Ekwaegberai Paula Idehen-Agho, Barr. Emmanuel Imuetinyan Obarisiagbon (PhD)


Phobia, a common anxiety disorder that is marked with constant fear of social situation is a global concern which knows no race, religion or colour. Although, it is a common social-medical phenomenon, it would appear that most individuals do not really know what it means nor what it entails. Infact, the awareness level of people who experience this state of anxiety that often leads to their own embarrassment has become a source of concern to scholars. This study therefore seeks to examine public perception of the awareness of phobia and phobia experiences amongst residents of Benin metropolis. The study employed a qualitative approach to gather data from twelve interviewees who were purposively sampled through the snowballing technique. Information were got with the aid of in-depth interviews and analysed using the thematic analysis with Atlas-ti 8. Findings from the study reveal that many people are not aware of the existence of phobia, that overbearing nature of parents, environment, age, temperamentare some of the underlying causes in the development of phobia and that its experience is frightening and is embarrassing. The study suggests that Government, Non-Governmental Organisations and the media should embark on enlightenment programmes vis a vis the existence, causes and management of phobia, persons with phobia should not be seen as weak, nuisance, shy, dull, insane etcetera, but as people going through some form of torture and that need help to cope and overcome their phobias.


Anxiety, anxiety disorder, fear, panic attack, phobia.

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