Agoraphobia: Counseling And Other Treatments

 

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Typically, agoraphobia starts to present after an individual has gone through a history of panic episodes. This often results in people developing a phobia of crowded places, hard to get out of, or open spaces.

In its more severe circumstances, agoraphobia can lead an individual to stay at home almost always. Agoraphobia tends to start anywhere from the middle teenage years to an individual’s middle to the late 30s. As mentioned above, most people with agoraphobia also have panic disorders or panic attacks.

Agoraphobia is a specific type of anxiety disorder that makes most people afraid of ever getting out of spaces or areas that they have considered safe for them. The most difficult situations are those individuals who can never get out of their homes because of the disorder.

What Causes It?

For most individuals who are inflicted with agoraphobia, the illness probably developed following bouts of panic attacks, and then they begin worrying about suffering from more panic episodes. They would commonly be scared of experiencing panic attacks and having them when they are in public places.

They will also attempt to evade places and mental conditions that they believe might lead them to attack. Agoraphobia is primarily a collection of one or more panic attacks. It is presently believed that major panic attacks and traumatic events cause an individual to develop the disorder. Additionally, genes could influence people to have agoraphobia.

It is commonly assumed that a panic disorder arises from one’s flight or fight response. In an actual threatening scenario, the body and brain release certain hormones, such as adrenaline. This is a primary human reaction to hazardous and distressing situations. Fundamentally, this body’s response often gets triggered repeatedly, with no real danger or harm present. This continuous false trigger is the underlying cause of panic episodes in most individuals.

Source: women’s life.today

What To Do

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and counseling are currently the best treatments recommended for managing agoraphobia, although some things you can also do that could help.

·      Do not use depressants and stimulants. It is a smart move to quit consuming alcohol and drugs and slowly cut out caffeine. All these can produce depressive moods or anxiety and eventually worsen your panic episodes.

·      Get sufficient sleep. Getting regular sleeping hours has been proven to alleviate almost any mental health condition. It is vital in every aspect of your life – your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.

·      Continue your treatment regimen as instructed. As previously mentioned, talk therapy, CBT, and counseling are the most crucial types of treatments for essentially managing and alleviating your agoraphobia and anxiety as a whole. Begin with a workable and efficient treatment regimen with a counselor you are comfortable with and stick to that regimen. Do not forget that nothing can be cured overnight, so be patient.

Is It Curable?

The great news is that this type of phobia responds to treatment very well, although most individuals have a hard time overcoming it by themselves. The most common forms of treatment for agoraphobia are counseling, particularly talk therapy, exposure therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

New Research On Online Counseling

Online counseling has increasingly been getting more in the limelight in the current years, with a growing base of regular patients and many accolades from mental health professionals. Some researchers have even revealed online counseling to be more efficient than conventional, face-to-face counseling or therapy.

Among the most vital parts of any dependable online counseling program is that they only employ real professional counselors or therapists certified in their corresponding state. This is true for all popular and reliable programs. These programs ask their counselors to show their certifications, proof of their educational background, workshops attended, and years of experience working in their designated state. Finally, they should also be licensed and certified.

Source: nytimes.com

Online therapy is definitely more convenient to fit into one’s calendar, regardless of how hectic your schedule may be. Since you are receiving online counseling at the comfort of your home, you don’t have to be concerned about your appearance or driving to your scheduled appointments.

Online counseling enables almost anybody to receive the therapy that they require, and it’s much easier for them. Several online therapy or counseling platforms even permit you to receive counseling 24/7.

Online treatment for agoraphobia provides its clients more discretion than face-to-face counseling because, in most platforms, your counselor never requires you to show your face if you do not want to. You can also seek a counselor who resides in another state, as this offers many individuals with more sense of confidentiality in their local region. Finally, this makes it swift and convenient to find a new counselor if you wish to.

 

 

Overcoming Fear: Tips From Counselors

 

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When anxiety and fear become frequent in one’s life, these turn into a problem. If your bathroom sink won’t drain, do you neglect it? No, you don’t. You quickly contact your regular plumber or attempt to repair it yourself. When fear leads to mental and physical instability, and you begin evading things that could increase your fear, do not ever ignore it. Anxiety can often progress to become something disabling and make you tremble and feel sick, but do not ever set it aside.

Below are some beneficial tips collected from experienced counselors on how to overcome your fear naturally.

Know More About Your Fear

This initial step may be the toughest and probably the most necessary. You cannot win over your fear if it remains concealed in the dark areas of your subconscious. You should confront it. When you face a person, you see him, and you learn more about his features and how he behaves. Similarly, as you face your fear, you notice things about it that you possibly didn’t notice before. This knowledge will help you win over it.

To reinforce this step, you can start writing a journal for a span of two to three weeks. Document any patterns that you observe. Do you have cold sweats, or does your stomach tighten when somebody rings the doorbell? Do you suddenly have indications of anxiety during the mornings or evenings? Write down anything that you believe is relevant. Transmitting your fear symptoms and patterns into your journal can help discredit them. They become smaller and less fearful. Finally, getting to know more about your fear provides you with clues on how to defeat it.

Let Your Brain Work In A Different Way

Fears and anxieties emerge from certain areas of your brain, and they permit feelings to overpower rational thoughts. If you feel that your fears are slowly creeping out, try to use the various areas of your brain differently. Take numbers, for example. A nurse often uses a scale of 1 to 10 when asking a patient to rate his pain. You can use this scale to rate your fear or anxiety. How scared do you feel – 1 being very relaxed and 10 being extremely scared? Contemplate and analyze. Is it a 6? That’s fine. You can try pushing it down to a 5 or 4.

Concentrate On Breathing Properly

Proper breathing is more beneficial and vital than you could ever imagine. Typically, anxiety starts with short breaths. These short breaths trigger several negative responses in the body, which then rapidly becomes an anxiety attack. An important factor in overcoming these bouts of anxiety attacks is to learn how to control your breathing.

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Don’t worry – deep breathing is easy to learn. When you have learned to identify signs that you become anxious or your fearfulness arises, stop what you’re doing and concentrate on breathing. Take deep, controlled inhales, then let out slow exhales. Be sure your expiration is longer than your inspiration. This is not something that tricks your brain. Breathing deeply pushes your body to calm itself physically.

Imagine Positively

Imagining beautiful things is truly a gift that we can freely do. It fosters creativity, power, and the capacity to think out of the ordinary. Sadly, imagining can sometimes be a dangerous tool when it leads you to ponder negative thoughts. When used adversely, it can increase your fears and makes your situation seem problematic than it really is.

Rather than allowing your imagination to turn you towards the dark corners, deliberately use it to win your fears. How? Choose a calm instance when you are not anxious. Shut your eyes and imagine that you are in a situation that makes you feel scared. For example, if you dread the thought of getting lost in an unfamiliar place, imagine that you are in a bustling airport. Now, picture yourself dealing with the situation calmly. You don’t tremble and cry. Rather, you look for a customer service desk or someone who can help you reclaim that sense of direction. Picture yourself successfully reaching the precise parking area, heading towards your car, and then finally driving home safely without having to meet any unpleasant incidents.

That peace you felt in your pictured scenario does help you surpass the real challenge more calmly.

Utilize Nature As Your Counselor Or Therapist

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Speaking with a counselor is a great way of working through your anxiety and fear. But you don’t stay in your counselor’s office all the time. Why don’t you try going for a breezy walk instead? The beauty seen in gardens, beaches, and parks does help decrease fear and anxiety symptoms. Nature pacifies people, lowering stress levels and altering moods from anxious to calm.

Additionally, physical activities like jogging or walking outdoors require us to use our body and brain, which then triggers a switch from illogical terrifying thoughts to clear and peaceful thinking that can definitely help us forget and finally win over fear.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Catatonia

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I had always been told that I would grow up as a fierce woman. After all, my first recollection as a kid was of me kicking a tall bully because he kept picking on my crying friend. Many girls wanted to be my best friend; more boys cowered around me. I never bullied anyone, but I was secretly glad that people thought that I was untouchable because it meant that I would never get victimized by anyone. Or so I thought. 

When I was already in high school, I was absorbed in learning the quadratic equation when I heard shouting and running in the halls. It was a pretty small private campus, so you could listen to everyone whenever they changed classrooms. However, this shouting and running were different from the usual – they sounded more frantic and urgent. I looked outside the window beside my seat, but there was nothing odd out there. 

Thinking that the other kids were merely goofing around, I decided to get up and tell them off. As soon as I poked my head out of the door, though, I saw a senior student hold up a gun and started shooting whoever was in the hallway. If not for my quick-witted teacher, who pulled me down and slammed the door shut and yelled at everyone to hide under their seats, the gunman might have caught sight of me and fired his weapon at me, too.

The killing spree only lasted for 45 seconds. Another teacher snuck behind the student running amok and apparently body-slammed him so that he would drop the gun. The police also came at once, but not before 15 kids got injured and seven students and two teachers died. After that, the entire school held a week-long vigil for the victims, and the murdering teen got convicted.

After The Incident

The school shooting did not become a massive media sensation back then, partly because the school administration did not want the word to spread and scare off possible new students. A week after the incident, everything seemed to go back to normal. The hallways were clean; the cracks on the wall that the stray bullets made got patched up and painted. Even some of the lightly injured students already returned and started getting therapy, courtesy of the school.

However, there was no mental help provided to kids like me who witnessed the crime and felt traumatized by it.

The sound and vision of the wailing teachers and kids remained stuck in my head for years. Whenever I would blink, I would see the gunman’s expressionless eyes and proud grin as he opened fire. I still returned to school despite that disastrous event, but I became an entirely different kid.

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Gone was the fierce and fearless girl who would stand up to every bully out there. If I heard someone scream or shriek, my immediate response was to either stay rigid and hold my breath or duck under my seat. Often, I would space out in class as I stared outside and hoped to catch another gunman who might come to the school before they could even reach the building. The teachers eventually learned to ignore me as their yells made me jump in my seat, and they did not know how else to get my 100% attention.

Because of that, though, my grades began to slip. When I received a C- for the first time, my parents finally called for a family meeting to know what’s wrong with me. Well, you see, they were aware that I was in the same building when the horrific incident happened, but they did not know that I saw how the deranged student gunned down whoever was in the hallway that day. As they continued bugging me and making me admit if it was because I had a secret boyfriend (I didn’t have one, by the way), I ended up telling my symptoms to them.

Getting Help

Worried, my parents wasted no time bringing me to a child psychologist. I did not protest about it because I wanted to know the reason behind the drastic change in my behavior, too.

That’s how I learned that what I had been experiencing was catatonia. It was as if everything I did was delayed, and sometimes, I might miss important things entirely.

“You are fortunate that it got detected early. Otherwise, it could worsen over time and derail your life,” the psychologist said.

“What’s the reason behind my daughter’s catatonic behavior?” my father asked.

“Based on the events she experienced, it’s safe to say that she developed a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is diagnosed in soldiers and in people who witnessed or dealt with violence that they could not easily process. Phobia could also be at play here, given that your daughter talked about feeling jumpy whenever she heard a loud noise.”

What causes people to be catatonic? 

Catatonia always happens when an individual experiences neurotransmitter irregularities.

What are the 4 major causes of depression? 

  • Genetics
  • Abuse
  • Stress
  • Traumatic events

What is catatonic behavior? 

Catatonic behavior is composed of various symptoms that typically involve feeling restless, speechless, and confused.

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What happens in a catatonic state? 

When you are in a catatonic state, you may be at a loss for words, or you cannot sit still without getting agitated.

Are catatonic people aware? 

Yes, most people are aware when they go into a catatonic state. 

Can catatonia be cured? 

Catatonia can be treated – not cured. However, many often go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, so they cannot get appropriate treatment.

How long can catatonia last? 

Catatonia can last up to two weeks.

What does catatonic mean in English? 

The term ‘catatonic’ refers to a state in which your muscles become rigid, no matter how much you force yourself to move.

How does catatonic schizophrenia develop? 

Dopamine imbalance and stress are most likely the causes of catatonic schizophrenia.

Is catatonic behavior a positive or negative symptom? 

Catatonic behavior is undoubtedly a negative symptom.

What does catatonia look like?

Catatonia looks like an individual cannot move at all.

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Final Thoughts

We asked the child psychologist more about my catatonia. At first, she talked about referring me to a psychiatrist to get antidepressants, but my parents firmly stated that I would not get drugged up at a young age. The alternative was counseling and therapy, and I must admit that both turned out to be beneficial for me. After a few weeks, I slowly returned to normal and started participating in school activities more. I also found my voice again, and the bullies backed away from me. 

Up to this day, I still need to see my therapist or counselor once a month. Unfortunately, PTSD and anxiety are not the best mental disorders to mix since they can both be severe and incurable. The silver lining was that I received help before it was too late. 

On Social Anxiety: Frequently Asked Questions

 

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It is not uncommon to feel apprehensive in some social circumstances. For instance, going on a romantic date or giving a big speech may result in feeling those butterflies in your stomach. However, when you suffer from social anxiety, which is also known as social phobia, daily interactions trigger considerable fear, humiliation, self-consciousness, and anxiety. You are scared of being criticized or condemned by other people.

In social anxiety, fear and worry result in evasion that can interfere with your life. Extreme stress can have a tremendous impact on your work, school, everyday routines, and other usual activities. Social anxiety is a longstanding mental health illness, but learning how to cope through medication and psychotherapy can definitely help you increase your confidence and improve your capacity to interact and engage in meaningful conversation with others.

 

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Learn more about social anxiety by reading some frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers below.

 

What triggers social anxiety?

Stressful life situations and traumatic experiences during childhood are major factors contributing to the emergence of social anxiety. Severe social anxiety disorder is seen in people who have gone through sexual, emotional, or physical abuse. You’re also more prone to have a social anxiety disorder if your parents or siblings have it. Additionally, kids who are being rejected, bullied, teased, or humiliated may be susceptible to developing a social anxiety disorder.

How do you know you have social anxiety?  

You will realize that you are socially anxious. If you are usually scared that people will notice that you look worried and tense. You don’t want to be in situations that would cause you to feel embarrassed and might blush, tremble, sweat, and talk with a shaky voice. You also tend to avoid talking to people for fear of embarrassing yourself. Finally, you don’t want to be in a situation where you are in the limelight or center of attention. 

What does social anxiety mean?  

Social anxiety disorder also referred to as social phobia, is a mental health illness characterized by an extreme, longstanding fear of being judged or noticed by other people. This fear tremendously impacts school, work, and other daily activities. 

How do I overcome social anxiety?

The primary step in overcoming social anxiety is first recognizing that you have one and then trying to understand what you have. Read and learn more about it so that you will be able to observe it in yourself while you are doing your daily activities. It is best to keep a journal to keep track of the symptoms. Practicing meditation and other relaxation strategies is also a great way to help overcome social anxiety. 

What is the best cure for social anxiety?

SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are the best groups of prescription medications for generalized social anxiety disorder, as proven by over 20 randomized controlled experiments that utilized SSRIs. 

Can you self diagnose social anxiety?  

There is a self-check instrument that can help you identify situations commonly seen in people with social anxiety, but this does not include all situations or all the potential reasons why someone might have it. Also, it does not provide an official diagnosis of social anxiety disorder. This implies that only a medical professional, such as a doctor or therapist, can diagnose social anxiety and consider other mental health illnesses associated with it. 

What happens if social anxiety is left untreated?

If social anxiety goes untreated, it could disrupt your relationships, work, school, and other aspects of your life. Social anxiety can develop from a fear of one social event to multiple events and even progress into a generalized fear of people. Severe untreated social anxiety disorder can result in depression, phobia, isolation, and other anxiety conditions. 

How do you talk to someone with social anxiety?

If you want to help someone diagnosed with social anxiety, you can start by sharing things about yourself. Your conversations are better when they are open-ended, and you try to avoid the more personal queries. Provide compliments from time to time, but don’t interrupt the person that you’re talking with. While you’re at it, be aware of your body language.

Can you beat anxiety without medication?

Anxiety is a monster, but it is possible to beat it without taking medications. Sometimes, surpassing the nervousness and the worry is merely a matter of changing your thoughts, behavior, and your lifestyle. You can begin with a medication-free technique, and then you can speak with a medical professional if you feel worse or your symptoms have improved. 

Does social anxiety go away with age?

For some individuals, their anxiety improves as they age. However, for most people, it does not disappear by itself without being treated. It is vital to seek help if you are experiencing symptoms. Some therapies could help deal with anxiety as well. 

What is a drug that calms you down?

Benzodiazepines are minor tranquilizers and considered hypnotics or sedatives that can help calm you down when you are anxious. They are among the most popular group of drugs in the globe. 

Who do you go to for social anxiety?

It might not be easy to initially get help for a disorder like social anxiety, often making you hesitant to talk with strangers. However, if you feel that you want to avoid physical or social contact and it’s slowly (or quickly) taking control of your life, you must consult with a mental health professional about it.

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Conclusion

The ADAA states that almost 40% of individuals with social anxiety do not consult a healthcare professional until they have experienced visible indications for at least ten years. On the other hand, those with social phobia are dependent on alcohol or drugs to deal with anxiety caused by social interactions. Left unmanaged, it can cause other devastating behaviors, including isolation, alcohol and drug abuse, or suicidal ideations.

The prognosis for social phobia is good with various treatments. Therapy, medications, and lifestyle modifications can help many people manage their anxiety and function normally – and happily – in social situations.

Indeed, you don’t have to be controlled by this mental health illness. While it may be weeks or even months, medications, psychotherapy, and other beneficial treatments can help you start to feel more confident and more at ease in social situations.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Phobia Therapy

Everyone has something they fear. However, these fears become serious when they start to take control over someone’s life. Phobias are powerful and irrational fears that can promote significant levels of anxiety.

However, a greater understanding of phobias and their treatments can help patients restore their quality of life. Phobias might be persistent, but people can take control of this condition through a comprehensive treatment plan.

The Impacts of Phobias

Several factors distinguish phobias from normal fears. First, they tend to fixate on a specific object, activity, or concept. People with phobias have clear and identifiable triggers for their anxiety. For example, some people have arachnophobia, defined as an excessive fear of spiders.

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Phobias also tend to cause intense and disproportionate anxiety. The intense emotions that patients experience may not match with the threat imposed by the object of fear. People with phobias may experience persistent and overwhelming anxiety that triggers physical symptoms, such as palpitations, dizziness, and sweating.

Phobias tend to cause behavioral changes. People actively avoid encountering the object of the phobia, even if the item is harmless. They might also take unreasonable countermeasures to protect themselves from the perceived threat.

The person might have a phobia triggered by a wide variety of situations, such as acrophobia or the fear of heights. In these cases, phobias can cause significant changes in daily routine. These phobias can cause difficulties in having a career, enjoying social activities, or even relaxing at home.

Fortunately, phobia therapy can help patients rationalize their fears and manage their emotions. Working with a therapist can resolve most phobia cases and enable people to live normal lives. Learn more about phobias and their associated therapies in the FAQs below.

Can phobias be cured?

It is possible to heal and cure most phobias entirely successfully.

  • For common phobias, there is a therapy called desensitization or self-exposure therapy. In this therapy, people with a phobia are exposed little by little to the things that trigger their anxiety and fear. 
  • For complicated phobias, it requires more time and attention. It might need verbal therapies such as counseling, psychotherapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

What are the 5 categories of phobias?

Animal Type

It is a phobia towards animals, such as Arachnophobia (spider), Cynophobia (dogs), Ophidiophobia (snake).

Natural Environment Type

These phobias involve the natural environment, such as Acrophobia (height), Astraphobia (thunder and lightning), Aquaphobia (water), Nyctophobia (dark).

Blood-Injection-Injury Type 

It is a type of phobia which occurs when exposed to blood, injection, or injury, such as Hemophobia (blood), Traumatophobia (injury), Trypanophobia (needles).

Situational Type

It is a type of phobia that involves fear of specific situations, such as Aviophobia or Aerophobia (flying), Amaxophobia (driving), Claustrophobia (confined spaces).

Other Types: Emetophobia (choking phobia, vomiting), Nosophobia (contracting an illness), Phonophobia (loud sounds).

What is phobia counseling?

Counseling therapy regarding phobias is a progressive and regulated process of managing fear and anxiety. It helps individuals establish positive thoughts and behavior habits that foster well-being and the fulfillment of living. 

What is the weirdest phobia?

Ablutophobia falls under the situational-specific type of phobia, which means it can hinder your daily life. It is the excessive anxiety towards taking a bath, washing, or cleaning. Most commonly, this phobia arises in kids and improves over time, but it may still occur in adulthood.

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What is the #1 phobia?

Arachnophobia is one of the most widespread types of specific phobia. It impacts about 3.5% to 6.1% of the world’s population. Those with arachnophobia are likely to go out of their way to guarantee that they don’t come close to a spider.

To keep themselves away from spiders, they end up limiting their hobbies and activities where spider encounters are possible.

Is Trypophobia real?

Trypophobia is not officially acknowledged by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) of the American Psychiatric Association.

As stated by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), real phobias are those that can trigger excessive anxiety and fear of disrupting your daily life. Trypophobia does not comply with that standard.

What causes Trypophobia?

A 2013 study examined how individuals with Trypophobia react to specific stimuli (Honeycomb) in contrast to an individual without the condition. The researchers theorized that individuals with Trypophobia acquire symptoms because they subliminally connect the honeycomb with a terrifying animal, such as a rattlesnake, where its pattern is comparable.

The condition is assumed to be activated when an individual sees a pattern of tiny bunched holes that bring out symptoms, such as fear, anxiety, and disgust.

What is Novinophobia?

Novinophobia is a phobia where there is a fear of wine running out. It is a phobia that worries about the lack of wine for consumption.

For people with Novinophobia, they need to have accessible wine for drinking all the time. Suppose their wine glasses or bottles become empty or nearly empty; people with this condition panic or become anxious. Given that there is no wine available to drink, they live in a continuous feeling of fear.

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What is the Trypanophobia?

Trypanophobia is characterized as an intense fear of injections or needles concerning medical operations. While several phobias were pointed and sharp objects are involved, Trypanophobia includes the fear’s medical side. It is also sometimes referred to as:  

  • Aichmophobia: Fear of sharp and pointed objects
  • Belonephobia: fear of needles and pins
  • Enetophobia: fear of pins

What is the meaning of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia?

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia ironically is the fear of long words. When presented with long words, individuals dealing with such disorders appear to feel a high anxiety level. 

What is Megalophobia?

Megalophobia is also called the fear of large objects. The perception or interaction with a building, car, or any large object triggers extreme fear and anxiety.

This disorder is characterized by extreme anxiousness, which is so severe that it requires tremendous precautions to avoid the stimuli. It might also be extreme enough to disrupt the everyday routine.

How do you get Trypanophobia?

Some of the variables leading to this phobia progression include:

  • Traumatic events in life or past injuries induced by a particular object or incident.
  • Family members who have a similar phobia (which could reflect hereditary or acquired behavior)
  • Passing out or extreme dizziness as an outcome of having a vasovagal reflexive response once pierced with a needle.
  • Traumatic experiences and anxiousness because of painful injection that the presence of a needle can induce.
  • During medical procedures involving a needle, it induces extreme anxiety, high blood pressure, or a fast heart rate.

Can needle phobia be cured?

To cure the phobia of needles, here are a few valuable tips:

  • Reformulate your reasoning. Know that any discomfort correlated with injection shots or drawing blood is almost instant.
  • Confront the fear. Often, just seeing images of needles or holding a needle will aid you in overcoming your anxiety. Once the needle becomes more familiar, it may help you lessen the feeling of fearfulness.
  • Seek counseling. Individuals experiencing severe cases of needle phobia may need the assistance of a psychotherapist or a licensed mental health counselor.

How do I know if I have Trypanophobia?

You will know that you have Trypanophobia if you feel symptoms whenever you see a needle or when you thought of undergoing a procedure involving a needle. The symptoms include:

  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Racing heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Avoidance of medical care

How common is Trypanophobia?

Research shows that a notable 20% of the populace has a certain level of fear of injections and needles, and within that figure, 10% struggle from Trypanophobia.

Treatments for Phobia

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As shown in the FAQs above, phobias come in many forms. Despite the fears being irrational and excessive, they have real adverse impacts on the people who have phobias.

As such, patients deserve to be treated seriously instead of being ridiculed. Validating their struggles and prompting them to seek mental healthcare are the first steps towards recovery.

Your doctor will conduct an interview and review your medical history during the diagnostic phase. These procedures will help rule out other conditions that might be giving you anxiety.

They will use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, to determine criteria for diagnosing you with a specific phobia.

For most phobias, you will receive exposure therapy, which modifies how you respond to the object of your phobia. Under controlled settings, you will be exposed gradually and repeated to your trigger points.

Like with other mental health conditions, you will also undergo cognitive behavioral therapy. You will work with a therapist to learn about coping methods for dealing with fear. The goal of this therapy is for you to develop mastery over your emotions, giving you power over them.

Your doctor will advise you to practice mindfulness and relaxation strategies at home and exercise regularly. Additionally, you may receive short-term medication to quell symptoms.

Phobia therapy is beneficial for everyone. Many people will ultimately get over their phobias, while around half would only experience mild and unobtrusive fears. Instead of hiding your fears, make sure to approach your doctor so that you can confront your phobias together.

Mental Health Real Talk: I Have Fear Of Job Loss

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I lived a pretty sheltered life when I was young. Every morning, Mom would wake me up with the smell of freshly cooked waffles, scrambled eggs, and orange juice. My lunch box would always be filled to the brim with various snacks and sandwiches, too. Even my clothes would be laid out on the bed by the time I came back to my room after breakfast. And when I became a full-fledged college student, I didn’t need to worry about part-time work or student loans because my parents practically gave me a full-ride scholarship.

However, I decided to make some changes in my life when I got my Bachelor’s degree. I didn’t want to seem like those bratty kids who had been spending all their parents’ hard-earned money just because they could. Although I knew that Mom and Dad would still give me anything I asked from them, that would be too crazy of me. So, I applied for a job and left the nest.

Being A Working Girl

I was lucky to send my application to a company that was specifically looking for fresh graduates. I got a spot as an assistant video producer, which I thought was quite impressive. I was getting more than $2,000 a month, so I could afford a tiny apartment without getting hungry. Because I needed to go to various shooting locations, I found it convenient to get a car on a mortgage. There was a very little amount of money I could save every month, but it was okay since I had a stable job.

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The thing was, the Great Depression came in 2008, and the company I worked for was too small to survive. After three months, the bosses announced that they filed for bankruptcy and that we would only be able to work there with pay for 30 days.

My mind started reeling in that instant. I was facing a job loss, and I couldn’t move. I knew what I had to do – get a filing box to stuff all my desk items in and look for another job – but it was as if the news bolted my feet in the ground. That’s when I realized how afraid I was of losing my job.

Fear Of Job Loss

 I couldn’t precisely remember the procession of events after the announcement, but I found myself in my apartment in the evening, talking to my sister on the phone. Not only was she my best friend, but she also happened to be a psychologist. I was fairly certain that my sister would know the right words to say to me.

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And I was right. When my litany ended, my sister said, “Take deep breaths now. Your fear of job loss is real, but you don’t want your mental health issue to muddle your brain – not now when you technically have to apply for a new job again.”

I replied, “I don’t know what happened to me. I never experienced this until now. Why?”

My sister explained, “It is more normal than you can imagine. That’s especially true these days because of the Great Depression. People feel scared of getting laid off and finding themselves without a dime in their pockets.”

“So, what should I do?” I asked.

Dealing With Fear Of Job Loss

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Face Your Fears

The main problem was that I wanted to avoid losing my job. Little did I know, it was causing my fears to grow, to the extent that it started eating me alive.

My sister encouraged me to face my problems early. The company’s bankruptcy was real, and there’s no other way to hide it. But even if I had to force myself to face my fears, I could say that it served me well, considering it helped me visualize my future more clearly.

Make A Backup Plan

On that same night, my sister ordered me not to sleep until I had a backup plan. She said, “It doesn’t have to be concrete; you just need to have an idea of what you’ll do with your life once your company falls apart.”

Sure enough, when the D-Day came, I was among the few employees who did not become hysterical when the bosses announced that our time was up. I merely packed my belongings and left.

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Learn To Accept It

Yes, nothing else can help you deal with the fear of job loss other than yourself. Any of your family members can enumerate the number of reasons why you should accept your pending unemployment. But be honest – will you listen to them?

When you learn to accept the situation, your fears may begin to dissipate, to the extent that you’ll find the courage to look for another job soon.

Final Thoughts

Since you are reading my blog now, I should let you know that I survived the Great Depression. The journey was rough, considering I lost my job in the process, but it was understandable. I got back on my feet and turned to business ventures, so there was no chance for me to feel scared of job loss again.+

 

When A Family Member Has Extreme Fears

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Fear is a basic, normal human emotion that usually helps protect us and keep us away from danger. Being afraid is normal and may sometimes be helpful in dangerous situations. Whenever we feel afraid, it seems like we are receiving a signal that warns us of imminent danger or it may serve as a warning to be more careful.

Continue reading When A Family Member Has Extreme Fears

Relationship Phobia: Realizations During Lockdown

 

I am afraid to commit. This is the truth now, and I admit it. I just realized that I could not move on, as in move on with another person because I am stuck with the past. What I know for sure is that I do not love my ex-husband anymore, and yet, every chance I get, the triggers still come. Relationship phobia, that’s what my friend, who is also a therapist at BetterHelp, tells me that I have. I just laughed at her, but deep down inside, I knew she has a point.

Continue reading Relationship Phobia: Realizations During Lockdown

Mental Strains From Dealing With Coronavirus

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Being stuck all day at home without knowing when this is all going to end is very frustrating. And watching the news from going bad to worse can make us all hate the idea of quarantine. According to mental health professionals, this situation also creates a perfect timing of feeling powerless, anxious, and terrified of almost everything. Thus, we get too susceptible to unhealthy negative thoughts and behavior.

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The Mental health Dilemma

We all know that anxiety and fear thrive on uncertainty. The more we don’t know what’s going to happen next with this pandemic situation, the more we deal with mental exhaustion. It is a triggering situation that not all of us can seem to comprehend. That explains why people who, instead of securing their overall health, somehow shift to embracing the negative sides of the situation. Thus, they find it overwhelming that they do not want to focus on living better lives. It leads them to the doom-and-gloom conclusion of the global health condition. These individuals focus too much on the things they can’t control, which strain their mental health. Honestly, even licensed professionals at BetterHelp believe that as well.

The truth is, there is a high possibility that we might live like this for a while. And as much as we want to complain about our situation, there is little to nothing we can do to change it. But despite this unfortunate circumstance, it doesn’t mean we have to be stressed out and take our mental health for granted.

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What Can We Do?

Get Dressed – You might think it’s funny because a lot of people are now unable to go outside. Thus, you may be wondering why anyone would try and get dressed? You might think, “what’s the point?” Well, for some reason, there are specific things we can still maintain doing to make ourselves feel good. Dressing up doesn’t mean we put on beautiful clothes to lie to ourselves and make us disregard the struggle of our current state. Contrary to that, dressing up implies that despite the unfortunate global crisis we have, we prioritize self-care. Because when you think about it, staying with our pajamas all day can make us feel covered and far-flung.

Establish A Routine – Instead of complaining about how this pandemic changes everything in our lives, why not care to establish a new routine that will comply with the ones we do regularly. Indeed, we can never control what’s happening outside, but we can always alter our space. Therefore, establishing new routines and maintaining the structures will allow us to have self-confidence, consistency, and predictability. We need to understand that the capacity to change a regular routine is the same as telling ourselves that we can work things better our ways. The one person who can do that is us.

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Be Socially Active – Understandably, we need to keep physical distance from people to avoid the spread of the infection. But social distancing doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk to our friends and colleagues. Contrary to that, we should get socially active in a digital way to secure functioning mental and emotional aspects. Yes, I hear you. Being socially active will not fill some of the added hours of your time during this pandemic lockdown. Meaning, you will still have to deal with a lot of hours alone with yourself. But a couple of minutes talking with a friend can make significant changes in your mood as well as your brain function.

Mental illness comes from uncontrolled emotional and mental instability. Perhaps you would disagree, but we need to permit ourselves to worry. Yes, we should allow our minds to experience pressure at some point. However, we should not let that fear take over our lives. We can always find ways to deal with this situation as long as we understand our strengths and weaknesses.