Do you suffer from a fear or phobia that is impacting negatively on your life? Many people suffer from phobias and the list of things that trigger them is endless. Fear is a natural response to a threatening situation – if you were to come face to face with a fierce wild animal, your response would be a natural one of survival. However a phobia is an irrational fear of something that causes little or no danger and yet triggers the same fight or flight response, leading to feelings of anxiety, panic and loss of control.
Phobias generally fall into five main areas:
- AGORAPHOBIA – fear of being away from one’s own ‘safe circle’ (this can be a small as one room, or as large as one’s home town or even country.
- SOCIAL PHOBIA – fear of any kind of social situation which involves other people e.g. walking down the street; standing in a queue; visiting a restaurant; attending meetings.
- CLAUSTROPHOBIA – fear of enclosed spaces such as lifts, buses, trains, cinemas, theatres.
- BLOOD/INJURY PHOBIA – fear of the sight of blood; injections; blood pressure measurement; surgery; fear of the doctor or dentist.
- SIMPLE PHOBIA – fear of animals; birds; insects; particular objects such as buttons, telephones, bridges.
This is not an exhaustive list, other well-known phobias include fear of vomiting; of something about one’s body looking or smelling wrong – probably an extreme form of social phobia; fear of heights; fear of flying.
Some people experience more than one of the above phobias, for example a social phobic may become agoraphobic because of their fear of meeting people. Someone with a fear of flying may be claustrophobic and not be able to use the train or the bus.
Hypnotherapy uses cognitive reframing, desensitisation and suggestion to help free you from this unconscious response allowing you to make the most of your life. Because of their nature, phobias can often be helped in a relatively short space of time.