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How do you deal with a phobia?

by Jennifer Muirhead (follow)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma ~ Eartha Kitt.
Health (507)      Life (381)      Phobias (12)      Fears (11)     


spider, jumping spider, arachnophobia
Jumping spider. Photo by Kilarin


Lots of people have phobias, from the common ones like arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces or leaving the house) to more unusual ones like Pogonophobia (fear of beards) and Turophobia (fear of cheese).
If you have a phobia, or your child does, what is the best way to deal with it?

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Love this question:

I had a fear of Balloons....and it was just awful.Only the last few years have I really been o.k. around them.

I hated to see how stretched with all that air in them...Ready to burst!

It just looked so unnatural....some times it would even make me a little sick.

I hated the sound they made when they would burst, and fall into tears, when they did.

Over time, as I got older I would come to see they were made for that purpose...by working out in my head...they were harmless.

At some time as a child I was traumatized, and it just messed with my head.

Being a very fragile little girl....and no one to explain what they were, and 'why' they looked as they did...and 'why' they did make that huge bang.

All up, it took about 45 years to overcome the fear. Only 4 years ago did I have a breakthrough....and that was way too long, I know to have this phobia.

People who knew were cruel, always laughing at me...saying ''there she go's'' as I left the room or venue where there were balloons around me.

Now I say ''here she comes''...I have the last laugh :)
Well done for being able to overcome your fear!
The best way for a mild phobia is through gradual desensitisation e.g first talking about spiders, then looking at pictures, then looking at them in controlled way (e.g through glass in a zoo). Other phobias would be addresses in the same way.

If it is more serious, and really affecting daily life, them I'd suggest a psychologist referral through a family doctor. Cognitive behavioural therapy is particularly effective in treating phobias, but it does need professional support.
The best way to deal with a phobia is with gentle exposure. Give your anxiety a rating out of 10, and with each time you confront the object of your fear, you should hopefully see that number decreasing. It is a very slow and difficult process, but in the end it will be worth it.
I have never tried it myself but I have heard that hypnosis can do wonders and in a very short time. I know someone who is terrified of flying and after only one session she is almost over it. She reckons one more session and she will be to pop on a plane no worries! I think that sounds pretty amazing I don't think it comes cheap though.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) has worked, through accessing the unconscious level of the mind.
My dad once told me that the best way to overcome fear is to regularly undertake the activity that is the source of fear. I have applied this theory into practice and have found it to be highly effective. However, this method may not work in all instances and professional help should be sought in extreme or incurable cases of phobia.
I confess I don`t know how to deal with my phobia. I just avoid anything about cockroaches because I panic just to think about it!
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