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THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF

PHOBIAS, FEARS,
AND ANXIETIES

THIRD EDITION

Ronald M. Doctor, Ph.D.
Ada P. Kahn, Ph.D.

and
Christine Adamec

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Page 321

rather than the real situation. Implosion is also
called FLOODING. The technique is based on CLAS-
SICAL CONDITIONING principles, with ANXIETY as the
CONDITIONED RESPONSE to images and thoughts about
fearful situations or objects as the CONDITIONED STIM-
ULI. The real situation is the unconditioned stimulus.
The purpose of implosion is to prevent the individ-
ual from avoiding the conditioned stimuli. Implo-
sion is based on principles of learning theory and
psychoanalytic theory. The latter is used as a theo-
retical guide to develop fantasies or fantasy images
about the phobic event that relate to conscious fears
(such as castration, separation, etc.). This method
was developed by Thomas Stampfl and Donald
Levis, two American psychologists.

See also ABREACTION; BEHAVIOR THERAPY; CATHAR-
SIS; SYSTEMATIC DESENSITIZATION.

impotence, fear of Fear of impotence is a rela-
tively common SEXUAL FEAR. Primary impotence is
the physical or psychological condition of a man
who has never had an erection sufficient for pene-
tration or sexual intercourse. Secondary impotence
is an inability of the male to have an erection suf-
ficient for intercourse, although he has a history of
at least one successful intromission.

incest, fear of Some individuals fear incest, or
sexual relations between blood relatives. Each soci-
ety determines the prohibited degree of relation-
ship. Many victims of child abuse realistically fear
sexual assault by a blood relative. In many cases,
fear of incest and retribution keeps children from
reporting attempted molestation by relatives.

See also CHILD ABUSE, FEAR OF; RELATIVES, FEAR OF.

incontinence, fear of Incontinence is an inabil-
ity to control the evacuation of liquids or solids
from the body. Incontinence may occur for many
reasons, such as problems related to muscles, the
nervous system, or infection, as well as an injury
or complications of surgery. Many individuals
at an advanced age fear incontinence and may
become fearful of going out socially because they
will be embarrassed if they wet themselves in pub-

lic. Incontinence is one of many fears associated
with aging. Women around the age of menopause
also fear incontinence; many notice loss of slight
amounts of urine during physical stress, such as
running, laughing, or coughing. Incontinence in
men and women, in many cases, can be improved
by surgical means.

See also AGING, FEARS OF.

incubation of fears The period between the time
an individual experiences events that cause ANXIETY
or GUILT and the subsequent PHOBIAS or RITUALS that
arise from the experience. In many cases, the prob-
lem begins even years after the first event. Some
individuals relive the event in their mind and begin
avoiding the painful situation. They go through an
addictive cycle of avoidance to lessen tension and
thus strengthen the tendency to further avoidance.
An example is a fearful woman who, when given
improper change in a store, was too uneasy to
complain. After a few weeks she felt uncomfortable
when returning to the store and later avoided going
into the store or even passing the store for fear that
she might see the man who had shortchanged her.

incubus Historically, a male demon feared because
he seduces sleeping women. In reality, incubus is a
sleep disorder recognized since the time of Aristo-
tle in which the victim has feelings of suffocation
and impending death, exhaustion and fear upon
awakening.

The term “incubus syndrome” has been used to
describe patients suffering from the DELUSION that
they have been sexually approached at night by an
unseen lover.

See also SUCCUBUS; WITCHES AND WITCHCRAFT,
FEAR OF.

indecision See DECISION MAKING.

indigestion A variety of symptoms brought on by
eating, including FLATULENCE, HEARTBURN, abdomi-
nal pain, and NAUSEA. It causes a burning discomfort
in the stomach because the individual has eaten too

300 impotence, fear of

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much, too fast, or too rich, spicy, or fatty foods. Ner-
vous indigestion is a common cause of anxiety. This
anxiety generally results from anything that causes
ANGER, PAIN, and FEAR. STAGE FRIGHT, going on a job
interview, or going on a first date are sometimes
stressful situations that can cause indigestion.

To keep anxiety levels in line, eat a balanced diet,
and do not overeat. Allow plenty of time for eating.
Limit foods that cause indigestion; eat small meals
four times a day. Get adequate sleep and practice
deep breathing, visualization, and other anxiety-
reducing techniques.

Belching

Belching, or common burping, comes from the swal-
lowing of air or from gas in the stomach caused by
the chemical reactions of food and digestive juices.
Many individuals feel stressed by the embarrass-
ment that results from belching in a social situation
or public place. To overcome the embarrassment, as
well as the source of the problem, careful attention
to diet may make a difference. Also, taking more
time to select foods carefully and eat slowly may
reduce the incidence of this annoying reaction.

Belching may occur more frequently when an
individual feels stressed because he or she either
eats too fast or selects foods that contribute to
heartburn, bloating, and belching. In addition to
diet, relaxation techniques may be useful.

Bloating

The term bloating applies to the full, distended feel-
ing in the abdomen that occurs after overeating.

Many people react to anxiety by overeating, eating
too fast, or eating spicy, greasy foods, all of which
contribute to bloating. The discomfort causes fur-
ther anxieties, as bloating leads to belching or burp-
ing, which can be socially embarrassing.

See also IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME; NUTRITION;
RELAXATION.

Individualized Behavior Avoidance Tests (IBATs)
Tests used by researchers in AGORAPHOBIA. Some
researchers prefer IBATs over STANDARDIZED BEHAV-
IORAL AVOIDANCE TESTS (SBATs) because agorapho-
bics have so many different phobic difficulties that
may be measured. Another advantage of the IBAT
is that it assesses personally relevant behaviors in
naturalistic situations in phobic individuals’ homes
and clinics. An example of an individualized test is
one that is initially developed from a 10-item hier-
archy of phobic situations. Five items representing
a range of severity are selected from this hierar-
chy, and assessment is conducted from the phobic
individual’s home. The individual is instructed to
attempt all five items in the order of increasing dif-
ficulty. Each item is scored on a three-point scale,
with the interpretation of each score as follows: (0)
individual avoided the item; (1) partial completion
of the item (escape); (2) successful completion of
the item. The total score, therefore, has a range
from one to 10. Additionally, Subjective Units of
Disturbance (SUDS) ratings on a scale of zero to
eight points may be obtained for each item. The
IBAT allows assessment in many personally rel-
evant situations and should, if the phobia hierar-
chy is properly constructed, possess a high enough
ceiling to deal with distraction levels, sensitivity to
treatment changes, and generalizability to other
situations.

Himadi, William G., et al., “Assessment of Agoraphobia—
II, Measurement of Clinical Change,” Behavior Research
and Therapy 24 no. 3 (1986), pp. 321–332.

individual psychology An approach to PSYCHO-
THERAPY and PERSONALITY. Individual psychology
is based on the theory that each individual is gov-
erned by a conscious drive to develop goals and

TIPS TO RELIEVE ANXIETY DUE TO BLOATING

• Relax before eating; eat and drink slowly.
• Limit foods/beverages that contain air, such as car-

bonated drinks, baked goods, whipped cream, and
souffl es. Don’t smoke, chew gum, suck on hard
candy, or drink through straws or narrow-mouthed
bottles.

• Correct loose dentures.
• Eat fewer rich foods, such as fatty meats, fried food,

cream sauces, gravies and pastries.
• Don’t lie down immediately after eating.
• Don’t try to force yourself to belch.

individual psychology 301

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Index 571

tyramine 14, 264, 496
tyranophobia 496
tyrants, fear of 496

U
UFOs, fear of 497
ugliness, fear of 116
ulcers 497–498
uncertainty, fear of 364
unconditional positive regard 2,

498
unconditioned response 137,

300, 498–499
unconditioned stimulus 300, 499
unconscious 469, 499
undoing 211
undressing (in front of someone),

fear of 194, 499
unknown, fear of the 369, 499
uranophobia 270, 499
urban fears 79, 161, 352, 421
urge incontinence 500
urinary incontinence 499–501
urinating, fear of 81, 501
urophobia 501

V
vaccination, fear of 502
vaccinophobia 502
vaginismus 406
Valium 192, 502
Valnet, Jean 62
vampire 502–503
vampire bats 82
vasopressin 283
vasovagal response. See blood

(and blood-injury) phobia;
fainting

vata 76
vegetables, fear of 315, 503
vehicles, fear of 503
vehicles, fear of being in 39, 366
venereal disease, fear of 503
venereophobia 503
ventilation 110–111
venustaphobia 503, 511
verbal slips. See slips of the

tongue, fear of

verbophobia 511
vermiphobia 514
vertigo, fear of 298, 504
vestiphobia 139–140, 504
vicarious conditioning, zoophobia

from 44
victimization, child abuse and 125
violence 42, 511–513
virginity, fear of losing 220, 396,

504
virgins, fear of 376, 504
virgivitiphobia 411, 504
visual fi eld, blind areas in, fear

of 428
visualization 160
vitamin E 14
vitricophobia 504
Vogt, Oskar 71
voice, fear of one’s own 209,

367, 386
vomiting, fear of 14, 30, 213, 504
Voodoo, fears in 167, 198, 274,

504–505, 518
voyeurism 438

W
waits, fear of long 506
waking up, fear of not 506
walking, fear of 39, 81, 99, 506
wandering, fear of 202
war, fear of 506
war exposure. See post-traumatic

stress disorder
warfarin 14
warlock. See witches and

witchcraft, fear of
warm, fear of being 488
war neuroses. See post-traumatic

stress disorder
washing, fear of 1, 506
wasps, fear of 506
wasting sickness, fear of 481
watching fi res, fear of 409
water 202, 288, 394, 443, 507
Watson, John Broadus 82, 83–84,

137
waves, fear of 168, 314, 507
weakness, fear of 65, 507
wealth, fear of 388

weekend depression 507
weight gain, fear of 363, 388,

507
weight loss 192–193, 507–508
Wellbutrin 70, 429–430
werewolves 508
wet dreams, fear of 367, 508
wetness, fear of 169
whirlpools, fear of 193, 508
whistling, fear of 508–509
white, fear of the color 321, 509
“white coat” hypertension 197,

509
wiccaphobia 509
wigs, fear of 509
wild animals, fear of 29
will therapy 509
wind, fear of 30, 509–510
wind instruments, fear of 71
wine, fear of 367, 510
winged things, fear of 510
wish fulfi llment, in daydreaming

171
witches and witchcraft, fear of

509, 510
amulets and 40
bats and 81–82
curses and 167
demons and 176
exorcism and 224
hexes and 274

withdrawal effects of addictive
substances 89, 117, 175, 192,
510–511

Wolf Man, case of 511
Wolpe, Joseph 84, 85, 283, 325,

413
women

battered 198–199
beautiful, fear of 118, 503,

511
binge drinking by 92
biological clock of 93
communication styles of

147–148
dental anxiety in 178
erythrophobia in 102
fear of 256, 511
frigidity in 246
gender roles of 249

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572 Index

women (continued)
glass ceiling and 252
“having it all” 262–263
hysterectomy phobia in 295
hysteria in 295
incontinence in 300, 499–500
infertility in 302
postpartum anxiety in 391
pregnancy fear in 394–395
sexual fears of 205
urophobia in 501

women’s liberation movement
442–443

woods, fear of 288, 511
words, fear of 327, 436, 511
words, long, fear of 275
work, fear of 219, 390, 511
working mothers 351
workplace 72, 200–201, 214–215,

252, 309–310, 439

workplace violence 511–514
World Trade Center 486
worms, fear of 2, 271, 428, 514
worms, infestation with, fear of

514
worrying 514
wrinkles, fear of getting 420,

514
writer’s block 514–515
writing, fear of 255, 429, 515
wrongdoing, fear of 376

X
Xanax 35, 516
xanthophobia 516
xenophobia 244, 464, 516
xerophobia 204, 516
X-rays 410, 516
xylophobia 244, 516

Y
yeast infections 442
yellow, fear of 516
Yersin, Alexandre 387
ylophobia 288
yoga 112, 517
young adulthood 188
youngest child 98–99
young girls, fear of 517
yuppie fl u 132

Z
zelophobia 309, 517
zemmiphobia 517
zenophobia 244, 464
Zen therapy 517
zombie, fear of becoming 517
zoophobia 43, 517
Zoroastrianism 189

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