Panic attacks, Phobias, Obsessions, Compulsions and Irrational Fears can make many sufferers lives a misery, often rendering mundane every day tasks difficult or impossible.
You may be experiencing one or more of the following;
- Problems around leaving your house (Agrophobia)
- Problems when going into shops
- Suffer from a fear or spiders or the like
- A fear of small or enclosed spaces (Claustrophobia)
- A fear of dogs or other animals
- A fear of being sick (Emetophobia)
- A fear of planes (Aerophobia)
- A fear of driving
- A fear of socializing or mixing with people (Social Phobia or Social Anxiety)
- You may have a fear of boats or tall buildings
- A fear of being underground
In essence, even if you have a fear that seems downright bizarre and unfathomable, if it has a dramatic (think being chased by a lion in terms of your physiology) effect on you going to places, or living and enjoying your life, then maybe now is the time to talk to someone about it?
What are Phobias and Fears and Why May You Have Them?
Phobias and irrational fears have a subconscious cause and are held at a subconscious level, being the result of an internal anxiety that has been pinned onto an external, phobic object or situation (the trigger).
So you may be keeping something unpleasant bottled up without realising it, which then manifests as a phobia or fear – whatever you are struggling with at an unconscious level is trying to come out. I think of it slightly like a boiling pot, where the lid is lifted to let of steam (the phobia or fear).
Whilst a phobia is very real in the mind of the sufferer, in general terms it is considered that the actual risk posed by the phobic trigger is an exaggeration of the threat itself. I hear you shouting at the computer screen as you read this, but please bear with me…
An example of a phobia or fear may be for someone who is flying to their holiday destination – the fear of flying could leave them feeling panicky days before their holiday. As they near the airport, the idea of boarding the plane may send them into a full-blown panic attack. The trigger here is that when flying, we hand ourselves over to the airline and trust they have taken care of any unexpected eventualities; because if you think about it, being 35,000 ft up in a metal tube, traveling at 500 mph is not the most natural thing to do.
Someone with a phobia of flying generally feels they have no control over their situation. However it is not the fear of flying that is making them feel anxious, it is the fear of being out of control, which they have subconsciously pinned onto the experience of flying.
Every phobia is formed this way, but obviously the subconscious anxiety at the origin will be different in each case.
This is where Counselling and Psychotherapy for phobias and fears can help. Working together to find the root cause of the irrational fear, any negative emotions associated with it are then able to be understood and resolved, meaning the phobia will reduce to something more manageable or even stop entirely.