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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.