Phobias are an irrational fear of an imagined threat that is unrealistic and often a complete fantasy. Sometimes the fear is appropriate, but the response is totally out of proportion to the level of threat. If we see a spider, we should be concerned enough to keep our distance until we identify it as dangerous or not. We should have the ability to react appropriately to the situation and the risk involved.
But sometimes imaginations take on a life of their own and people forget to assess what is real and what is not. A person can wake up in a cold sweat from the fear of a giant spider climbing in through a bedroom window with the evil intent of terrorizing its sleeping victims. The fact that spiders are itsy creatures that do not hunt humans for food or plan long expeditions for the thrill of terrorizing their human prey is of little consequence.
There are a vast range of situations where logic can be disregarded and a person’s imagination and emotions can take over. Many people are scared of flying when the odds of being involved in a plane crash are ridiculously low. The chances of dying in a plane crash are roughly one in five million, while the odds of dying in a car accident are one in fifteen thousand. And yet these same people have no qualms about getting into a car to drive to the airport.
Did you know that people who have a fear of flying watch air crash investigation? Why would they do that? They do it to look for evidence to justify their irrational belief.