Do you have a deep-rooted fear of an animal, object or situation?
Does the thought of it make you feel scared or anxious?
Do you organise your life to avoid this fear?
Well, like many thousands of other people, you probably have a phobia. Some people are scared of dogs, snakes, spiders or birds. Others are scared of getting on an aeroplane, being in enclosed spaces or heights. The range of phobias that people experience is diverse and affects everyone differently.
Phobias are linked to anxiety and impact on the same parts of your body:
Heart – your heart races or you may have palpitations
Lungs – your breathing may become shallow and hyperventilation can occur
Muscles – muscles can become tense
Head – you may feel a sudden headache or become dizzy
Other symptoms can include feeling bilious or nauseous with a dry mouth, tingling in your hands and feet, an overwhelming sense of fear or dread and increased perspiration – but you don’t have to live with this fear. If you are organising your life in order to avoid a phobia then perhaps it’s time you spoke to someone who can help.
Whether your phobia is debilitating, severely impacting on your life or a more simple fear, there are ways to overcome it, but only with the help of a professional therapist – you will not be able to tackle this phobia yourself because you already have an unrealistic perception of it.
Get in touch today to discover how Life 4 Living Therapy can help tackle your phobias and put everything into perspective.
Phobias are classed as a type of anxiety disorder; according to the American Psychiatric Association, a phobia is, “an irrational and excessive fear of an object or situation”. In most cases, the phobia involves a sense of endangerment or a fear of harm. On occasion, these symptoms can escalate into a full-scale anxiety attack. As a consequence of these symptoms, some individuals begin to isolate themselves, leading to severe difficulties in daily life. In some cases, the person may seek out medical care due to a constant concern with imagined illnesses or fear of death.
Phobias are thought to be learned emotional responses, and occur when fear produced by an original threatening situation is transferred to other similar situations, with the original fear often repressed or forgotten. They can be generally classed into three types:
Specific Phobias – These are phobias of a specified object or situation. If the feared object or situation is common, a specific phobia may become life-limiting. They can be divided into the following major categories:
Animals: Dogs, spiders, snakes, birds, etc.
Medical: Blood, doctors, dentists, needles, or other medical objects
Natural Environment: Storms, water, or other natural objects
Situational: Heights, driving, elevators or other specific situations
Travel Phobias – from the fear of driving a car, fear of motorway driving to the fear of flying.
Social Phobia – This is a strong and pervasive fear of being embarrassed in public. People with a social phobia are generally reluctant to perform tasks such as eating, signing a check, or even speaking in front of others. Without treatment, a social phobia can become extremely debilitating.
Agoraphobia – this is the fear of being in a situation that would be difficult or embarrassing to escape, or where help would not be available if a panic attack were to occur. For many sufferers, agoraphobia develops into a fear of crowds, a fear of being alone, and eventually, a fear of leaving home.
Focussed therapies to achieve your goals
By the use of a simple process of questioning and conversation, we will discuss the types of situations you have experienced that have caused the phobia to occur. I will also find out your desired outcome, and then establish a programme that is entirely tailored for your needs.
We will look at the mental processing and loops that have been established, how you deal with certain situations, how you might act when faced with your phobia, and behaviours that you would find appropriate. Finally, we will put it all together into rehearsal and repetition, to establish the foundations for new habits and a more positive way of thinking.
We will work through the whole process together, building on small improvements over time to embed new responses and behaviours, and help you to learn a whole new way of dealing with your most difficult situations. In between therapies I can be on hand to guide you when you are finding things difficult, and by the end of your programme, you will have established new mechanisms to move on from your phobia.
Let me help you tackle your fears – I would love to help. Contact me now to chat over how this can happen.