Almost all the people have a problem with their irrational fears, may these be fear of heights or fear of spiders, among other concerns that are unfounded. However, for people with a phobia, these fears go out of hand and then eventually make the person powerless and non-functional concerning their personal and professional lives.
According to Clinical Psychologist Samantha Rodman, “Challenging irrational fears cognitively involves thinking out what would happen if these thoughts came to fruition, as well as assessing the real-world likelihood of the feared outcomes.”
Phobia is the unreasonable and great fear of something that poses little danger to you and to the people who surround you. If you have this condition, there is an excellent chance that you cannot entirely control what you feel towards the subject of your fear. Fortunately, there are some helpful ways to provide you with assistance when faced with your phobia.
As psychologist Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, mentioned in an interview, “Simply put, a phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something … Usually somewhere in their childhood they associated this ‘thing’ with fear, or had a bad experience.”
Understand How Phobia Works
This is the first step to help you overcome your condition. It is necessary to know that having a phobia does not mean that you are crazy. First, you need to acknowledge that you are dealing with a problem and that you need help in addressing it.
Another step to further understand your condition is to know the signs and symptoms that a phobia is coming on. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Difficulty breathing and a racing heart.
- Awareness that you are overreacting towards something but you cannot seem to help it even if you try to resist the feeling.
- Shaking or trembling
- An impending feeling that you will pass out or die on the spot.
- Cold and hot flashes
- A strong desire to escape the situation that you are currently in.
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Feeling that the situation is not real and that you are presently detached from yourself.
- Chest tightness and pain
- An overwhelming feeling of panic or anxiety.
- Tingling sensations
Know When To Ask For Help
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW says, “The good news is that once you face your fear—and give the boogeyman air—rather than shove it into a distant compartment of your brain, it begins losing the ability to rule you and dictate your decisions.”
Another interesting fact about phobias is they do not have the same level of intensities at different times. In some cases, it may just cause minimal problems while during some days, you cannot work nor do errands because of this.
Here are some things that you need to look out for so you will know when to seek help:
- The feeling of panic, anxiety, and fear disables you and discourages you from doing your daily routine.
- You are experiencing this problem for a minimum of six months.
- Your efforts to avoid your phobia eventually cause you lots of distress.
- Going out of the house for whatever reason takes a lot of courage and work.
- You understand your fear is unreasonable and excessive.
When you are threatened with the thing or the thought that you fear the most, you need to come up with your very own positive coping statements. Use these statements that you can always tell yourself when you are faced with a situation that you fear. Given these things, always keep in mind that you must always seek help from a specialist to help you get through this struggle and finally undergo long-term behavioral therapy.
At present, digital technologies can help in treating phobias using virtual reality. Patients are given VR glasses, and they are transported to a virtual environment where the therapist can manipulate following the level of fears. This is part of the exposure therapy where the goal is for the patient to face and overcome their fears. So that if they encounter the same thing in the real world, the effects are no longer potent or harmful to the patient. Patients also learn how to deal with or manage any fearful situation in a safe environment since the therapist is around to assist the patient during a session.
Dealing with phobias is no longer difficult. In fact, it has become more accessible to everyone, and you can even receive treatment in the comfort of your own home using online therapy.