WE ARE ALL AFRAID OF SOMETHING
According to the Mayo Clinic the definition of a Phobia is:
A Phobia is the overwhelming, unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger, but provokes Anxiety and Avoidance.
We are all afraid of something. I suffer from a Phobia called Amaxophobia, essentially it is the fear of cars. I’d like to say it is the result of accidents. I believe that is how most people come by it. Ive been this way since I was small. I remember never being able to sit near the door. My parents tell me there was never an event to cause this. As an adult I have driven and in local traffic I have been fine but put me on a highway and it’s over. I’ve had Panic Attacks, even my back seize from Anxiety, resulting in horrid pain. Eventually I stopped driving. I figured it would be over then, that is not the case. It has lessened for sure.
Arachnophobia: The fear of spiders
Ophidophobia: The fear of snakes
Acrophobia: The fear of heights
Cynophobia: The fear of dogs
Astraphobia: The fear of storms
Trypanophobia: The fear of needles
Pteromerhanophobia: The fear of flying
Mysophobia: The fear of germs and dirt
Agoraphobia: The fear of open spaces
Social Phobia: The fear of social situations
Truth is, those of us who suffer, know it’s not rational but knowing that doesn’t help. People will tell you, just get over it or belittle what you feel. But it’s very serious. There is a difference between natural fear and phobias. In natural fear people might feel apprehensive but they will still approach it. With a phobic person they will do everything they can to avoid what makes them feel the fear, to the point of it affecting their daily life and that’s a problem.
How does it happen?
No one is completely sure what causes it. Some believe it stems from traumatic events. It has also been suggested that it can be heredity and learned behavior.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
I will share some coping skills that I have learned. Meditative breathing helps, makes your muscles feel relaxed. Counting is something I’ve long utilized to get through panic attacks. I’ve recently started doing something I read online. I make a fist, picture myself somewhere that makes me feel peaceful (the beach of course) and slowly open my hand. If all else fails I close my eyes, yeah OK not rocket science.
There are therapies that have been successful but alot of the methods they use, you can do yourself.
Firstly, gradually face your fear in a controlled way so can grasp what actually is the worst that can happen, which is never as bad as we think. Do it slowly, bit by bit. For instance, I take small rides in the car, kind of an easing into thing. Each time you attempt it you will feel more in control.
Make a list of things related to your fear. If your afraid of flying this would be everything leading up to the event. Buying the ticket. Going to the airport, etc.
Self talk can also be a great help in combating the negative thoughts. So instead of screaming, “I’M GONNA DIE”. Replace that with “I think I can.” Yeah that Thomas was really onto something.
Has this helped? I hope so, none of us are alone but it’s what we do that matters.