Phobias And Fears
Phobia is a commonly used term that describes an elevated level of anxiety or fear over a real or imagined and unreasonable threat in the environment. The key to remember is that the object itself is not actually dangerous and that the fear is persistent, inappropriate or disproportional and irrational. In many cases the individual with the phobia realizes that the fear is irrational but simply cannot change the behaviour, despite their very real desire to do so.
It is important to distinguish between a valid fear and an irrational fear. For example, if you are out on a walk and see a large dog, let's say a Doberman Pinscher, barking, growling and running after you, it is natural to experience fear and to do whatever is necessary to avoid that dog and keep yourself safe. This is a normal fear reaction to an aggressive dog. However, if you are terrified seeing a well-behaved toy Poodle on leash approaching you and freeze or have to get away from the dog immediately and are overwhelmed with fear, you most likely are suffering from the phobia known as Cynophobia.
These types of specific phobias or the fear of a specific type of object often include symptoms very similar to those of panic attacks. The individuals that have these phobias, which can include any type of object or situation, often think about the object excessively, leading to a constant state of anxiety.
Simply removing the object that is causing the phobia does not stop the fear and anxiety. While some specific phobias may be developmental, such as a child that is afraid of monsters under the bed, some may be life long and not fade away as the child matures.
There are entire lists of phobias and virtually anything that you can think of from fear of the sun to fear of animals, fear of dust or even fear of loud noises. Since these objects are in the world around us on a continual basis, people with these phobias have great difficulty living a normal life.
Social phobias occur around situations that occur in public places, areas or during specific public situations. Social phobias are also called social anxiety disorders and can range from a fear of public speaking to the inability to take an oral test in a training situation. Social phobias typically are not present in childhood but are most commonly first seen in adolescence and during the early part of adulthood.
Using Hypnosis To Overcome Phobias
Hypnotherapy is a safe way for people, in the comfort and safety of the therapist's office, to examine their deep rooted thoughts about the object of their fear. The hypnotherapist will help to determine any possible hidden or repressed memories about the incident that caused the initial fear and allow it to be examined and evaluated based on the individuals current understanding.
The person is, in the hypnotized state, able to replay the frightening incident while facing the object of their fear successfully. The message of fear has been replaced with one of confidence and competence in handling the situation or being exposed to the object without any fear or anxiety in the future.