Phobias conversation questions

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Phobias[edit]

Some people have phobias about flying, spiders and so on. Such people may suffer anxiety or panic attacks under certain circumstances. Phobias are, in principle, irrational fears of a situation or thing that isn’t dangerous and which most people don’t find frightening. Do you, or anyone you know, have any of the following phobias:

Flying[edit]

  • How do you feel about flying?
  • Have you ever had a bad experience flying? What happened?
  • Do you have to "prepare" yourself before a flight? What do you do?
  • Are you more worried about taking off, the actual flight or landing?
  • When the wheels come up into the body of the plane after take-off they often make a noise. How do you feel when you hear this?
  • Have you ever done anything to get rid of your fear of flying? What sort of things do you think you could do?

Spiders[edit]

  • What are your reactions to spiders?
  • Are there any poisonous spiders in your country?
  • Do big spiders "frighten" you more than small ones?
  • What do you do if you find a big spider in you house - help it outside; kill it instantly; scream until somebody comes to get rid of it; something else?

Snakes[edit]

  • Have you ever seen a snake up close?
  • Are there any poisonous snakes in your country?
  • Can you tell the difference between the different species?
  • Do you know what to do if you are bitten by a snake?

Dogs[edit]

  • Have you, or anyone you know, ever been attacked and/or bitten by a dog? What happened? What happened to the dog?
  • There's an English expression that goes "His bark is worse than his bite". What do you think this means and do you think it is generally true?

Heights[edit]

  • Have you ever been at the top of a skyscraper? Of a mountain?
  • If you don't like heights, does it make a difference if you're inside or outside?

Open spaces[edit]

Some people have a fear of public places and open spaces. Agoraphobia, which according to the National Phobics Society is an anxiety disorder commonly - and wrongly - linked to fear of open spaces, but which often manifests itself as a fear of feeling trapped, and a need to escape.

  • Do you feel uncomfortable in crowds? In crowded shops? On crowded streets?

Closed spaces[edit]

Some people prefer to take the stairs rather than risk getting stuck in a lift.

  • Have you ever got stuck in a lift? How long for? Were you alone or with other people?

See also[edit]