Tag Archive Phobias

ByAnxious Minds

Dealing with Phobias

One of the most common kinds of anxiety disorders are phobias, which are irrational fears surrounding a specific object or situation. With this type of disorder, the fear is persistent and reoccurring, even though the feared object or situation entering a person’s life is often out of control of that person. This anxiety disorder  is the second most common mental illness among men and the most common mental illness among woman. For many, phobias interfere with daily life.

Luckily, there is help. There are many ways to treat phobias, no matter how they have developed. If you think that you suffer from a phobia, no matter what it may be, see your doctor immediately. He or she can recommend a treatment plan for you so that you can begin to overcome your fears and take back the control of your daily life. Phobias do not have to stay with you forever.

Clinical phobias are separated into three main categories:-

  1. Social phobias. Where a person fears involvement with people and social situations.
  2. Specific phobias. Where a certain trigger like heights, spiders, water, or flying can cause fear.
  3.  Agoraphobia. Where a person fears leaving the comfort and familiarity of home or a safe area, often to venture outside.

There are many different treatments you can try in order to cope with any of these phobias.

Virtual reality is a relatively new kind of treatment used specifically to desensitise a patient. With virtual reality, a person is immersed in fear until becoming immune to it. You can also actually put the patient in a fearful situation, but this can sometimes be dangerous or expensive, so virtual reality is a great alternative. It also gives patients the chance to pull the plug, both literally and metaphorically if needed, so more patients agree to this treatment.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may also work to help overcome a phobia. With this method, you examine your specific thoughts and behaviors and work to overcome them. You can do this one-on-one with a therapist or in a group setting. By understanding your fears, it may be easier to realise that your fears are irrational.

Anti-anxiety drugs may also help you make strides towards overcoming your phobias. These medications are prescription strength and are available for both long-term and short-term use. One example of a drug that has help people with phobias is benzodiazepine. Often, medication works best in conjunction with other types of therapy treatments.

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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

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

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

Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Fear of Public Speaking

This is one of the most common fears that people has, which is making a speech before an audience. Although this task appears to be rather straightforward, there are several factors that could come into play, which makes this a legitimate type of fear instead of being an irrational one.

Even those people whose job requires them to speak before a group of people are not exempted from this fear, which is surprising knowing that they do it often. So you might as well picture those individuals who only get to perform public speaking on given occasions and the amount of fear that is entailed with the task. In fact, the fear is so massive that it can result to stress for some people. This requires some attention knowing that some people who experience fear of public speaking end up not delivering a quality speech since they are overtaken by that fear. Indeed, the feeling of fear can cloud one’s ability to focus on the task at hand. After all, an effective public speaking produces a satisfying experience for both the public speaker and its audience.

Steps to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

Public speaking isn’t an activity to be feared about. If this does not do the trick for you, then you might want to consider applying the following perspectives and behaviour towards this and hopefully be able to overcome this type of fear.

Public Speaking Isn’t Supposed to be Stressful

Fear of public speaking is quite common that some people think it is inherently stressful. Well, it is time you know it is not! Communicating with others is an activity with which humans do everyday, so why should public speaking be any different? Therefore, one way to overcome the fear of public speaking is to imagine this activity as any regular communication that you do everyday. The only difference with public speaking is that you are addressing more people than you normally would.

Acquiring this new perspective is not something that you can achieve overnight, though. However, just focus on what you need to share during your public speaking and less on the actual delivery process to lift off the burden.

Give Up The Idea of Delivering a Perfect Speech!

This is another major culprit as to why people fear the idea of speaking in public. Indeed, the idea of embarrassing yourself in front of many people is frightening. But the content of your speech is what is these people will remember, not how you flawlessly delivered the speech. Once you are able to get rid of this anxiety, then you will find that you become less frightened with the idea of making public speeches or talking in front of large groups.

Focus on the Purpose of the Speech!

One of the most common “hidden” causes of stress associated with public speaking is related to the cause above, which is trying to impress the audience with your delivery. Focus on what value the audience can get from your speech delivery instead of trying to make an impression on them. Although delivery will boost your success at a public speaking activity, the most important thing is to communicate effectively with them. If it offers any consolation, not all public speakers get 100% approval from their audience anyway.

Becoming a Good Public Speaker

Now that you have recognised the major cause of fear that most people experience when public speaking, here are factors that are important in not just overcoming this fear but also doing a good job at your speech.

• Study your subject matter thoroughly so you can be confident when its time to deliver it.
• Polish your speaking skills. This will enable you to relay the information clearly and authoritatively.
• Prepare all of your presentation materials so you can deliver an organised speech.
• Practice your delivery. Even the best public speakers do this.

ByAnxious Minds

Finding the Source of Your Fears and Overcoming Them

Finding the Source of Your Fear

Any problem cannot be resolved unless you get to the source of the problem. The same is the case with your fears. If you are serious about getting rid of those fears and lead a more rewarding life free of fears, then you have to take care of this step before you proceed any further.

Why is finding the source of your fear important? Identifying the triggers of your fears will help you either manage, eliminate, or combat them. Regardless of the type of fear you have, there is always a source that triggers it. Hence, you can take the time to list down your fears and their level of intensity. Then, take note about environmental, emotional, or other factors that could trigger that fear. This will help you trace the source of your fear. Aside from external triggers, make sure that you also consider the internal triggers. Was there something in your past that created this emotional responses? It is basically as simple as asking yourself, “Why am I afraid?”!

Another important reason why finding the source of your fear is of essential is that it enables you to assess whether it is something that you can manage and control on your own, or whether you need professional help.

Getting Started

If you want more success in overcoming your fears, then you need to take the initiative so you can get proper help for whatever fears or anxieties that consume you. Here are tips to get you started on the right track:

• Remain positive. Fears that produce negative impact are also triggered by negative thoughts and outlook in life. Therefore, you must try to brush aside those negative ideas from your mind and prevent yourself from feeling depressed.
• Communicate with your internal self. There is no better person who knows about your fears than you do. So, you need to create awareness about your fears by identifying them and breaking them down into more manageable parts.
• Assess your fears. Some fears are irrational and often takes place in the mind of the person instead of actual reality.

Overcoming Your Fears

The importance of learning how to overcome your fears is rather obvious. No one wants to live their life in constant worry or fear, no matter how intense it may be. An anxiety-free life is one that provides more opportunity for growth and liberates you.

Here are basic techniques that you can try if you want to find relief from your fears or totally eliminate them:

*Visualisation
*Gather facts
*Get professional help

Visualisation

Take time each day to find a place where you can be isolated and be able to concentrate. Your objective is to transport yourself in a low stress situation wherein you have control over your fear, instead of the other way around. Imagine your fear as a concrete object that you destroy. You will never realise how it is able to calm you down.

Gather Facts

Most fears are caused by the unknown or people’s inability to have control over a given situation. When you are suffering from certain types of fear, you need to look into the reality of the situation and gather information that you can. The more facts you have in hand, the less you become stressed about your situation because you always know you can manage it.

Professional Help

If you are one of those people who are too afraid to perform self-talk or confront their fears head-on, then it is best to seek professional help. They will start by assessing your fears and then suggest techniques that you can employ to combat those fears. Overcoming fears is often a long process, so don’t expect to get rid of all your fears (if you have many) at once. Talk to us at Anxious Minds

ByAnxious Minds

Different Types of Fears and Overcoming Them

As much as there are several potential triggers to your fear, there are also as many types of fears. However, they can be categorised into three basic fears: external, internal, or subconscious. Among the three, the subconscious and internal type of fear are most difficult to find treatment to because the person must take the initiative to recognise the source of fear and take necessary steps to overcome it. Recognising the category in which your fears fit into will help you know how to deal with it.

External Fear

Among the types of fear, this one is the easiest to diagnose and manage. It is similar to phobias wherein an outside source elicit a degree of internal fear or any manageable level of anxiety. For example, fear of spiders or fear of heights are among the most common phobias that several people share. A feeling of fear, anxiety or discomfort is experienced by the person with that particular fear when the situation confronts them with those triggers. Since the source of fear is easier to identify, then one can easily look for alternative ways in which to confront that trigger and overcome fear.

Since external fears are often caused by negative experiences in the past involving those external sources of fears, you can adapt some techniques that will help you understand the reality of the situation. Hypnosis or some other psychological methods are employed in order to erase any previous negative associations with these objects or creatures that elicit fear.

Internal Fear

This type of fear is closely associated with low levels of self-esteem or confidence. But like with external fear, the triggers are coming from an outside source and yet it produces a negative emotion. This trigger will then produce internal reactions or fears such as self-doubt or questioning one’s capability to do something. Most often, when people begin to question their own abilities, failure is inevitable. This type of fear often impacts one’s ability to interact with the social environment.

If you want to conquer internal types of fear, you often have to go back at your childhood years wherein character development is at its peak. This is the stage in people’s lives wherein they build characters and develop fears. Some people seek professional help that enables them to adopt a new perspective in life and change any behaviours that produce such insecurities and fears.

Subconscious Fear

This type of fear is produced by accepted beliefs in your mind that serve to limit your potentials and worse, could end up in self-sabotage. This one is somewhat associated with the internal type of fear wherein you have the tendency to question your capacity to achieve something. Thus, the tendency for self-doubt and negative self-talk. This one requires you to take active steps towards reversing those beliefs and enable you to maximise your potential.

Goals to Overcome Your Fears

One of the many reasons why people neglect the need to overcome their fears is the lack of motivation. Therefore, setting goals will help increase the desire to manage and overcome your fears. Aside from that, this will enable you to take careful methods toward your goal and provide a sense of direction. One benefit you can get from it is that aside from getting rid of your fears, it offers more focused direction in your everyday living as opposed to not having a clear idea of what you want to do in life.

Setting goals as motivation to overcoming your fears will also enable you to have a bigger grasp at the need to fight your fears as an opportunity to grow and delimit yourself.