Frequently Asked Questions
This disorder is treated by a psychiatrist.
2. Can a phobia be genetic?
Research has proved genetic characteristics in phobias. The individual will most likely have a relative who shares the same phobia, to a greater or lesser degree.
3. Are phobias age-specific?
Phobias can occur at any age, right from little children to even ‘normal’ adults. A child wary of strangers cannot be classified as xenophobic. But if this develops into an irrational fear even in adulthood, professional help must be sought.
4. Can my fear of strangers be treated?
Yes, it can. Treatment for a phobia is less about medication and more about behavior therapy. When treating xenophobia, the physician will create controlled situations similar to those that trigger fear. Continued therapy will lead to ‘extinction’ of the fear. Medication may also be prescribed to deal with extreme anxiety.
5. Is xenophobia the same as racism?
Nowadays, the term ‘xenophobia’ is used commonly to mean ‘racism’. There is, however, a fine difference between the two. While xenophobia is a feeling of hostility to anything foreign, racism proposes a theory of hierarchy where there is a superior, dominating race and a second, subjugated race.