Phobias and Fears
What is a Phobia?
Many of us can have fears that hold us back or limit our full potential. Thus, we tend to avoid the fearful things or situations that cause us discomfort.
There are times in our lives when we have more control over our fears than others. When you continually give into your fears, they can start to take over your daily life.
The fears become so intense that you will avoid these fears at all costs, and that is when these fears become phobias.
There are some very common phobias such as fear of heights, flying, elevators, certain insects/ animals, social situations, and public speaking, Whether you have one of the common phobias or a less common phobia, you can be helped to manage the fear/phobia with the assistance of a therapist. In Merrill’s practice in Eastchester, NY she specializes in helping people overcome their fears and phobias.
How Does The Fear/ Phobia Manifest Itself?
When you have a phobia you experience an irrational fear of a specific place, object, activity, or a situation. You have an immediate response of feeling overwhelmed with anxiety when you are exposed to your fear/phobia. Sometimes even when you just think about encountering your specific fear/phobia your anxiety level can intensify.
You may experience a variety of physical symptoms such as an increase in your heart rate, feeling dizzy, having difficulty breathing, and experience a strong impulse to get away from this fear as quickly as possible. This phobia can affect your ability to function in your day to day activities, and you may find that you will avoid any situation where there is a possibility that you could encounter your fear/phobia.
When you are avoiding dealing with your fear, it reinforces it, and allows your fear/phobia to keep on existing.. You may even recognize that your fear is irrational, but still are not able to face this on your own. Merrill in her practice in Eastchester, NY helps her clients understand how to confront their fears and phobias successfully.
Treatment For Fears and Phobias:
There is a way to get control over these fears/phobias. In Merrill’s practice (Eastchester, NY) she finds that the treatment generally is a shorter term therapy where the client will usually show improvement within a few weeks to a few months.
With a combination of restructuring your cognitions, exposure therapy (confronting the fear/phobia in gradual steps), medication (when it is indicated), calming self talk, imagery, and relaxation techniques (including at times incorporating hypnosis), you can learn to gain control over your fears/ phobias, and start once again to feel in charge of your life.