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Why do we have fears and phobias?

Our fears are natural responses to perceived danger in our environment. When our brain senses a threat, it naturally fires off to warn us that there is something threatening our survival. Phobias, on the other hand, are irrational fears that do not represent a real threat to our existence. Phobias that people can suffer from are various and all have their origin in the human psyche. Sometimes we may pick up a fear from our parents or carers, like fear of spiders or dogs. Or it can be an event that at the time we did not seem traumatic, but some years after, it suddenly becomes an issue!

Complex phobias such as agoraphobia and social phobia can often have a detrimental effect on a person's everyday life and mental wellbeing.

Agoraphobia often involves a combination of several interlinked phobias. For example, someone with a fear of going outside or leaving their home may also have a fear of being left alone (monophobia) or of places where they feel trapped (claustrophobia).

How & when do they occur?

Fears and phobias can prevent us from living a normal life in so many ways. They may pose an obstacle to having a dream job, living in another country or having successful relationships. People who suffer from fears and phobias know best what they are going through. They may experience feelings that range from discomfort, anxiety to full-on panic attacks. No matter how much one attempts to rationalise the situation, when the triggers are there, our subconscious mind takes over.  Everything we have experienced, since the beginning of our existence, is stored. We may tend to think we forgot something we have experienced years and years ago. However, when a situation occurs  again, we become pleasantly (or unpleasantly) surprised that the information is still there. This is particularly prominent when intense emotions are associated with the event.

Signs and symptoms

Physical symptoms

  • People with phobias often have panic attacks. These can be very frightening and distressing. The symptoms often occur suddenly and without warning.

  • As well as overwhelming feelings of anxiety, a panic attack can cause physical symptoms, such as:

  • sweating

  • trembling

  • hot flushes or chills

  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • a choking sensation

  • rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)

  • pain or tightness in the chest

  • a sensation of butterflies in the stomach

  • nausea

  • headaches and dizziness

  • feeling faint

  • numbness or pins and needles

  • dry mouth

  • a need to go to the toilet

  • ringing in your ears

  • confusion or disorientation

Psychological symptoms

  • In severe cases, you may also experience psychological symptoms, such as:

  • fear of losing control

  • fear of fainting

  • feelings of dread

  • fear of dying

Can Hypnotherapy help

If we have learnt from our parents that spiders or dogs are dangerous, then when see a spider or a dog in the street, our amygdala will initiate a fight or flight response. Depending on the template of our previous experiences, we will demonstrate behaviour that matches the one stored in the template. As our subconscious mind does not like change – although it is for our betterment – it will prompt us to react in the same way. Consequently, we remain in a vicious circle. Hypnotherapy can help you by accessing the subconscious mind and changing those templates. In most cases, fears and phobias can be removed in one or two sessions, depending on the complexity of the issue.

A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal and they are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person ha...
Fears and Phobias
1 hr

To make an appointment or to speak to our therapists please contact us on 07795115009 or email us using the contact form below. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

1 Turner Close
Great Yarmouth
NR31 9RF
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