without knowing what he/she is afraid of.

Phobia is an interesting phenomenon where all this fear and anxiety is focused on one object that cannot hurt us. It is an attempt of consciousness to deal with anxiety by giving it some physical shape.

In psychoanalytic therapy, we seek out the origin of these fears, anxiety and insecurities, and we look for a solution to the underlying problem, not just to its current manifestations.