Confusion could be there as a result of the similar definitions of fear, anxiety, and phobias. People who think they could have phobias or anxieties should understand the differences. The distinction between fear and a phobia is between the natural characteristics of fear and the abnormal characteristics of a phobia.
When faced with actual and impending danger, fear is a protective feeling that helps people avoid getting attacked and injured while a phobia is an overwhelming worry or concern about a certain circumstance or thing that is out of proportion to the threat it actually poses.
Due to avoidance behavior and the anxiety response that takes place when exposed to the phobic object or situation, phobias significantly disrupt or cause discomfort.
Fear vs. phobia
When you think there is a genuine and impending threat, fear is a normal emotional response. For instance, it makes logical to feel fearful while a lightning storm is occurring. In actuality, this terror prompts you to seek shelter and gather resources. Until the storm is past, you are terrified.
A specific kind of anxiety disorder is a phobia. Even when it is obvious that you are not in danger, phobias can cause severe worry. For instance, even watching a spider on TV can make you quite uneasy if you have arachnophobia.
When does fear become a phobia?
When you experience intense anxiety that is out of proportion to the level of risk you actually face, it may be a phobia. Simply thinking about your fear can cause instant, severe anxiety when you have a phobia.
A phobia typically results in fear of a certain thing or circumstance. It could also cause you to spend a lot of time wondering about whether you’ll encounter your fear. Even if it shortens your life, you might go out of your way to avoid anywhere you might run into it.
Some symptoms of phobia are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- A sense of losing control or a feeling that you are dying
- Visiting restroom frequently
- Pain in chest
- Breathing problems
- Heart palpitations
- Some butterflies in your stomach
Some ways to fight your phobia
These recommendations are for those who must manage regular concerns. Some solutions are as follows
- Taking time out:
Spend some time alone so that your body can relax. Go for a 15-minute walk around the block, make some tea, or take a bath to distract yourself from your worries.
- Breathing techniques:
The best course of action is not to fight it if your heartbeat quickens or your palms start to sweat. Stay there and don’t try to distract yourself; just feel the panic.
The palm of your hand should be on your tummy as you take deep, calm breaths. The intention is to remove the anxiety of fear by assisting the mind in becoming used to handling panic.
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).
Various studies have reported that people undergoing CBT have a great likelihood of improvement, with almost 90% of remission by the tenth session. On the contrary in traditional therapy around 50% of patients improve by the same number of sessions.
CBT is the most effective treatment for phobias, anxiety, and depression. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for phobias and anxiety involves un-pairing of the anxiety response with the feared situation.
It also does this partly by identifying problematic or irrational thinking patterns or cognitive errors, and helping clients learn new, more adaptive ways of thinking about challenging or stressful situations or events.
After making changes in thinking patterns clients are less fearful and more realistic, CBT helps to remove the anxiety response by providing behavioral techniques to help them face their fear without anxiety.
According to Dr (Prof) R K Suri Top Clinical Psychologist, CBT is targeted to change thoughts and behaviors; most people show significant improvement by their sixth session.
- Cognitive Restructuring:
On account of phobias people often have catastrophic thoughts related to their phobia. In addition, they underestimate their ability to cope with fear in tough situations. Cognitive restructuring is a therapy to identify counterproductive thought patterns and replace them with more rational and realistic thoughts, resulting in a reduction in anxiety and avoidance.
- Try to face your fears:
Fears are only made worse by being avoided. Whatever your fear, it should start to lower your fears if you face it in a graded manner referred to as Exposure Response Prevention (ERP). For this what you can do is try the same thing over and over again so that you might become used to it. For example, people who are afraid to use the lift or the escalator should try to use them over and over again so that their phobia goes away.
- Rewarding yourself after facing a situation:
Enjoy a treat for yourself. Reinforce your achievement after you’ve faced situations for which you had a phobia reward yourself with the things you like the most and enjoy the most.
Some other treatments for phobia
An effective initial step in addressing a phobia that has previously been identified is seeking Online Consultation with the best psychologist or with the Best Psychiatrist in India. And when a person wants to have an in-person consultation one can take counseling with the best “Clinical Psychologist Near me.”
Most people discover that avoiding the cause of their fear helps them maintain control if the phobia does not present them with serious issues. Since individual phobias are frequently controllable, many sufferers choose not to seek treatment.
The psychologist may also advise the patient with a combination of both the therapy and medications if they are having a severe form of the disorder or if they are having severe panic attacks and consultation with a psychiatrist is recommended.
Medications in Treatment of Phobia
Some medications used for the treatment of phobia are:
There is a lot of evidence supporting phobia therapy. It not only works incredibly well, but you also frequently notice effects very quickly—in some cases, in just one to four sessions. However, assistance may not always take the form of a licensed therapist. Even having someone by your side to hold your hand or support you as you face your anxieties can be quite beneficial.
A phobia is a mental health problem that makes a person extremely afraid of particular things or circumstances. Examples include fear of needles, heights, or spiders A phobia, in contrast to normal fear, results in worry that goes beyond the actual threat of a situation. Your life can be significantly affected by phobias. Thankfully, phobias may typically be overcome with exposure therapy. You can lessen your risk of acquiring more mental health issues by seeking therapy as soon as you can. Ask for assistance from your healthcare provider or Online Counsellor.