If you have struggled with a phobia, and there are about a hundred different types, then you will no doubt be aware of how utterly terrifying and debilitating they can be. There are an estimated 10 million people in the UK alone, who suffer with a phobia.
The main ones : Fear of animals - Travelling - Away from a safe place - Leaving the house , out alone or driving - Injury and health ; needles, blood, vomiting, hospitals -Natural events; storms, thunder, lightening, water, darkness, heights - Trapped or confined ; cinema, lifts, escalators, queues, meetings, theatre - Social phobias ; meeting strangers, socialising, public speaking, telephone, doing things in front of other people.
Based on what the conscious mind regards as an irrational fear (because they are the realms of the subconscious mind ) the phobia can interfere with your life quite seriously and can cause restrictive behaviour reducing the quality and natural enjoyment of your life. The threats are either imaginary or greatly exaggerated and confusion sets in about the causes. Some phobias will have started at a certain time in your life and will have left a vague foot print within your mind with the actual memory, but others are more illusive and mask the actual event.
Feelings of embarrassment are not uncommon, as the conscious mind evaluates the fear as grossly in excess of a real threat to life but the fear is felt in a very real fashion way nevertheless. Doubts also become dominant as to ones ability to cope with the overestimated risks.
There is a perpetuating cycle with phobias in that the more you avoid the phobia the stronger it will become. When you first experience the phobia you will feel the symptoms, the next time, in an attempt to try and stop the fear, you will try to avoid the situation and feel a sense of relief and you will then learn to erroneously avoid or restrict your activities.
As the fear grows, you will feel more restricted and embarrassed about your difficulty , ashamed of being so fearful will lead to a direct affect on your confidence levels. So the less confident you are the more susceptible you are to the fear and the phobia grows.
Hypnotherapy and exposure therapy is a great help for phobias, it can effectively re programme your mind.