Phobia is described as an excessive as well as irrational fear reaction. People with types of phobia will experience a deep sense of panic or dread when they come across the source of their phobia. There are several types of phobia, depending on what triggers your reaction. Living with a phobia can range from annoying to preventing you from living your life normally. Although you may realize that your phobia or fear is irrational, you will find yourself unable to do anything about it. This can play havoc with your life by interfering with studies, work, personal relationships, and so on. If you feel that your phobia is preventing you from living your life to the fullest, you have come to the right place to overcome phobia!
Causes behind Phobia
Phobias may be caused due to genetic and environmental factors. Sometimes it may even be a combination of different factors that lead to types of phobia. Distressing events in life can bring on a phobia. In some cases, phobias are brought on by traumatic brain injuries, and different mental illnesses. Although phobias are irrational, people with phobias seem to understand that it is irrational, but they remain helpless to overcome phobias. Here are a few of the most common causes behind phobias:
- Past Traumas or incidents
Any kind of past trauma or incident can have a lasting effect even if it occurred when you were young. For example, if you were bitten by a dog a few years back, you will probably develop a phobia of dogs.
- Learned Responses
Some phobias develop as a result of learned responses from your childhood. For example, if you grew up with parents who were anxious about flying you will probably pick up the same specific phobia. In case the people around you have a severe reaction to something they are scared of, this will influence your feelings the same way.
- Responses and Reaction to Panic
If the people around you react strongly when they see you respond to your phobia, it may make you anxious about your phobia.
- Long-Term Stress
Long-term stress can lead to depression and anxiety. This will reduce your ability to deal with certain situations making you feel anxious and fearful of being in those situations again. This may develop into a phobia over time.
- Genetic factors
Studies have shown that some people are more prone to developing phobias than others due to genetic reasons.
Symptoms of Phobias
Let's take a look at some of the common symptoms caused by phobias:
- Shortness of breath
- Racing heart
- Dry mouth
- Upset stomach
- Inability to speak
- Trembling or shaking
- Elevated blood pressure
- Choking sensation
- Profuse sweating
- A sense of impending doom
- Chest pain or tightness
- Dizziness or light-headedness
Although panic attacks are often associated with phobias, it is not considered to be enough to make a final diagnosis.
How To Overcome Phobia?
By making some lifestyle changes and adopting a few home remedies you will be able to overcome your phobia regardless of which type of phobia you are suffering from. For example:
Meditation has been proven to help people overcome their phobias. You can learn a few 5 min meditation exercises to help you get through your fear or anxiety. If short meditations do not work, you can give advanced meditation a try.
- Relaxation Techniques
Some relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, yoga, or meditation basics can help you through your irrational fears of specific things or situations.
- Physical Activity
Studies have shown that physical activity and exercise can help manage your anxiety and fear associated with your phobia.
Coping With Phobia
Although professional treatment can help you with your specific phobia, you can also use the following tips to help you cope:
- Do not Avoid Feared Situations: People with phobias often attempt to prevent panic attacks by avoiding feared situations. However, trying not to avoid these situations will help you cope better. By practicing not avoiding these situations with the help of friends, family, and therapists, you will be able to deal with your phobia over time. You can come up with a plan with your therapist about what to do if the symptoms get worse. Having a plan in place will make it easier to face your phobia.
- Ask For Help: Rather than attempting to deal with your phobia on your own, it is better to ask for help. You can join a support group or a self-help group where you get to meet others who understand your phobia better.
- Take Care of Yourself: Take good care of yourself by getting plenty of rest, eating healthy, and being physically active each day. It is also a good idea to avoid caffeine as it tends to make anxiety worse. Doctors also recommend celebrating your successes as you get better at coping with your phobia.
If you are wondering how to overcome phobia, it may be a good idea to take a look at some of the treatment options available. Doctors recommend different treatment methods after they diagnose your condition. The goal of the treatment is to help you have a better quality of life that is not limited by your phobias. If you suffer from more than one phobia, the treatment is often targeted at one phobia at a time. Some of the commonly seen treatment options include:
- Exposure therapy: Talking to a mental health professional will help you deal with your specific phobia. Exposure therapy involves changing your response to the situation or object that is responsible for your phobia. With repeated exposure and related feelings, thoughts, and sensations you will be able to manage your anxiety in time. For example, if you are wondering how to get over fear of heights, exposing yourself to lower heights and then gradually increasing the height will help you overcome your phobia.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Cognitive-behavioral therapy deals with exposing you to the source of your phobia and using different techniques to help you cope with the feared situation or object. CBT is concerned with teaching you how to master your thoughts and feelings rather than become overwhelmed. With time, you will soon overcome phobia
- Medications: In most cases, exposure therapy and CBT helps overcome phobias, but if it doesn't work, medications may come in handy. Experienced doctors will prescribe medication that will help reduce your panic symptoms and anxiety. For example, if you are looking at how to get over fear of flying or how to get over fear of heights, the doctor can prescribe medication to help you travel through the air without having a panic attack.
- Beta-blockers and sedatives are prescribed by doctors for people with phobias to help them overcome their phobia. Beta-blockers block the effects of adrenaline like elevated blood pressure, shaking voice, shaking limbs, pounding heart, and so on. Sedatives work by reducing your anxiety level. However, these medications need to be avoided if you have a history of alcohol or substance abuse.
If you are suffering from different types of phobia you need to deal with each one at a time. Attempting to overcome all of your phobias at the same time can backfire. If you are wondering how to get over fear of dentists, consider taking small steps at a time like visiting the dentist's office and talking to the receptionist, talking to the dentist at the next visit, and so on. This way you can slowly build up your confidence for an actual dentist appointment.