It is possible for people to be phobic about almost anything. Type “phobia” into an Internet Search Engine and you can find hundreds of different terms for phobias ranging from Ablutophobia (fear of washing or bathing) to Zoophobia (fear of animals).
What is a phobia?
A phobia is an anxiety disorder. Someone is responding in a phobic way when they produce a survival response in situations that do not merit it.
A survival response is either to fight or flee. We either produce a lot of adrenalin, which in a real survival situation would help us fight, or run away. Or, we freeze – like a rabbit in a car’s headlights.
Phobic responses are way out of proportion to the circumstances. They are irrational in that they cannot be explained or reasoned. They are beyond voluntary control. And on the whole, they lead to avoidance of the fear situation, which can of course be very inconvenient.
What are the causes?
Phobias can be caused through experiencing a highly stressful situation.
Phobias can be caused from an accumulation of negative experiences over a number of years.
Phobias can sometimes result from a fear of fear. People who suffer from this type of phobia are very frightened of the feelings of fear they get. This type of phobia can be associated with almost anything.
Phobias can be ‘caught’ from other people – such as family members or any other person in close contact.
Phobias can be the result of some past traumatic event – though often the sufferer will not be consciously aware of what this event might be.
Phobias tend to be more common in women that in men. Symptoms tend to increase the further away the person is from their home.
How I can help you
I help you desensitise and rationalise the phobic response - to make sense of it, deal with it and let the emotion go out of it.
Once achieved, you will be able to behave perfectly normally in the previously phobic situation. Indeed many clients seem to be unaware that they ever had a problem.