Fears and Phobias
Whatever your particular fear, or phobia I will explain how phobias are created, phobia symptoms and perhaps more importantly, how hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help with phobia treatment.
If you’re particular fear or phobia isn't mentioned, don't worry, simply contact me for further details or look at the phobias a-z or phobias list.
- A fear is an unpleasant reaction we feel when confronted with real danger. It is an essential 'fight or flight' instinct, which makes us prepare to either run away from that danger, or stick around and fight it out.
- A phobia on the other hand (while still a very strong and unpleasant reaction), is an irrational fear which has been 'symbolically attached' to an object, or situation, which causes little or no real danger.
There will usually be strong avoidance behaviour connected with the phobia, which will run alongside intense feelings of anxiety, loss of control and panic.
Sometimes, confrontation with the phobia, can even lead to fainting, but this is usually only associated with blood, injury, or needle-type phobias.
There are two types of phobias; specific phobias and complex phobias (social phobia , social anxiety, and social anxiety disorder)
Specific phobias can be categorised into five main types:
- Fear of Animals:
- rats,mice, spiders, insects, snakes, birds, dogs or cats
- Fear of the Environment:
- water, thunderstorms, heights, fire, and the dark
- Physical Fears:
- such as injections, the sight of blood, dentistry, surgical operations
- Fears of Situations:
- such as flying, lifts, driving, heights, tunnels, bridges, hospitals, enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), illness or germs and being sick or vomiting.
Phobias a-z and Phobias List
As well as the specific phobias, there are also the complex phobias of social phobia, social anxiety, or social anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces). These can also be very distressing and debilitating, in a wide range of situations.
Read more about social phobia
A phobia is an external representation of an internal anxiety’ See Phobia a-z list
Most phobias are irrational, in the sense that whatever is feared is thought to be dangerous by the subconscious mind, but in reality are not threatening our survival in any way and so most phobias are not directly related to the cause of the emotion, they are symbolic of it.
The most obvious example is the fear of snakes - how many people do you know who have been harmed by a snake? None? It is an interesting fact that per capita there are just as many snake phobics in Ireland as in any country in the world. However there are no snakes native to Ireland - so in effect apart from zoos there are no snakes in Ireland! So where did all those people go to get frightened of snakes? Their fear doesn't have anything to do with snakes, they have a fear/strong emotional reaction to being out of control - which their mind symbolises and then projects onto snakes and associations to snakes!
When we are growing up as children we go through all kinds of experiences and sometimes those experiences are unpleasant and the emotions are intense. When these emotions are very strong our minds 'bottle them up' and manages to detach (or repress) the unpleasant emotions, from the situation that caused it.
This leaves the mind with a strong anxiety or fear, and nothing to attach it to. Because anxiety is extremely bad for your health, your mind will try to find a way to release this anxiety or fear and will therefore attach it symbolically to a real object or situation that it does know about, be it birds, an enclosed space, a lift, buttons ... whatever it may find.
Whenever the person now comes into contact with the object or situation (say, a lift), they feel the fear that the subconscious mind has associated with it, it becomes a phobia.
Sometimes, however, phobias can develop after experiencing something. The initial trigger incident, may vary from a bad experience, witnessing something bad, seeing something terrible on TV, or even just hearing about something terrible.
Or, a child may model their behaviour on that of their role model who has a phobia in their own right, and as a result, this can cause the child to become phobic as well. Children can quickly pick up on a parent’s fear, absorb it and create a learned behaviour pattern, and thus developed a conditioned phobic response.
There are as many phobias as there are objects and situations in this world – virtually anything can become symbolised as the object of a phobia.
Phobias a-z. Some typical phobias are:
- the fear of heights
- fear of needles
- the fear of spiders
- the fear of flying
- the fear of enclosed spaces
- toilet phobia, fear of going to the toilet
- the fear of being sick
- fear of blood
- the fear of water
- fear of doctors or fear of going to the doctor
- fear of hospitals
- fear of dentists
- the fear of disease
- Shy Bladder / Shy Pee
- a toilet phobia
- fear of death or fear of dying
- fear of injections
The phobic person will carefully avoid any potential contact with their fear and the resulting feelings of fear and panic attacks. This leads to a limited life with all that goes with it; depending on the type of phobia it can sometimes result in it being difficult to work and loss of income, difficult or strained relationships or even a commitment phobia and all the other potential implications of living a life of avoidance.
Help for Phobias – treatments for phobias
Hypnoanalysis, a special type of hypnotherapy, is one of the best therapies available for treating phobias. Some therapies try and provide a quick cure or just try and contain the symptoms.
Hypnoanalysis doesn't try and treat the symptom of your phobia, but to tackle the root cause of it and by going through this quick process many, many clients have changed their lives for the better.