Overcoming phobias

person suffering from phobias in an empty room

Elevators, parking lots, rats, bridges… are all factors that can generate phobias. Often these irrational fears spoil the lives of those who suffer. What are the causes? How to get rid of it?

Phobias are irrational, irrational fears and often considered by the phobic themselves as exaggerated. They are, in General, related to a situation or a set of situations, to a place or to an object. Uncontrollable, they cause behavioral changes at the time of confrontation with intense anxiety or fear. Fear is considered to be unusually annoying when there is suffering, avoidance, or change in behavior.

Phobias under control

Different types of phobias exist. They are defined by the object that triggers fear.

  • The specific phobias or phobias (fear of a thing or a situation) are widespread as they affect 5-10% of the population. They are often irrelevant, because the people who suffer manage to control them.
  • Agoraphobia (fear of the great outdoors) affects 5% of the population.
  • The most serious forms of phobias including social phobias (fear of people, look and presence of the other). They are manifested by significant losses of self-confidence.

Causes of phobias

The origin of phobias is very variable. They can be linked to traumatic events that often come from childhood or adolescence or from situations of intense fear that could not be exceeded. Social phobias, for example, can be linked to situations experienced in the past such as public speaking that has gone wrong. Fears may also have gradually settled down with multiple causes that it is sometimes difficult to determine.

Learning to face your fears

The seniority and severity of the pathology determine the most appropriate care techniques.

A first consultation with a psychiatrist or psychologist is necessary in order to analyze the situation. If necessary, your doctor may advise you to undergo therapy, including behavioral therapy. The basis of this assumption is to act on the reflex of fear in order to modify it and thus discondition the phobic person.

This technique will gradually prepare the phobic to confront the situations that caused the troubles.

The treatment of phobias

In the case of a fear of birds for example, the psychiatrist or psychologist will first work in the context of relaxation sessions on the image of the animal in question: How does the patient imagine it? The work will be done in stages in order not to rush things. It will cover an acceptance of the animal by using photos and then through progressive contacts with it. Anxiety control techniques can reinforce this work.

For agoraphobia, behavioral psychotherapies can be of great help.

In the case of social phobias, treatment will be done through cognitive therapies. This makes it possible to work on how to perceive and perceive others. It is always necessary that things be done progressively in order to reinforce fears instead of treating them.

Other non-drug therapies can be used: behavioral and cognitive therapies, hypnosis, EMDR, psychotherapies, psychoanalysis, sophrology…

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