A phobia is an intense irrational fear of a specific object or situation. Such a stuation often poses little or no actual danger in reality. But for the person who has a phobia, the fear is real.
Some examples of common phobias and fears that people suffer are fear of closed-in-places, fear of heights, fear of dogs or snakes, fear of darkness, fear of flying in an aeroplane, fear of crowds, fear of speaking in public and many more. While most phobias develop in our early age, they can also develop in later life.
The symptoms of phobia can range from mild feelings of apprehension and anxiety to full-blown panic attack. You may find it difficult to breathe, have chest pain, trembling body parts, hot or cold flashes, and feeling the intense need to escape or fear like you are going to die or pass out.
If you think you have any kind of phobia, especially that interferes with your normal functioning and keeps you away from doing things you would otherwise enjoy, it’s time to seek professional help. Phobias can be treated successfully by hypno-psychotherapy where we discover its underlying cause and make gentle suggestions for behaviour changes that can help you conquer your phobia.
What is a phobia? A phobia is an extreme and irrational fear reaction. This reaction could be to anything: a spider, a crowded place or heights. It need not have a sound reason like a bad experience associated with it. A phobia is irrational i.e. without reason.
If you have a phobia, you may experience panic when you come face-to-face with the source of your phobia. A person who fears dogs will panic when he sees a pet dog at a friend’s place and may refuse to enter his house. No amount of reassurance will convince him to enter the house unless the dog is locked up. A person who fears flying will display extreme reactions like sweating or crying while flying.
COMMON PHOBIAS: There are many types of phobias including:
- Agoraphobia: Fear of crowded spaces
- Social phobia: Social anxiety disorder
- Claustrophobia: Fear of tight spaces
- Glossophobia: Performance anxiety
- Arachnophobia: Fear of spiders
SYMPTOMS: Persons with phobias experience very real physical symptoms when they come face-to-face with the source of their fears. Some symptoms are:
- Racing heart
- High blood pressure
- Upset stomach
TREATMENT: People with phobias are difficult to handle. Living or working with such a person can be annoying as their fears interfere with work or personal interactions.
Psychotherapy for phobias and fears can be really effective, by using techniques like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). In CBT, the patient is exposed to the source of the fear in a controlled “safe” setting. This treatment can decondition people and reduce anxiety.
Under psychotherapy, the patient can be taught to make positive associations with the source of their fears and lead a normal life once again.