Category Archive Fear

ByAnxious Minds

Are Phobias Controlling your Life?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), over 6 million  suffer from specific phobias. A specific phobia is an anxiety disorder that is based on a certain fear. These fears vary greatly from person to person and usually stem from experiences in childhood. Specific phobias go beyond being simply adverse to a certain object or situation and can actually cause panic attacks.

Specific phobias can be difficult to diagnose in comparison to rational fears. There are six main criteria points that doctors use to diagnose specific phobias. First, the fear must be persistent and unfading. In some people, this fear may also be felt even if the object is not around or the situation is not happening, simple because it might be around or happen in the future. The second criteria that must be met for diagnosis is acute anxiety, sometimes even leading to a panic attack, when the object is around or the person is in the situations. Thirdly, the fear itself is irrational and excessive, because there is no immediate danger. Next, a person will start to avoid the object or situation, even if this disrupts daily life. Another criteria is that it disrupts life to the point where it interferes with normal daily functioning and a considerable amount of time is spent worrying about the phobia. Lastly, these symptoms are not attributed to another anxiety condition or disorder.

Fears vary widely, but fall into five categories: animals, natural environments, blood and injury, situational, and other. In some cases, treatment is not necessary. For example, if you have a fear of air planes, you can simply choose not to fly during your life. However, once the phobia begins to disrupt your functioning on a daily basis, you should see your doctor for treatment. Behaviour therapy is usually the best treatment you can get for a specific phobia. With this process, the person is exposed to the object or situation, slowly at first, and with pictures or virtualisation. Virtual reality is also great for helping others to overcome specific phobias.

It is simply important to seek help if a specific phobia is ruining your life. You can ask your doctor for tips to help you overcome a panic attack or ways in which to avoid objects or situations in healthy ways. While you may never be “cured” from your specific phobia, it is totally possible to let it go enough to be able to live your life normally on a day-to-day basis.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

Panic Attacks

Panic disorders are a serious health problem and are very different from other types of anxiety. Panic attacks are sudden, appear to be unprovoked, and are often disabling. If you have panic disorder, you may feel suddenly terrified for no reason. During a panic attack, you also have scary physical feelings like a fast heartbeat, trouble breathing, or dizziness. Some people believe they are having a heart attack.

Panic attacks can happen at any time and any place without warning. Many people with panic disorders develop intense anxiety between episodes. It is not unusual for a person with panic disorder to develop phobias about places or situations where panic attacks have occurred, such as in supermarkets or other everyday situations.

Panic attacks often begin when people are young adults, around 18 to 24 years old. Sometimes they start when a person is under a lot of stress, for example after the death of a loved one or after having a baby. Anyone can have panic disorder, but more women than men have the illness. It can also be a hereditary disorder.

Speaking to a specially trained doctor or counsellor who can teach you ways to cope with your panic attacks can help many people who struggle with panic disorder. Therapy will help you feel less afraid and anxious. Thanks to research, there are a variety of treatments available, including several effective medications, and also specific forms of psychotherapy. Often, a combination of psychotherapy and medications produces good results.

It is extremely important for a person suffering from panic disorder to understand that help is available. Tragically, many people with panic disorder do not seek or receive treatment. The physical toll this takes adds to the problem.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

 

 

 

ByAnxious Minds

Causes of Social Anxiety

Social anxiety or social phobia has many varied causes, including biological, psychological and social. However, each one may be intertwined so it is hard to specify exacting ones. Though it is not yet known if social anxiety is caused by a genetic disposition or something learned through family social conditioning, it does appear that it can run in the family.

The first group of causes include environmental and social. It is believed by some social phobia experts that it is possible to learn this from the environment in which you are in. It has been suggested that simply interacting and watching others with similar tendencies can be influential. Also, it is possible that overprotective and controlling parents may develop this in their children and fail to recognise the disorder in them because they too suffer from it and consider it to be perfectly normal. Others think that people may develop social phobias based on a negative childhood event, including bullying, public embarrassment and teasing. Such indicators include disfigurement, abuse (sexual and physical), neglect, speech impediments or conflicts within a family.

The second group of causes of social anxiety is thought to be due to psychological or emotional trauma experienced in childhood. The subsequent symptoms may be the direct result of unresolved traumatic experiences such as car accidents, abuse, relationship breakdowns, humiliation or even a natural disaster. The key elements of that are common amongst all people suffering anxiety as a result of traumas include an event or experience that was not expected, the person was not prepared for, and there was little if anything that the person could have done to have pretended it from occurring. However, such traumas can also run deeper, including a poor bonding between the major caregiver and the person during childhood. The person may well have not learned the skills needed to regulate calmness, self-soothing and focus during stressful events.

The third social anxiety cause is biological in nature, including biochemical reactions, the structure of the brain and the possibility of the disorder having been inherited genetically. In genetical inheritance, most researchers believe that the main part of the disorder is born out of the inhibited behaviour. Young babies with such a disposition are quick to show stress and fear of unfamiliar situations and people, and as they grow into teenagers and adults, their risk of getting social phobia increases. Also, studies have shown that it may also have something to do with the section of your brain that controls fears (amygdale). Through CAT scans, doctors have found that people with this disorder have an excess amount of activity in the amygdale and too little in the prefrontal brain cortex. Biochemically speaking, more studies indicate that an imbalance in the serotonin levels in the brain, dopamine, GABA and neurotransmitters may be to blame.

The most common group that social anxiety disorder sufferers fall into is the second. Each and every day, many people, young and old, experience traumas, some of which they may well put behind them for many years, or at least they believe, but somewhere inside of them, they have not learned to cope with the resulting trauma, but in fact pushed the emotional side under the carpet or so to speak. When this happens it is essential to get medical support and treatment. Such traumas as abuse, rape and other experiences can develop from social anxiety to include even post-traumatic shock disorder, which can attack any person at any time in their lives. It may manifest itself many years later, even after the trauma has since been apparently forgotten.
Though there are many causes of social anxiety phobias, the bottom line is that the result is an unnatural fear of social interaction and a lowered self-esteem that can not only hinder a person’s ability to function in everyday situations but in some cases hinder the persons ability to simply live a normal existence outside of their home. Sometimes the disorder is so debilitating that the person cannot even carry on regular daytime activities. If you or anyone you suspect may have this disorder, there is no shame in asking for medical help. This does not have to be a lifelong affliction, nor is it normal because someone else you know is dealing with it by pushing it away. Your family doctor is your best source of relief in this regard.

ByAnxious Minds

Treatments in Overcoming Fear of Flying

Today, with modern technology and continuous advancement in research, overcoming fear of flying could be fast and easy. All one needs to do is to gather enough willpower to face his or her fear and the willingness to overcome that fear no matter what it takes.

Options for aviophobia treatment

Once the final diagnosis has been made by the psychologist, the person who has aviophobia can now start with treatments depending on the severity of the phobia. Nowadays, the most common treatment options available in overcoming fear of flying include drug therapy, natural remedies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), relaxation techniques and airline-affiliated programs. Each of these offers different concepts and processes so it’s up to the person which one could be suitable to his or her needs.

1. Drug therapy. This is the mildest form of treatment available for people who are starting in overcoming their fear. Once the diagnosis is made by the psychologist or psychiatrist, the most common drug prescription that they give include benzodiazepines and other relaxant drugs which are proven to control the symptoms of the phobia for a certain period. Although some can be bought over the counter, always remember to check with your health provider which drugs may help you overcome that fear while in flight. Their approval and prescription is critical because these will ensure that the problem will not get more complicated.

2. Several herbal and natural remedies. If you want to go the natural way, certain natural remedies can be made or taken at home to help you control anxiety attacks during flights. These herbs include St Johnís Wort, Scullcap, Passiflora incarnate, and Valerian are recommended because these are believed to help calm the person’s nerves while aboard. Because these contain properties that help people to relax, many are trying this treatment option. But since herbal or natural remedies donít necessarily have clinical approval, it is best to test first the effects of these herbs before you finally go aboard.

3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. Experts say that one of the most effective methods for helping people overcome their fear of flying is the process called “desensitisation.” This is an educated approach to overcoming fear in flying because the process involves making the person face the fear “face to face”. How? The moderators introduce the patient to his or her fear and then, slowly, the idea of flying will be re-introduced. Other components of the method also include conversations about it, field visits such as the airport, and soon, you will be accompanied to take a real flight. During the sessions, the patient will be taught various relaxation methods as well as techniques so they can cope with the phobia and eventually eliminate it from their system.

4. Various relaxation techniques. Since anxiety is the main culprit for fear of flying, people who are experiencing this are advised to different methods that would help them relax such as meditation and deep breathing as well as muscle relaxation. People who are afraid to fly are advised to practice these techniques at home, so once they have mastered it, they can try using these relaxation methods when they finally able to take a flight. Learning these techniques are important because it will help the person reduce his or her anxiety, relieve the tension brought by the fear, and enable that person to take off his or her mind into untoward things and accidents.

ByAnxious Minds

Getting Serious in overcoming Fear of Flying

Many people are having a hard time overcoming fear of flying for the simple reason that they have developed a phobia on it. Phobia or the irrational fear of people to some things is what makes some individuals develop fear of flying.

For some, it seems really illogical to be afraid of something wrong that might happen during the flight. But, experts say that being afraid of flying is a very serious matter that should not be taken lightly. This is because it may follow a domino effect to people. In short, if the person is unable to overcome that fear, chances are it will be easier for him or her to develop other fears in things or experience in the future.

What causes fear of flying?

Experts say that there are basically two major reasons why people are having a hard time in overcoming fear of flying: bad experiences and media hype on air accidents.

The first reason is very valid because the person, him or herself, developed that fear because he or she experienced something bad in one of his or her flights. This bad encounter usually causes peopleówho used to enjoy flying and travelling by planeóbefore to hesitant ever taking a flight again because they fear that the same experience would happen again. Some of the bad experiences that might cause one to develop dear of flying are heavy or prolonged turbulence inside the plane that it caused by a bad weather. Aside from natural phenomenon, another reason is mechanical problems while one is up there. Usually, planes are checked before the flight. But even if they are double checked, it is unavoidable at times that it might encounter mechanical problems while aboard. The tendency of this occurrence is the flight will be aborted or will take an emergency landing which triggers the panic among the passengers.

Another reason is the media hype up on air accidents. Although it is a must that the media would do reports on tragedies up in the sky, sometimes, the reports are just too “tragic” that inculcate fear to many people. Can you imagine seeing a place bursting into piece during an accident. If you see that on national television or on the newspaper, this fear would instantly turn into phobia.

How to get serious

Overcoming fear of flying is not easy but it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to achieve it. The best thing that can be done is to really get serious in overcoming that fear. For people who would want to get rid of this phobia, the first thing that they should do is acknowledging that fear. Once fear is acknowledged, you can address surrounding issues. Here are some of the things that you can also do to really overcome that fear gripping you when the thought of flying enters your mind.

1. Be informed. Being educated about this phobia is the best weapon in overcoming the fear of flying. If you know very well what may cause your fears and you know how to overcome them, it will be easier for you to overcome greater fears while aboard.

2. Always be relaxed. Relaxation is also another effective way in overcoming the fear of flying. If you are relaxed during a flight, the tendency is for you to have a clearer mind. Remember that phobia is related to one’s imagination, if you are relaxed, you won’t think too much of untoward possibilities.

ByAnxious Minds

Being a Pilot may Help in overcoming Fear of Flying

For some people who have a hard time overcoming a fear of flying, there is no better way to conquer this feeling than facing it head. This very desire to defeat that fear causes some people to try a career in flying itself.

If you are one of those whose option is to face that fear, then being a pilot is the best option for you. The next question would be, how would you start choosing that flight school. In the field of learning to fly a plane, the most general and slightest significant difference among the types of schools is the minimum flight time necessary for the private diploma ó 40 hours beneath Part 61, and 35 hours under Part 141.

Even though flight schools drop into two essential categories, Part 61 or Part 141, at hand is a third class that bears grave reflection by potential pilots, chiefly those setting up a specialized piloting career: generally qualified teaching institutions. Accredited schools have to meet up strict standards of answerability for practically every area of procedure and must apply to an accrediting organization documented by the U.S. Department of Education.

Collegiate aviation degree programs also play a significant part in today’s education market, and you should think of earning a degree if you are setting up a professional flying profession. A plus in looking for a degree is that in numerous cases you are entitled to monetary aid and scholarships that will support you, not only in your academic activities but in flight exercise as well.

Flying school options

If you are looking at aviation as a profession and you are rather youthful – age 35 or younger – this is a golden era for you. Since the late 1960s, it has never been so simple to get into the airlines, and by no means has the trail been so obviously clear and so well attended to by dozens of flight academies. Note down the expression is academy, not school. Today, the new class of flight school can get your $25,000 to $30,000 (monetary help is more often than not available) and nearly pledge you 1,500 hours, an airline transport pilot diploma, and a dialogue with at slightest a district airline – the entire in three years or fewer.

This is grave, hard-core flight instruction in the grand armed forces custom. Disregard about having verve outside of aviation, because these are overall engagement programs. Imagine if it as going away back to college, complete with moving away from home, textbooks, research, lessons, and friendship. This is not somewhat that will toil for a midlife predicament where you desire to swap your intermittent golf match with flying.

On the other end of the gamut, it’s also not an alternate for a university learning. Most airlines necessitate pilots to cleave to a four-year degree. While quantities of the flight instruction academies toil with locale colleges to assist students in getting degrees, earning a degree is not consistently part of the agenda. That is why aviation academies are particularly first-rate for those who previously have a degree and merely want professional training. Those who do not have a degree might do superior attending one of the many colleges and universities giving aviation-related degrees and flight schooling.

If you congregate the common credentials you can go to the school’s site, let schooling a full-time profession for two to three years, and wish for an airline calling the pathway is appealingly well mapped out for you. If that is not for you, you will need to consider your options in overcoming the fear of flying.

ByAnxious Minds

All About Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Bipolar disorder treatment is not new. Men of medicine were treating for it before they even knew what it was. Yet every year new medications and methodologies are added to the bipolar disorder treatment.

Although first recognised in the second century A.D., bipolar disorder has struggled as a diagnosis to become accepted. Bipolar disorder treatment up to and through the 1960’s, if any, was usually comprised of either locking the patient away or leaving him or her to fend for him or herself.

In the 1970’s manic-depression, as it was then called, began to become seen as an accepted diagnosis and therefore, bipolar disorder treatment began in earnest. At that time, laws were enacted and standards set to help those who sought bipolar disorder treatment.

In bipolar disorder treatment, the first thought may be the use of medications. They are, actually, a powerful tool in the management of the disorder. One only needs look at the vast array of medications that is available to see that medication has been extensively used in bipolar disorder treatment.

Lithium carbonate was the first major breakthrough in the medications for bipolar disorder treatment. It belongs to a class of medications called “mood stabilisers”. These medications help to prevent or ease manic episodes. They also help to ward off the extremes of depression, such as suicide.

Bipolar disorder treatment may also include the use of other mood stabilisers that were originally used as anticonvulsants. These have been shown to have a great effect on mood. Some of these, such as valproic acid and carbamazepine, are tried and true. Lamotrigine, gabapentin, and topiramate have also been used for this purpose but not conclusively proven effective.

Caution must be taken in the use of antidepressant therapy as a part of bipolar disorder treatment. Mood stabilisers are usually tried first, because antidepressants can trigger manic episodes or rapid-cycling. If an antidepressant must be used, there are certain ones which are less likely to cause these problems. One of these is bupropion.

The treatment of psychotic symptoms has evolved quickly in modern times. At first, there were powerful anti-psychotics. The first of these were said to put the mind in a “mental strait-jacket”. They virtually stopped all thought. They also had an intense side effects known as tardive dyskinesia. This causes permanent neurological damages. Researchers, then were trying to find alternatives that would cause less, or even no, damage in bipolar disorder treatment.

Other anti-psychotics were tried, and found to have fewer neurological effects. The newest of these medications are actually relatively safe when used as prescribed. They are also very helpful in bipolar disorder treatment both in psychotic episodes and even

ByAnxious Minds

Overcoming Dental Fear

About Dental Fear

Dental fear is another common fear shared by many individuals. Despite the importance of dental care, there are quite many who despise the idea of going to the dentist for a visit. For some people, the pain associated with any type of dental problems is tied up with the fear of that dreaded visit to the dentist. Statistics reveal that dentists are the most feared out of any type of doctors.

It is no surprise as to why dental fear is so prevalent given the different situational causes to it.

Cause of Dental Fear

The fear of dentists vary in their intensity such that some people are afraid of undergoing intricate dental procedures while others dislike the idea of seeing the dentist at all. Due to the importance of dental care as part of taking care of your body, it is also important to assess your level of fear so you can undertake the necessary steps to overcome it.

If you examine the causes for dental fear, these are quite familiar. Therefore, you need to be able to identify them before you can think of ways to eliminate them.

• Previous terrible experience with a dentist.

• Fear of being embarrassed or ridiculed for your dental condition. This is quite problematic since your own fear is also the reason for your dental neglect in the first place.

• Fear of certain dental procedures, especially intricate ones that you might perceive as painful.

• Others own scary or terrible experiences with the dentist that impact your own perception about dentists and having a dental check-up on the whole.

• Fear of the anaesthesia shots and needles registered by the dentist before proceeding to any dental procedure.

Behavioural Techniques To Overcome Dental Fear

As with any other types of fear, dental fear mostly takes place in the mind. Therefore, you can try to combat it with a few psychological methods that will enable you to confront this fear. By following them, you are not entirely guaranteed of being able to let go of that fear altogether. However, it can help you understand that this type of fear can be illogical and enable you to appreciate the importance of having frequent dental care.

The Comfort Zone

This is an important concept associated with psychological fears involved with your dental fear. Undergoing dental procedures can be scary, but you can get over that by re-learning the emotional responses solicited by the experience. This is most common among children. For example, you can try doing basic check up wherein the doctor examines the teeth using a mouth mirror. If a child shows no signs of fear from that, then you can proceed to a more elaborate test. Taking this step by step process and moving in slowly will enable the child or individual to remain in their comfort zone. This is a more useful approach among adults given that they can voice out their experience so that you remain as relaxed about the entire dental visit.

Knowing You’re In Control

This one is related to the idea of the “comfort zone”, which is basically about letting your dentist know whether or not you are comfortable about the dental proceedings. It is important that you learn how to effectively communicate with your dentist, so they remain aware about your state throughout the entire procedure. If at some point you become quite anxious about the situation, then it is best to send out warning signals, so your dentist knows when to stop or proceed.

Also, you need to keep it in mind that dental procedures are not going to hurt. That is what the numbing agent is for, which is also another reason why you should not fear those shots administered before any procedure. Once you have motivated yourself enough to dismiss all these thoughts of fear and anxiety, then you’d be able to come out of the procedure with a healthier dental condition.

ByAnxious Minds

Overcoming Performance Fears and Anxiety

What is Performance Fear?

Performance fear or performance anxiety takes on different forms. However, it is associated with the growing awareness and the need to perform according to the standard of your own field of activity, whether in the workplace, or an upcoming presentation, or for a sports activity. With the pressure to perform one’s best, there is always this preconditioned mindset for the person suffering from performance fear that anything could go wrong that will eventually impact your performance and reduce it to failure.

Studies are still ongoing to determine exactly the cause of this fear but it is closely tied up to one’s desire to do better at something. However, you need to understand that experiencing performance fear is completely normal. But some often have unrealistic fear or misconception about given situations that impair their logical decision making capacities and end up in your not performing up to standard.

Different Types of Performance Anxiety

There are various types of performance fears or anxiety, whether at the workplace, sex, speech delivery, or sports. Therefore, the ways in which you deal with them must differ as well. Below are some basic methods suggested in order to minimise the level of fear associated with performing these different tasks and the level of anxiety that is entailed.

Sports

The best way to get rid of any performance fears associated when competing at a sports event is to take it easy on yourself. Even the world’s best sportsmen or women have their days off, wherein they do not perform at their maximum potential. When engaged in sports, you cannot expect to win all the time and you will find your team lose on some occasions. Whatever your sport, setting realistic goals is then the first step that will help you deal with sports performance fears and anxiety. However, you can turn that adrenaline produced by your anxious feelings into energy that you can harness to perform better at your sport. And when you are on the actual performance, try to enjoy the experience and you will find the process of competition more rewarding.

Speech Delivery

Several people have this fear of speaking in public. Much of that fear is produced by the pressure of having to deliver a flawless speech that is able to communicate the message to the audience effectively. Instead of letting that fear overtake you, harness it into a systematic plan that will ensure you have control over the situation.

Here are added tips you can apply:

• Carefully plan ahead your speech.
• Do some research to be well-equipped about the topic you are going to deliver a speech on, even when you are already an ‘expert’ at that field.
• Practice. Practice. Practice.
• Plan ahead the schedule and venue where the speech is going to be held.

Workplace

There are a few innately stressful jobs that require high level of standards for their employees to meet. To keep up with performance anxiety, you need to stop and talk about it, with either your boss, co-workers, or family members. Being in isolation and confronting your fears alone could increase the fear or make the situation worse. It is important to have the support of other people.

Then, change your perspective. There are moments wherein there are job inadequacies but use that as a learning curve. Aiming for perfectionism is good but you need to realise that it is unachievable. Just try to focus on what you can contribute to the company instead of what you are failing to deliver.

Managing and Overcoming This Fear

You need to understand that you have power over your fear, especially when it determines how well you perform at something. Then, think of the following steps that must be taken in order for you to overcome these fears:

• Try to identify the source of your problematic perception or anything that could trigger such fears.
• Then, once you have identified the outside source for such levels of anxiety, look into yourself. Determine how you react to it and why you react that way.
• Refrain from criticising yourself nor questioning your ability to perform.
• Instead of letting fear consume you, make the necessary preparations needed for your performance, whether at a sports event or at the workplace.
• Once you are through with the performance, do not focus on areas of mistakes or failures in a way that it impairs your self-confidence. Instead, look at them as areas that need improvement in order for you to do better in your next performance.

ByAnxious Minds

Overcoming Fear of Failure

The Fear of Failure

Fear of failure is common for obvious reasons. People want success and yet only those who are brave enough to confront this type of fear are the ones able to rise above their fears and achieve whatever goals they have set for themselves. For those who were overcome with this fear, then they are prevented from realising their potential.

The most destructive element entailed with the fear of failure is one’s inability to take criticism or feedback well. Instead, they tend to magnify the mistakes they have created along the way until it overtakes their mind such that it is difficult to get rid of them. There are also instances wherein the fear of failure is so immense that people tend to limit themselves to the point of not trying for fear of failing.

Steps to Overcoming This Fear

Why must fear of failure be given attention on, you might ask. Unless you are able to let go of the fear of failure, then you are unable to achieve your desired result. Oftentimes, fear of failure produces negative thoughts that reduce your actual potential. You think you are incapable of achieving something when it fact you can.

Once you are brave enough to do something about this fear, then you are able to provide yourself more freedom to do what you need to do and succeed at it. Here are some basic methods you can try.

Do Something About the Fear

Fear of failure immobilises you. You become so wrapped up with the fear that you will eventually fail that you rather not try. But when you don’t try, you neither fail nor succeed. Therefore, make that decisive action towards conquering your fear. If you should fail, then you will create awareness of the factors that will contribute towards your success. If you succeed, then you can reward yourself with that.

Find Alternatives

There are several factors that contribute as to why you fail or succeed at doing something. Whichever it is, you need to look at your behaviour towards something and the result achieved. But the most important step you can take is never to associate your failure with yourself. You can always get back up and try other alternative methods to achieve your goals. You can try doing things differently as the methods you use could be the reason why you failed in your attempt.

Learning From Failure

This is the best that you can take out from the experience and also one of the more effective ways to get rid of this fear. Instead of putting all the blame on yourself as to why you failed in your endeavours, take it as a learning experience instead. This will enable you to prevent failing in the future yet again. Consider the following questions as they can provide the answers in your need to conquer the fear of failure:

• Where did you commit mistakes?
• How could you prevent the mistake from happening?
• Where can I make improvements?

Failures must always be translated into a learning experience. That way, you have more opportunities to learn and do better. After all, if you have not experienced any type of failure, then you would not have the means towards changing for the better. In terms of conquering this type of fear, it is important that you learn how to confront and overcome them. Or else, you could end up repeating the same mistake or worse that your fear of failure could prevent you from following your goals.