Information on Phobias or Fears
What are you afraidof today? No matter what your fear, there are probably otherpeople who are afraid of the same thing. In the West, phobias arethe one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders.Thephobic person is not alone. As much as thirteen percent of thepopulation may currently have phobias, and as many as sixtypercent of people have been affected by a phobia at some point intheir life.
When the fears of the phobic person get to the point of causinggreat anxiety, and start to disrupt normal life, it is time toget some help. If these fears cause misery, or a desire to fleefrom the fear, (the Greek word phobos means extreme fear andflight), the phobic person may need some help to get over thesefears.
The Greeks, Phobos was a god who could help them win in battle.Phobos could so confuse the enemy, and strike in them a feelingof abject terror. The enemy would be stunned into inaction, sothat the victory of the Greeks would be assured.
For some people, even just the thought of their phobia is enoughto provoke the fear response of the actual feared situation.Sometimes the fear is so strong they can feel physical symptomssuch as dizziness or nausea, many of the same feelings that comewith panic. Often they try to hide their phobias, and often thisdisorder can go unnoticed by others. By the phobic person usuallyknows that their fears are beyond what is reasonable.
How Phobias Work
Maybe you know about Pavlov's dogs. Ivan Pavlov fed his dogs andrang a bell whenever dinner was served. After a while, justringing the bell would get the dogs to salivate - their bodieswould act as if they were about to get fed. A bell (stimulus)actually caused automatic biological and emotional responses! Letthat sink in for a moment... Even though it isn't logical tosalivate at the sound of a bell the dogs would do it.
Phobias work the same way for us. Some biological response (fearfor instance) has been tied to some "trigger" orstimulus (usually as a result of some emotionally chargedincident.) This stimulus can be just thinking about the situation.In other words, the way a person thinks about getting on anairplane can have profound affects on his biology. These thoughtscan cause the triggering of a variety of feelings - includingfear and panic.
Although it's often not this simple, here's one way it can happen.Let's say somebody snuck up behind you and said "boo"and you just happened to be looking at the letter "L".Even though you're not consciously aware of what's going on,whenever you see this letter your unconscious mind could referback to that earlier situation and get that scared feeling back.It has made the association between "L" and thatfeeling.
Now, this is just an example. You should know that phobias do notnecessarily have to come from an outside source, they can becreated solely within our own minds. They don't have to makesense (as you can see by the example above) nor do they have tobe the result of a traumatic event. But when you think of yourphobic situation, you are literally thinking thoughts that scareyou. Usually you're not consciously aware of the scary thoughts.You're just aware of the feelings they produce.
Because phobias happen automatically and below the level ofconscious awareness, conscious insight and talk therapy are oftenineffective in eliminating this response. In fact many peopleknow the cause or "trigger" of their phobias but stillexperience them.
Drugs can be introduced into your system to dampen emotionalresponses or chemically interfere with the anxiety producingsubstances your body makes. This treats the symptom but does notremove the cause.
Breaking the association between the stimulus and the response isthe most complete and effective way to eliminate or dramaticallydecrease a phobia. There are a variety of techniques available todo this. We can teach you to use these techniques to use onyourself. It is a comfortable, safe experience and it works. Totell you the truth, most people find it entertaining.
Add it up in your own mind and make your own decision. Would youlike to go to lengthy, expensive, uncomfortable classes? Do youwant to put unnecessary chemicals into your system and deal withpossible side-effects? Do you wish to spend countless hours intherapy?
...The simplest way to cure your phobias is through righttreatment!!
The three main, conventional treatment modalities for anxietydisorders are behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and drugs.These modalities are often used in combination. To avoid theshortcomings of these treatments, try an easier, less riskymethod first. While some cases take more, many cases only take afew hours.
There are many dedicated professionals treating phobias with thefollowing methods. Many of them produce fine results. Forinstance, in one study cognitive-behavioral therapy was proven aseffective for many phobic responses as the techniques you'lllearn from Phobias Cured (though CBT takes a lot longer).
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a proven effective approach totreating phobias.
According to the American Psychiatric Association it may take ayear to notice what they call "A tremendous improvement."Behavioral therapies do work. Cognitive-Behavioral therapy inparticular has been shown to be as effective as the methods I use.But they are out of the realm of what most people can afford tospend - in time and in money.
According to a pamphlet from the American Psychiatric Associationhere's what you can expect from a qualified therapist - if you"carefully follow the outlined treatment plan".
A year? Let's take a look at what that costs. Let's say 50 weeksof therapy at $95/session.... $27.7750.00! Plus fifty hours ofyour valuable time sitting in an office and likely another fiftyhours of driving to and fro.
Exposure therapy calls for repeated exposure to your phobia.Let's see... If I don't like liver, is the best way to get overit to eat liver over and over again? This, in my opinion is notthe best way to separate your phobic response from what scaresyou. Learn more here.
Exposure therapy often calls for repeated, painful exposure tothe fear. When this process is carried out over a period ofmonths, it is known as "progressive desensitization".When the exposure to the fear is continued and intensified over asingle protracted length of time, often a period of several hoursor more, it is called "flooding". I call these twomethods "punishment" and find them appropriate forthose who have been very, very mean to me.
Many are now coming to the conclusion that painful "exposure"therapy is an outdated and unnecessary practice. Exposure therapyde-links your fear from it stimulus by exposing you to your fearfor so long that your body and mind grow tired of reproducing thefear. Believe me, there are faster, easier ways of separatingstimulus from response - it's easy in fact.
Drugs have been extremely helpful to many and may be necessaryfor some. It would make sense however, to try non-drug, non-addictive,non-chemical therapies first. Drugs dampen the phobic response soin essence, your mind isn't as effective at producing your phobia.Learn more about drug therapy here.
We believe that a year is too long to spend to get "tremendousimprovement". Many are now coming to the conclusion thatpainful "exposure" therapy is an outdated andunnecessary practice. And in my opinion drug therapies introduceneedless risk - and they only suppress the symptom!