This is perhaps the most commonly asked question when discussing phobias. Automatically because phobias are seen as a medical condition we assume there is a cure when in reality it is not quite as straightforward as that. There are many councillors and experts in the field of phobias/anxiety who can advise you about controlling your condition and minimising the impact they have on your life. Indeed, some will goes far as to train you “out of a phobia” by gradually placing you in situations you fear most and allowing your body to become used to it. This can work for some people but for others it can exacerbate a problem which could already have a major grasp on their lives.
No cure for phobias
In simple terms there is no cure for any particular phobia although you can learn to live with it and you can even take medical treatment to reduce the impact. Where a particular medical condition is mental as opposed to physical, as phobias do begin in the mind, there is no magic pill, no magic potion. While opinion is divided many experts believe that the energy and resources used to “find a cure” should be used to reduce the impact of phobias.
Learning to live with a phobia
The impact that any one phobia can have on your life will vary from person to person and phobia to phobia. In the vast majority of cases it is possible to keep yourself away from conditions which may bring on a phobia reaction although this is not always the case. In a worst-case scenario you should slowly but surely be able to “teach your body” how to remain as calm as possible in situations which may have brought on reactions in the past.
There are many different ways in which you can “try to remain calm” such as breathing techniques and mind control to name but two. If you put all of your energies and effort into “find a magic cure” the chances are this will exacerbate even more the impact phobias may have on your life. Learn to live with it, in some cases respect the reaction and once you stop fighting you may find it has less impact on your everyday living.
How do phobias start?
When you bear in mind that many of the phobias you may have today will not even have been a thought in your mind when you were younger, it does beg the question how do phobias emerge. We all react differently, our minds think in different ways and maybe something as simple as being in the wrong place at the wrong time can create an environment where phobias can literally grow. Once we have that phobia in our minds it can be difficult to get rid of it without help and guidance from the experts.
There is also a train of thought to suggest that some phobias can be transferred from parents to children which does kind of make sense. If you sit back today and think, how many things do you dislike which will parents dislike? The reality is that we do learn an awful lot from our parents, family and friends and these can have a major impact upon the way we live our lives and the way we think going forward. It is not a case of “passing on phobia” it is just that children very often copy their parents in situations of delight, fear and dislike. So, your reaction today could impact the lives of your children tomorrow - what a thought!