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Phobia



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What Is Phobia

A Phobia is the persistent intense feeling of fearing an object, place, or situation.  The fear that one experiences is so great that he/she avoids what is feared at all causes.  The fears can be unconventional and irrational, however, they’re often everlasting.  A lot of Phobia’s are personal to the individual, developed from childhood or certain situations that the person may have experienced.  Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, and Specific Phobia are the three main types of Phobias.  Agoraphobia is the fear of places or things that one can’t escape.  Social Phobia is considered to be an anxiety disorder, in which people fear certain social settings or engagements.  Specific Phobia is the fear of certain objects or situations that are specific to the person.  Common Phobias deal with the fear of animals, heights, closed spaces, or events like going to the dentist.  Those who don’t have the same fears perceive Phobias in a different manner, often misunderstanding why they are afraid.  A lot of Phobias don’t pose any threats to the individual; they’re simply fears that are mentally and physically constraining.  Phobia is considered to be an anxiety disorder.  When a person fails to avoid a Phobia it can cause distress, anxiety, and interfere with everyday life.  The biggest difference between regular fears and Phobias is that, regardless of the circumstance, those with Phobias are in avoidance at all times.

Signs Of Phobia

Everyone has fears or things that they’re afraid of.  When fear is at an extreme point and affects everyday life to the point where it causes the person to avoid a particular object, place, or situation at all times, it can be considered a sign of a Phobia.  Most of the signs are seen in one’s mental behavior, however, there are some that are also seen in physical actions.  Symptoms of a Phobia can range from minor apprehensive feelings of anxiety to a complete panic attack. 

 

  • Feelings of Anxiety or being Overwhelmed
  • Instantaneous Panicking
  • Sense of needing to escape
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sweating
  • Tingling feeling in the Stomach
  • Feeling a loss of control
  • Increase in Heart Rate
  • Racing heart
  • Tightness in the Chest
  • Nauseous
  • Dry Mouth
  • Choking Sensation
  • Tremble or shaking
  • Flushed face or Redness
  • Dizziness or feeling of being lightheaded
  • Hot or Cold Flashes
  • Loss of Bodily Functions (involuntary bowel movement or urination, ability to walk, ability to speak)
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
What Causes Phobia

There’s very little information or conclusive studies that supports a real cause for Phobias.  A lot of research points towards Phobias being caused by genetics, environmental factors, and brain chemistry, however, it’s predominantly based on the individual’s experience in life.  Some Phobias are develop during childhood, over a certain period of time, or stem from tragic events that occur at any age.  The persistence of fears are typically learned from experience or are caused by witnessing a family member's Phobia.

 

  • Witnessing Another person’s Phobia or Trauma
  • Childhood Trauma (experiences like being confined in a small space very young can turn into Claustrophobia)
  • Distressing Event (almost drowning, car accident, animal attack etc.)
  • A series of Unpleasant Experiences (with object, place or situation)
  • Social Incidents (embarrassing moments in a social setting such as stuttering during a speech)
  • Ongoing Medical Conditions
  • Mental or Anxiety Disorders (Depression, Schizophrenia, OCD etc)
  • Traumatic Brain injuries
  • Substance abuse
  • Misuse of certain Medications or Supplements
  • Depression 

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies

 

  • Although diets aren’t often linked to Phobias, the foods one consumes can play a role in how the mind works and responds.  Studies have shown a difference between foods that make us feel calmer and others that act as stimulants.  Eliminating foods that trigger different brain functions or contribute to anxiety is best way to help cope with Phobias. Things like sugar, soda, alcohol, caffeine, and even salt can escalate one’s emotions and feelings.  These kinds of foods increase the amount of anxiety associated with Phobias.
  • Facing fears is something that has to be done when it comes to addressing Phobias.  The avoidance of fears only provides short-term relief, which prevents the chance to try and control oneself when the fear is present, or learn that the fear is actually not frightening.  Exposing yourself to fears helps rehabilitate your control over your anxiety, find different ways of keeping calm, and ultimately knowing that the fear is not threatening.  The best way to overcome Phobias is to gradually expose yourself to what is feared repeatedly until a sense of control is found.  Practicing a routine allows a person to know that the fear might be present, but it’s taking place in a safe and controlled environment.  It helps a person realize that what he/she considers to be the worst won’t always occur. 
  • There are tons of ways to face Phobias, however, one of the best mechanisms is to create what is called a Fear Ladder.  The Fear Ladder is a more traditional approach to facing fears.  Instead of exposing yourself to fears instantaneously, the Fear Ladder helps you set goals to gradually get over the fear.  The Fear Ladder involves making a list of fears related to the Phobia, arranging them from least scary to the most frightening.  The most important step of the ladder is working your way up the list, trying to find ways to handle yourself and the situations at hand.  This method allows the person to make progress by taking small steps, going at a pace that’s comfortable and not overwhelming.  The steps on the Fear Ladder start off small with looking at pictures of the Phobia, watching a film of the fear, being in a mock situation with the fear, and then getting to the point where you face what is fear head on.  Practicing the steps of the ladder is important to help get over a Phobia. 
  • Therapy is always a great way to help recondition the mind from things you’re trying to get over.  The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach has also been known to help with Phobias.  This form of therapy requires the person to focus on the things that give him/her anxiety, emphasizing on the experienced emotions when it occurs.  This process helps the person identify why he/she is experiencing anxiety, where the fears stem from, and if they can even help show the person how irrational the Phobia may be.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps people with Phobias realize that it’s not necessarily the situation that determines how they feel, but more so their perception of the situation.  The person eventually learns how to challenge their negative thoughts and focus their attention on alleviating the anxiety associated with their fears. 
  • For many, Phobias stem from past experiences that provoke people to hold onto negative thoughts and fears of the situation.  Limiting the amount of negative thoughts helps provide a sense of relief.  Holding on to negative thoughts keeps the fears lingering in the mind.  Those with Phobias often have negative thoughts like  “all dogs bite people that are strangers,” or “there’s too many plane accidents; it could happen to me."  Positive thoughts or positive affirmations like “I’ve felt this way before and nothing happened” can help bring relief from the anxiety associated with Phobias. 
  • Meditation is a useful approach to help bring relief to people with Phobias.  Sitting in silence in a certain position, eliminating negative thoughts, and incorporating breathing exercises helps to bring tranquility and relaxation.  Meditation helps reduce stress levels and gives your brain the break it needs to be distracted from what is feared. 

 

Things you should eat
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Macadamia
  • Peas
  • Blueberries
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet Potato
  • Acai Berries (powder or dried)
  • Almonds
  • Maca Root
  • Pistachios
  • Prunes
  • Oranges
  • Leafy Green Vegetables (Kale, spinach, Swiss Chard)
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