Living with a phobia

Sometimes the fact that everybody in the world has some kind of phobia, whether this is spiders or flying to name but two, can make it difficult to understand those who suffer from severe phobias. To some extent we all suffer from slight phobias when in certain situations although the vast majority of us will feel maybe a slight flutter when an uncomfortable situation arises and then simply move on and forget about it. However, there are many people who have phobias which are debilitating and can literally give them sleepless nights.

Understanding your phobia

As with any challenging situation you need to understand exactly what is going on and why you react in a certain way. If you are able to understand in great detail what you are scared of, what you fear may happen and what you fear are the possible consequences then bit by bit you can begin to analyse the situation in the cold light of day. However, we must say that over analysis of your phobia can in the wrong environment actually make it worse.

If, for example, you have a phobia of going out in public and crowded places prompt fear and concern within your mind, let us look at that in detail.

What are you scared of?

Very often when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation your mind is working overtime, your body is reacting to your concerns and very quickly your anxiety levels rise. This can stop you looking at any one particular situation in a realistic manner and if you ask phobia sufferers sometimes they don't even know what they are scared of. If we go back to the situation of crowded places, why do you feel anxiety? What do you think may happen?

The reality for many phobia sufferers is that once they are able to consider the situation and their reaction in the cold light of day they can learn to control it. If you're in a supermarket for example and you are concerned about crowds, what is the worst that could happen? You see someone you know, they say hello and you reply back to them? You need help finding a particular product you ask whether the assistance and they help you? Where is the danger in these situations?

Learning to cope

While the above situation is fairly simplistic it does give you an angle from which you can consider phobias and learn to control them. If your mind is concerned about an unknown, or more likely an unrealistic, danger it is perhaps easy to understand why your anxiety levels rise and panic begins to take a grip. The fear of the unknown!

If you think rationally about the situation, not over thinking and not overanalysing, you will begin to understand your phobia and start to live with it. It would be unfair and misleading to suggest that your phobia will disappear overnight but you will begin to control it, you will read the signs when your phobia is starting to take hold and you can often stop fear, anxiety and panic taking hold. If you are able to understand your phobia, you're able to take a step back and look at perceived dangers from a realistic point of view, as well as learn to read the signs that your phobia is kicking in, you will be able to take control again.

When you get to this stage you can start to take control and live your life again!

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