Phobias and Fears

Not all fears are harmful and in fact many are even useful. For example, children may not fear traffic and may wander out into the path of oncoming traffic, so fear is useful and beneficial for personal safety.

Some fears are however not needed for protection and some people can find that one particular fear is magnified into a single phobia. They will often simply avoid the situation and if this doesn’t interfere with their emotional, social or work life, then they will often not seek or even require treatment.

The most common phobias include:

Phobia Description
Arachnophobia Fear of spiders and other arachnids like scorpions
Social Phobia There are 3 types
– specific social phobia
– social anxiety
– social anxiety disorder.
The sufferer worries about the scrutiny and evaluation they think will happen when out in public
Aerophobia Fear of flying is considered to be a symptom rather than a disease in itself. Extreme reactions include vomiting and panic attacks
Agoraphobia The sufferer is in a situation where they feel there is no easy means of escape – so outside big open spaces are avoided
Claustrophobia This fear is evoked by feeling trapped or restricted in small spaces, so feels suffocated
Acrophobia Fear of heights
Emetophobia Fear of vomiting or vomiting in public
Carcinophobia This is a fear of cancer – the disease. Any kind of physical discomfort causes the sufferer to believe that he might have the disease or they may catch it from a cancer patient, despite the fact that cancer is not contagious
Brontophobia Fear of thunderstorms
The sufferer may get anxiety and panic attacks , even although they know consciously that the thunder storm will not hurt them
Necrophobia This is fear of death or any dead objects. This is often combined with claustrophobia, as often sufferers don’t want to leave their home, for fear of death

It’s important therefore to gauge to what extent fear is affecting you. So ask yourself the following:

Is my fear taking up a lot of my time? Do I think about it obsessively?
Is my fear forcing me to do things the hard way? For example, do I use alternative longer routes when driving rather than using motorways or tunnels?
Is the fear affecting the other relationships in my life?
Is my fear affecting my physical condition? For example, do my hands shake or do I experience nausea?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a likely candidate for treatment.

So why do we suffer from phobias?  The majority of phobias are generated from the following:

Phobia Explanation
This may be caused by severe stress Stress can be repressed for some time and eventually it surfaces in the form of irrational fear
A series of experiences over a period of years has resulted in a build-up of excessive anxiety Many fears related to your own performance or to being in certain social situations can cause you to build up a fear of phobic proportions
This may be the product of a fear of fear itself If you have a fear of panic, of fear itself, it’s a very real phobia. By anticipating panic, you raise your stress levels and the fear of fear turns into a destructive cycle
This may have been transmitted to you by another person If you see someone else reacting with horror to situations, then you may begin to fear them too.
Severe past trauma may have caused this A painful emotional experience from the past can produce an unreasonable fear of that same situation. The trauma can be either conscious or subconscious

So how do we treat phobias?

Modern hypnotherapy uses techniques from NLP (neuro linguistic programming) so by using relaxation and visualisation techniques, we remove the high level of emotion attaching to the particular event, so that the subconscious mind becomes desensitised and the phobia is removed.

Phobias can be cured in 3-5 sessions.

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