A phobia is an irrational fear, for example a fear of spiders because the fear experienced is disproportionate to the actual danger presented. Common physical responses include being paralysed, wanting to run away and a racing heartbeat.
People with phobias often know their fears are irrational, which can make it harder to understand and accept. “Why am I so scared of something so harmless?”
Approximately 11% of the population suffer from a phobia. Many people manage to deal with their phobia day-to-day and only have the urge to seek help when they are forced to face up to their fear.
The most common phobias include:
- fear of flying
- fear of heights
- fear of needles
- fear of insects/animals
- fear of dentists
- fear of enclosed spaces
- fear of vomiting (often linked to social phobias)
- fear of water
There are various ways we can develop an irrational fear. Some fears our genetics have predisposed us to easily develop fears to things like spiders, because it gave us an evolutionary advantage to be scared of spiders when we lived in areas that did have venomous spiders.
Phobias can often be learned, often through our parents. To grow up with a parent with an irrational fear of heights, who projects anxiety onto their children when they are for example climbing a tree; a child can easily learn to be fearful of heights.
Traumatic experiences whether it be a single big trauma or a series of small traumas over a period of time can also cause us to develop phobias. It is a primal instinct that when we suffer a traumatic experience(s) that threatened our welfare, to learn to avoid the experience again for our own self-preservation. Trauma can make a significant imprint on the unconscious mind.
The way phobias get treated at Rochester Hypnotherapy Clinic will vary depending on the individual. However phobias are easily treatable, providing the client is willing to embrace it.