Do you have a phobia of spiders or a different animal?
Are you scared of driving, heights or flying?
Are you suffering from a social phobia like agoraphobia?
Did you know that hypnosis can help you with your phobia?
This article explains the causes of phobias and how hypnosis can help you with your phobia.
What is a phobia?
A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, animal or feeling. A phobia is much more than just a fear. Fear is a natural and healthy response to danger and is part of our ‘fight or flight’ response. Phobias are very common and affect women more than men.
Phobias are self-created. You frighten yourself by fantasizing about a negative outcome. Phobias can be very severe if the object or situation is common to everyday life. This can cause you to organise your life around your phobia. Phobias can hold you back in life and stop you from doing things you really want to do. For example, people with a fear of speaking in public may avoid giving presentations or speaking at meetings which can limit opportunities at work and even promotion.
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. If you suffer from a phobia you may not become anxious until you come in to contact with the cause of your phobia. However, just thinking about the phobia can make some people anxious or set off a panic attack.
Types of phobias
Phobias are generally classified as specific or complex.
Specific phobias often focus on a specific object, animal, situation or activity. Some examples of specific phobias are:
- Animal e.g. spiders or snakes
- Environmental e.g. height or germs
- Situational e.g. flying or dentist
- Physical e.g. blood or vomit
- Sexual e.g. performance or infection
Phobias such as agoraphobia and social phobias are classified as complex phobias. These types of phobias can have a very severe impact on the quality of a person’s life. For example, some people find it difficult to leave their homes. Complex phobias commonly involve many interlinked phobias.
What are the symptoms of a phobia?
People with a phobia often have panic attacks. Panic attacks can be very distressing and often happen very suddenly and without warning.
Some of the common physical symptoms include:
- increased heart rate or pains in the chest
- dizziness or feeling faint
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- physically shaking
- stomach ache or butterflies
- confusion or disorientation
In serious situations, a person may also experience some of these psychological symptoms:
- a fear of dying
- extreme worry of fainting
- feelings of dread
- fear of losing control
What are the causes of phobias?
Many phobias exist on an unconscious level and are normally learned over a period of time. Phobias rarely have a single cause and there can be a range of factors involved. Phobias can originate from a particularly traumatic event, such as an accident, or be learned by watching someone else, such as a parent.
There may also be a genetic link to phobias. There is evidence that some people are born more likely to have anxiety disorders. Other mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, can often feed into a phobia.
Why is hypnotherapy an effective treatment for phobias?
Hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for phobias because phobias work on an unconscious level. Hypnosis can be helpful because it allows you to access your unconscious thoughts and unlearn the conditioned response.
Hypnotherapy also allows you to build up your exposure to the phobia in a safe way so you can learn not be so anxious and distressed.
It really doesn’t matter how much you consciously tell yourself that the reason for your phobia is not a danger to you because your unconscious response will probably stay the same. The purpose of hypnotherapy is to communicate directly to your unconscious mind and help you change your reaction to the phobia. That is why hypnotherapy can be such an effective treatment for phobias.
How does hypnotherapy work?
The first part of the therapy process is to help you feel very relaxed and move into a state of hypnosis. You will be in control all the time. If you are not sure what the cause of your phobia is, you will explore the cause of your phobia.
The next part of the therapy is to help change your response and this can be done using a range of different techniques. One way to achieve this is to gently allow you to experience your phobia whilst you are in a relaxed state. This allows you to face your fear using your imagination whilst you remain calm and in complete control.
Hypnotherapy is very empowering and helps you change your perspective of your phobia. Throughout the process, you work gradually, and at your own pace, to build your confidence and resilience to your phobia.
So if you would like help with your phobia, get in touch to book your free consultation. Find out how hypnosis can help you with your phobia so you can achieve a fulfilling and happy life.