Living with a phobia can be extremely difficult. While a large number of people experience some sort of irrational fear, for most it's easy to control and doesn't interfere much with daily life. For others, however, fear can really take over.
It largely depends on two things: the object of your phobia and how much it terrifies you. Combine a phobia trigger that's often present with a severe fear reaction, and it can be hard to live a normal life. In some cases, it doesn't need to be the case that a sufferer is likely to come into contact with the thing they're afraid of; just the thought that it's out there can be enough to cause significant paranoia and avoidant behaviour.
If you have a phobia, you don't need to suffer in silence, avoiding doing the things you want to do. There are ways to successfully treat the condition, helping you live a free life. This is the sort of treatment plan that might work for you.
Counselling is just a type of talking therapy that can be highly effective at dealing with all sorts of mental health issues. With phobias, a counsellor can really help you to understand what happens when you experience your extreme fear by letting you talk through it. Depending on the type of counselling, they may make suggestions or help you put together a full plan of treatment.
Cognitive behavioural therapy
CBT is a type of counselling whereby you can learn to adjust the way you think about certain things. It's perfect for phobias, as you can effectively rewire your brain to deal with fear differently. It takes patience and a bit of faith but can have amazing results. CBT might be carried out by the same person who does your counselling sessions, or it might be with another therapist.
Slowly increasing exposure to the object of your phobia is an idea that puts many people off seeking treatment, but it's highly effective. Just remember: nobody will ever force you to do anything you don't want to. People trained in offering this type of therapy will have helped many people to overcome their fears, so they understand that a slow, careful pace is needed. You're never going to be faced with something that terrifies you against your will.
A doctor may offer antidepressants or drugs to help control anxiety. While these can't cure a phobia on their own, they can be really helpful in conjunction with therapy. For example, they might make you feel more comfortable when in counselling, or help you take that first step in exposure therapy.Share
18 July 2017
I've struggled with bouts of depression and anxiety for the past ten years, and in that time I've tried a range of prescription drugs and alternative therapies. I started this blog to share my personal experiences and connect with other people who struggle with these illnesses, as I know only too well how lonely it can be to live under a cloud of depression. I post about a range of topics, such as talking to your employer about depression, getting support from family and friends and self-care tips. I also share my thoughts on the drug-free treatments I've used, such as talking therapy, yoga, homeopathy and meditation. I hope you find my blog interesting and useful.