What’s the difference between phobia and fear?
Fear is a defensive response to a dangerous situation.
Phobia is an over energetic response to fear that may occur even when the situation is not dangerous.
Being backed into a corner by a huge tarantula will cause fear in pretty much any human.
An arachnophobe will have the same type of response to any spider regardless of size or situation.
Additionally fear can be fought through phobias are typically such a strong response that there is no fight response it’s either a freeze or flight response
Fear is a local feeling, experienced for a short time, usually with an obvious cause.
Phobia is an irrational pattern that invokes fear every time you see/feel/experience something. It’s usually hard to understand why are you afraid of the subject of your phobia, and it’s extremely hard to suppress it.
A phobia is an irrational fear, that is a fear you can’t explain away or get past even though if know better.
You can teach someone with a plain old fear of spiders that “they’re more scared of you than you are them,” and knowledge can help them get past their fear.
However, someone with arachnophobia (spider-phobia) can know that they shouldn’t be afraid of spiders but they can’t help it. They can’t stop being afraid of any and all spiders even though they understand that spiders aren’t really a danger to them.
The main thing about phobias is the degree to which they limit someone’s ability to live their life. People with phobias will do a lot to avoid situations that may trigger their phobia, even if it means not seeing friends or family, not doing an activity they would otherwise enjoy, or even holding down a job. Phobias can make living a “normal” life difficult to impossible.
A phobia is an excessive, persistent fear of a specific thing. Excessive is important in this.
For example, it’s natural to be weary when you are in a position where you might fall and possibly get hurt. It’s a phobia when you freeze up in fear standing on a chair, because you could fall and hurt yourself.
Another common phobia is spiders, where fear of most spiders is completely unfounded, as the vast majority of spiders can’t actually really hurt humans.