A phobia is an irrational, persistent fear of things or situations. The source of the fear can create a strong panic reaction
The person feels a compelling need to avoid exposure to the cause of the phobia, and may sometimes experience extreme anxiety or panic when just thinking about the thing they are trying to avoid. Resulting fears can have a disproportionate effect on behaviour and lifestyle as the individual tries to find ways to cope with their fears.
There are an estimated 10 million phobia sufferers in the UK.
Symptoms can include:
- Increased heart rate
- Breathing difficulties
- Light headedness
- Dry mouth
- Extreme fear and panic attacks
- Racing dead end thoughts
- Increased urination/bowel movements
In time, just thinking about the cause of the fear can provoke these symptoms. Many people have fears or mild phobias that do not need treatment and do not intrude in their life or those of the people around them, but phobias unlike rational fears, negatively affect peoples lives and moderate and severe phobias are likely to require treatment.
It is often uncertain where phobias come from or how they start and develop. Some start for no apparent reason in childhood, some come as a result of an accident, a trauma or an event that has an impact on our life somehow.
Panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense anxiety occurring at the same time as physical symptoms such as shaking, rapid heart beat, breathing difficulties, sweating, chest pain, and dizziness. These symptoms may also be accompanied by an intense fear of losing control, embarrassing oneself, fainting or even dying.
Some phobias such as fear of needles, and fear of blood may result in fainting.
Hypnotherapy is fast and effective for dealing with phobias and resulting panic attacks.
Drugs may be prescribed by GP’s to help lessen the symptoms but this is not a cure. Traditional therapies can be effective, usually requiring between 5 and 15 hours. Hypnotherapy has proven exceptionally fast and effective for dealing with all kinds of phobias and may only require a few sessions.
Phobias are divided into two categories – specific and generalised.
Specific phobias focus on a single object, situation, or activity, such as dogs, snakes, dentists, heights, enclosed spaces, or flying. Also a fear of insects such as spiders, bees or wasps etc. The person with such a phobia will consistently react with anxiety or even panic when confronted with the prospect of facing the source of their fear. They will develop coping strategies and may go to great lengths to avoid the things they fear.
Generalised phobias include phobias in which the situations which provoke anxiety are more diffuse, such as social situations or being alone or away from home. They are usually harder to avoid than specific phobias and can consequently restrict the individual’s life to an even greater degree. Avoiding the feared situation in more generalised phobias such as agoraphobia and social phobia can limit life severely, and the person may often become housebound.
Fear is a built in safety mechanism that all human beings should have – it is natural preserving life and safety. However when we become frightened of something that does not pose an immediate threat, or when danger is not even present, it becomes a problem.
I have worked with people who have waited their whole life before seeking help. If you are suffering from any type of phobia please contact me now or request a call back, after all why continue to suffer?
You should consult your GP for advice, diagnosis and treatment for medical conditions; always inform them before starting any complementary or additional therapies or treatments.