Do you suffer from a phobia?
When does an concern or fear become a phobia? We all have certain places, things and situations which make us feel uncomfortable.
Do you ever experience an overwhelming or paralysing fear of a particular thing, situation or place? Does just the thought of having to encounter something, or be in a particular situation give you severe anxiety? Then you may be suffering from a phobia.
Phobias are characterized as an irrational fear, often with uncontrollable anxiety. They may prevent people from functioning normally, so that is why they can severely impact on a person’s lifestyle. The imagined threat is greater than any actual threat posed by the cause of terror.
A person will experience intense distress when faced with the source of their phobia. This can prevent them from functioning normally and sometimes leads to panic attacks. Symptoms may include sweating, chest pains, pins and needles, accelerated heart beat. trembling, nausea, dizziness and headaches.
People with phobias often shape their lives around avoiding certain situations, things or places that bring on the fear and anxiety. E.g. won’t travel by plane, can’t speak to a large group, won’t drive on the motorway. There are many phobias. For some of the most common, and the weired, check here.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) there are three types of phobias:
- Specific phobia – an intense, irrational fear with a specific trigger.
- Animal Phobias (e.g., dogs, snakes, or spiders)
- Natural Environment Phobias (e.g., heights, storms, water)
- Blood-Injection-Injury Phobias (e.g., fear of seeing blood, needles, receiving a blood test or shot, watching television shows that display medical procedures)
- Situational Phobias (e.g., airplanes, elevators, driving, enclosed places)
- Other Phobias (e.g., phobic avoidance of situations that may lead to choking, vomiting, or contracting an illness; in children, avoidance of loud sounds like balloons popping or costumed characters like clowns)
- Social phobia or social anxiety: an intense, irrational fear of being singled out and/or judged by others and publically humiliated. E.g. bullying in school. .
- Agoraphobia – Unable to escape from enclosed spaces. E.g. lifts, planes, etc.
Many phobias begin in childhood, teenage years or early adulthood, and can carry on throughout a person’s life if not treated.
But the good news is, Phobias are treatable in most cases!
While there are the common phobias mentioned above, we’re going to discuss three phobias which can greatly affect people’s lives.
This is a fear of open spaces and/or crowds, or situations from which are hard to escape.
Do you suffer extreme anxiety when on a bridge, driving, a busy street, crowded mall or lift. a sporting event? Perhaps, riding on public transport, a long queue? These are common scenarios which trigger panic attacks for people with Agoraphobia.
Some people with Agoraphobia can only leave home with friends or family, and in extreme cases don’t leave their homes at all. .
Agoraphobia often starts around the age of 30 – with severe panic attacks.
If affects twice as many women as men.
It is easy to see why it’s important to detect the onset of Agoraphobia and to seek treatment early. Agoraphobia makes it extremely hard to live a normal life in society.
Hypnotherapy can help people suffering from Agoraphobia by teaching and suggesting ways to relax when dealing with specific symptoms, for example panic attacks. Hypnotherapy also helps to overcome limiting beliefs and negative ways of thinking and through this helps to improve overall self-esteem, which also helps to overcome the phobia.
Fear of Heights
Acrophobia is the fear of heights. This phobia is also twice as common in women, and tends to start in childhood. For some people with acrophobia, walking up stairs and climbing a ladder can be difficult, and trigger an anxiety attack.
One of the most challenging things about acrophobia is the severe panic attacks experienced can make it extremely difficult to safely get down from the place that triggered the attack.
Fear of planes or another flying vehicle E.g. helicopter
This is Aviophobia and may develop after a traumatic event on a plane. This phobia can also fall into a number of phobias: claustrophobia if people don’t like being in enclosed spaces. E.g. in a plane for an extended amount of time. It can also include fear of heights and fear of having no control if anything goes wrong. E.g. of crashing.
Most people with a phobia understand it is irrational but they can’t stop the feelings of panic. . E.g. the lifetime odds of crashing whilst on a plane are 1 – in 20,000.
Hypnotherapy is used as a treatment to identify the initial trauma and then treat it.
Fear of Public Speaking
Does the thought of speaking in public or larger group make you sweaty, feel sick and go red in the face? This is one of the most common phobias and is thought to affect 75% of the population.
This is called Glossophobia and it can often begin in childhood or early teenage years. It may be the result of social anxiety, being picked on, bullied or excluded from a group, etc. while at school.
People with this phobia can experience full on panic and fear and can freeze in the moment. Many avoid public speaking at all costs. Unfortunately this can be very limiting and cause people to miss out on academic, social and career opportunities.
If you have a fear of public speaking that’s significant enough to cause you problems at work, school or socially then it’s important to get treatment.
Hypnotherapy explores the way the phobia shows itself and then through this, helps to control it.
With hypnotherapy, you will begin to see public speaking as a great experience for development, rather than a situation full of doubt and fear. Wouldn’t that be nice!
Phobias usually respond very well to Hypnotherapy. And while some phobias may take longer, it’s possible to be phobia free within a couple of sessions.
If you are suffering from any of the above phobias, the one thing that you should never be afraid of is getting help!
Roger Saxelby has worked with phobias for nearly 40 years and he had helped all agaes from young children to retirees.
Call now if you, or someone you know, needs help 09 – 8377 877 or email us today.