What is a phobia?
A type of anxiety disorder is a fear of heights. Aphobia is a fear of an object or situation that is so extreme that it would not worry the majority of people.
A person with a fear of heights needs to avoid contact with the specific cause of their fear. It makes you anxious or panic to even think of coming into contact with the cause of the fear.
If you don’t come into contact with the object of your fear, it won’t affect your life much. It can be hard to lead a normal life if you have a fear of agoraphobia.
Simple phobias and complex phobias are the two types of phobias.
This type ofphobia is about a single thing. There are many example depression treatments of a fear of insects, heights, snakes, dentists or flying. If you have a simple fear, you might react with mild anxiety or even panic when faced with the source of your fear.
Agoraphobia is a complex fear. It involves fear of entering shops, crowds and public places, and travelling in trains, buses or planes. It also includes the fear of being unable to escape to a place of safety.
Socialphobia is a complex problem. Socialphobia is a fear of social situations such as a wedding or public speaking. People with a socialphobia fear embarrassment or being humiliated in public. If you have a socialphobia, the thought of being in public or appearing at social events will make you very afraid. Socialphobia is a sign of avoiding meeting people in social situations. Some people are too afraid to leave their home.
Signs and symptoms of phobias
People with phobias experience many symptoms when they are exposed to an object or situation. The symptoms are both physical and emotional. Mild feelings of apprehension can be the symptom of anxiety and fear. The closer you are to the thing you are afraid of, the more afraid you will be. If escape is difficult, you will be afraid more.
Common phobia signs and symptoms
Shortness of breath or smothering sensation
Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
Chest pain or discomfort
Trembling or shaking
Feeling of choking
Feeling unsteady, dizzy, lightheaded, or faint
Feelings of being detached from yourself.
Fear of losing control or going crazy
Fear of dying
Numbness or tingling sensations
Hot or cold flashes
Nausea or stomach distress
Fear of fainting
Dealing with frightening thoughts
It is helpful to write down any threatening thoughts you have and try to change them. For example:
Frightening thought: This plane will crash
I have been safe and I have flown many times before. This is the safest way to travel.
Frightening thought: I’ll make a fool of myself
Rational thought: I have done this before and have been able to cope.
Frightening thought: I’ll collapse and die
Rational thought: I have felt like this before and nothing terrible happened to me, it won’t harm me.
It is normal to be anxious and it will not hurt you. You can learn to overcome your anxiety in this way, rather than dread, by viewing each time you confront the feared situation. When the anxiety is gone, remind yourself that you have survived, and that you have not lost control.
If you have had positive comments from others, or have been in similar situations, you can remind yourself of your positive qualities. You may be more critical of your own imagined failures than others, and they may be unaware of or disinterested in your failures. It is not possible to get along with everyone.
When to seek further help
If your phobias are making it hard for you to lead a normal life, you don’t make any progress in challenging them yourself.
If you are experiencing a lot of anxiety or distress, you may be feeling it often.
If you are avoiding situations that matter
If you feel that you lack social skills, you suffer from blushing/sweating in social situations.
Cognitive behavioural therapy for phobias
The therapist will work with the client to identify and assess all the factors that are keeping the problem going and develop a working formula to guide the therapy.
Un-pairing the anxiety response from a feared situation is a cognitive behavioral treatment for phobias. CBT can help people take on new, more adaptive ways of thinking about challenging situations by identifying problematic or irrational thinking patterns. Once these thought patterns are more realistic, CBT can help people face their fear without anxiety. Most people show improvement by their fifth session through this process.
Counselling and psychotherapy for phobias
If you are having a hard time understanding what is happening to you and why you feel anxious, you can seek help from a counsellor or therapist. You will learn how to control symptoms. Understanding where the fear came from can help you see it differently.
EMDR for phobias
The first and worst episodes of the phobia can be treated with EMDR processing. You would work on current triggers related to your fear and prepare for future experiences. We would use EMDR to eliminate the fear and return to normal functioning.
Mindfulness training for phobias
One can bring attention to the present with the help of the practice of musn. People who are in a treatment for a fear of objects often have difficulty seeing that they are not in danger. It becomes easy to tune out the environment when people get so distracted by their thinking.
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