A phobia is more than simple or rational fear. A phobia is far more pronounced. A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of something. Phobias can encompass general things such as situations or feelings, or be specific to a place or type of animal.
What may begin as a rational fear becomes an exaggerated, unrealistic and irrational sense of the danger or risk posed by something. Phobias are a type of Anxiety disorder.
How do I tell the difference between a Phobia and general fear? Complex phobias may be hard to recognise, as the sufferer may see them as rational fears. For example, someone with agoraphobia may simply present as someone with a strong dislike of travelling on public transport. Social phobias are regularly undiagnosed. Also known as social anxiety disorder; social phobias revolve around an overwhelming fear of particular social situations such as public speaking;where there is a debilitating fear of embarrassment or humiliation. Sufferers tend to organise themselves around avoiding situations that may trigger their phobia. Phobias can persist to the point that a person organises their life around avoiding any risk of exposure. At this stage, the management of the phobia can cause as much discomfort and distress as the phobia itself. Even without direct exposure to triggers, just thinking about the phobia may cause symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations or accelerated heart rate, struggling to breathe, panic attacks, shaking or tremors, and sweating.
Treatment for Phobia
Almost all phobias can be treated and cured. Simple phobias such as fear of an animal or fear of flying can be treated through a program of counselling which includes de-sensitisation or exposure therapy.
More complex phobias tend to have complex causes. They may arise from a particular incident, often from childhood, and it may be difficult for people to recall the incident itself. Phobias can develop as learned responses in early life from a close family member who experiences the phobia. There is also recent research that suggests there may be a genetic disposition to phobias.
Complex phobias are treated in a similar way to anxiety (link to page). Working with Paula you will discover your triggers and work out ways to manage the causes and your responses to them. In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), the approach is largely rational. We use our ability to “think about our thinking” to recognise that when we are anxious we will overestimate the impact of things we worry about and we underestimate our ability to cope with them. CBT enables rationalisation of the phobia, which removes the debilitating and overwhelming nature of the fear.
Alternative Treatments for OCD.
Other approaches Paula may employ include: traditional talking therapies such as psychotherapy, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Relaxation and mindfulness techniques will also assist. Paula will also discuss the possibility of medication with you and your GP. Anti-depressants and beta blockers may be of assistance in a long term recovery from and elimination of phobias.
For more information about phobia, and to book an appointment, please call Paula today on 07305 780371 or by e-mail @ email@example.com, alternatively please fill out the online form.