Phobia - what is it?
A phobia is an uncontrollable fear; a fear that may have a significant debilitating effect on day to day life. A phobia is often described as an extreme and irrational fear. However, to be afraid is one thing; to have a phobia is a very different matter altogether.
Like anxiety, fear is natural and usually good. It is vital to our survival, so is actually a necessary emotion in our lives. We experience it when we are confronted with an actual danger. It is part of the “fight or flight” reaction – to run away from the danger or fight it out. It is the natural method our brain uses to protect us.
A phobia is a somewhat irrational fear of a situation or to a stimulus that poses little or no danger to us in reality. Many sufferers understand that they have an irrational fear, but feel they are totally powerless to overcome their phobic reaction.
The severity of phobias varies from relatively mild anxiety to fully fledged panic attacks, with any associated, debilitating symptoms. Many sufferers understand that they have an irrational fear, but feel they are totally powerless to overcome their phobic reaction.
We are born with certain instincts that give us innate fears; we are all born with a fear of heights, loud noises and the dark. Also, throughout our lives, we learn to be fearful of certain situations or things. It is this natural ability to learn to be fearful that is the root of many phobias. Let us suppose that a parent has an irrational fear of rice pudding and demonstrates this fear, time and again, to his/her children. The chances are, that the children will grow up demonstrating the same irrational fear; a phobia has been learnt.
It is our natural and acquired fears that protect us from hazards such as fires, cliff edges, snakes, sharks, savage dogs and other potentially dangerous situations where our lives may be at risk. It is right to be afraid of the dangers, but in a controlled way.
Many people don’t particularly like spiders, dogs or snakes, but they don’t suffer from a phobia. At worst, they may experience minor anxiety.
What are the symptoms?
Sufferers do not usually have any symptoms until they face the object or situation that they fear. However; if the phobia is severe, just thinking about the trigger can provoke anxiety.
Confronting the trigger may cause a panic attack. These extreme feelings will pass eventually, but the person may still feel distressed by having had such a reaction. Feeling out of control or completely overwhelmed knocks anyone's confidence, causing further anxiety. For many, there is a feeling of humiliation and embarrassment after a phobic reaction.
Use Responsive Hypnotherapy to eliminate your phobia.