Frightful phobias all year round

Hillary Craig

Your heart starts racing, you become short of breath and are completely consumed by terror. You then begin to sweat. The only logical answer is to escape the situation in any way possible.

This is what it’s like to have a phobia.

Dressing up and going trick-or-treating is something many people look forward to on Halloween. Even though Halloween is supposed to be a fun holiday – witches, cemeteries, monsters and spiders can make it the scariest.

For those with phobias, panic can be induced year round, at any time. Lindsey Murphy, freshman international relations major, immediately runs in horror anytime she sees spiders.

“I don’t recall ever being bitten by a spider, I’ve just never liked them,” she said.

Seda Yadil, freshman business management major, knows first hand what it’s like to have a phobia. Yadil has been terrified of snakes for as long as she can remember.

“I avoid going into forests or wooded areas because there might be snakes,” she said. Whenever she encounters a snake, Yadil said she immediately looks for the closest escape route.

Yadil and Murphy are not alone with their fears.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that phobias affect about 19.2 million adult Americans.

According to WebMD.com, people may face various types of phobias, including animal phobias, natural environment phobias, or as in Jasmine Balosky’s case, situational phobias.

Balosky, freshman marketing major, is afraid of being home alone at night. In order to cope with this fear, Jasmine leaves her TV on whenever she’s alone.

So with the Halloween season in full swing, many will be terrified by these seasonal sights and the festivities. Although this may be fun and games for most, for those with phobias, this kind of terror can last all year.

Contact features reporter Hillary Craig at [email protected]