Browsing: Phobias

4 Tips To Overcome Fear Of Driving Phobia

Driving phobia is one of the most common yet debilitating phobias there is. People who suffer from it see their social life, career, general well being, and happiness take a massive downturn due to this affliction. Despite the awful effects of this phenomenon, many people neglect to do anything about it, resigning themselves to commuting by public transportation, avoiding activities which require driving, staying indoors more often than they would've like to, and more.

That is a real shame, because fear of driving phobia can be treated and indeed, it can be cured completely. Like most phobias, it's a mental state which does not have to be permanent. In fact, it's entirely up to the person who suffices from it to decide that he or she will get over their fear of driving a car. If you too suffer from this phobia, know that the answer lies within you. All you have to do is make a commitment to yourself.

Here are 4 tips on how to overcome fear of driving

1. Take small steps and you will ever get to your destination – A lot of people who have a fear of driving simply give up using their car altogether. This is the way to perpetuate your condition, not to heal yourself. If you feel that you're unable to drive, simply use the car for short periods. Either drive around the block, or to the grocery store, or take frequent pit stops to make sure your fear does not build up. By doing so, you're conditioning your mind to gradually overcome your fears.

2. Listen to soothing music while you're driving – Music has great effect on our mood. Find some music that you can relax to and play it while you're driving. It will lower your overall stress levels and your will enjoy your ride more.

3. Get a driving buddy – To do things together is usually less scary than to do them by yourself. Many people have a fear of driving alone. Ask a friend or family member to accompany you while you drive. That way you'll build up your confidence and experience less fear.

4. Take deep breaths – If you're ever driving and start to experience one of the many symptoms of your phobia (sweating, stomach aches, nausea), take a few deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly. Deep breaths steady the heart beat and help you to relax.

Always remember that you can overcome your driving phobia. Take the first step and make a firm decision to get over your fears and start on a new road.

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Fear Of Driving Phobia Treatments – How You Can Conquer Fear Of Driving

Fear of driving is a terrible phobia as it cuts you off from important aspects of the modern life. However, it can be treated with a great deal of success and even eliminated completely. The number of people who suffer from driving phobia is awful, but the number of people who conquered this fear is also impressive. If you suffer from fear of driving, know that there are treatment options for you.

1. The Fear of Driving program. This is a unique online program by Rich Presta, a former sufferer of driving phobia. Rich, after failing to overcome his fear by therapy, developed this guide to conquer fear of driving. It has helped many people. As it deals specifically with fear of driving, it is especially effective.

2. The Conquer Your Phobia program by John Richter, is an online program which deals with any phobia you may have. This program manipulates the very neural pathways in your brain which are making you more prone to fear. Many people have used this program with all sorts of phobias. It's not specific to driving phobia, so I think that the 1st program I reviewed is the better treatment for fear of driving, but Conquer Your Phobia is excellent for people with multiple phobias.

3. Therapy. Seeing a therapist can have excellent results, but it's usually a slow and expensive process. However, for some people talking with someone on their problems and fears is the thing they relate to most. If you can spare the cash and the time, this is an option worth considering.

I hope I've opened you eyes to treatments of driving phobia. I wish you luck and may you conquer your fear of driving soon.

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Phobias – The Terror Within

Phobias are surprisingly easy to acquire and surprisingly easy to lose. And whilst they may seem strange or bizarre, they are quite common and easily explained.

WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE A PHOBIA

Most people with a phobia are normal, happy, intelligent and well-balanced.

They have just got this phobia, this thing they feel powerless to do anything to change. So it's very frustrating because a part of them (the rational thinking part) knows that it does not make sense, that they are okay and probably quite safe with that thing or in that situation. But they soon find that when they are exposed to that thing or situation, or even just thinking about it, another part of them (the irrational unconscious part) drives out rational thought and anxiety and panic floods in.

Have a can read through the science of phobias to see exactly how and why this happens.

Phobias will often start to affect self-confidence and self-esteem. Sufferers feel they are not understood, that others think they are stupid. And it can make them feel embarrassed and stupid. Like a slur on their sanity.

But phobias are a very human thing. It's to do with the way we are wired. And they rarely go any deeper than that: they are usually just a simple pattern-matching process rather than some dark Freudian psychosexual thing from childhood.

HOW PHOBIAS BEGIN

There are several ways to get a phobia. We may:

Learn it as a child from a parent (typically our mother) because we model their behavior and thinking styles so sturdy.

Suffer a traumatic incident or very emotionally upsetting event.

Learn it vicariously by being traumatized by someone else's trauma. For example, if a survivor of traffic accident records their ordeal very vividly, a listener with a very powerful imagination may develop a phobia.

Build it up slowly in our minds. Sometimes there is no specific event that sets up a phobia. Instead, there's a slow build-up of ideas reinforced by a series of small relatively minor incidents. Driving phobia and fear of flying can be slow-builds with something mild (like being stuck in a traffic jam or a bumpy flight) which normally would have been okay but at the time the individual was perhaps a little more stressed that normal (background stress levels) raised by other things like relationships or work) and this tipped them into a mild panic attack. This builds into a phobia.

At the start, it may take some time for people to recognize that they have a phobia. But then the panic starts to occur more frequently and consistently and a pattern emerges.

It's important to understand that anyone can get a phobia.

HOW PHOBIAS CONTINUE

The response that drives our phobias is our most instinctive survival response – the ancient “fight or flight” response. So when we are in danger we either prepare to stand and fight or to run away.

Sometimes the unconscious mind – which is responsible for survival – overdoes it and gets an idea that a particular things or situation is life-threatening and attaches the fight or flight response to it.

So it attaches feelings of discomfort, anxiety or terror to that object or situation to make the individual avoid it in future, so keeping them “safe”. And it is usually very successful at doing this so the phobic quickly finds themselves engaged in all kinds of avoidance behaviors.

So the phobic response is simply a protection mechanism that got glued to the wrong kind of thing – something that in reality may not be life-threatening at all. In fact, with another part of their mind – the conscious mind – the phobic will have always known this. But that has not helped because this is not about being logical and rational – if it was then no-one would have a phobia.

No, this is about the irrational, illogical and creative unconscious mind which is a great virtual reality simulator – creating monsters in the mind which, of course, do not exist in the real world. Imagining things beyond the reality of probability, possibility or likelihood even.

When the protection mechanism gets glued to the phobic trigger, the unconscious mind creates a very strong pattern around that thing. And after that, whenever it recognizes a match to that thing – and it does not have to be a precise match – it will trigger those same feelings of anxiety and panic. This is why phobia tend to spread out and generalize – particularly agoraphobia and claustrophobia – as more more situations are approximately matched, creating more and more reference templates for “life-threatening” situations. And every time panic occurs it just reinforces the idea the mind has got that this is “dangerous” or “life-threatening”. This is why phobias get naturally worse over time rather than better.

SAFETY & AVOIDANCE STRATEGIES

Safety and avoidance behaviors are used by the sufferer to reduce the “threat” and to manage and conceal their distress and embarrassment.

As more and more situations are avoided, the sufferer's world starts to shrink. Resources, time and energy are used in planning and avoiding the particular things or situations around their phobia. Partners and friends may have to be heavily relied upon. Excuses are made to avoid certain activities. Situations and people may be manipulated. Jobs, invitations and trips may be turned down. And there is a loss of freedom and independence as the comfort zone shrinks.

Sometimes these “solutions” become part of the problem: the avoidance and control behaviors become the handicap on living. Professional help is often thought as this point.

HOW PHOBIAS ARE CURED: THE FAST PHOBIA CURE

The key to curing phobias is to work with, rather than against the unconscious part of the mind that created the phobia, allowing it to re-evaluate these objects or situations as non-life threatening. And it can be given this opportunity by engaging the very same imagination and creativity that it used to create the phobia in the first place. A bit like a Sumo wrestler using his opponent's own weight to overcome him.

This is what a remarkable treatment called the Fast Phobia Cure does: it allows the mind to review the trigger object or situation from a position of calm detachment so that the thinking mind can go to work on these things and re-evaluate them as non- threatening. This de-conditions the pattern that deve the phobia. So it will not trigger again. The phobia will not work anymore. The cause – the pattern – is gone. And without the cause there are no symptoms.

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Is Hypnotherapy The Answer To Phobias

Phobias are intense and irrational fears that create strong fear and panic in a person. They interfere with a person's ability to socialize, work and in severe cases, live normally.

Most people experience anxiety or fear about certain events in their lives. For example, it is stressful for the majority of people to attend a job interview or to be assessed for performance at work. Phobias, however, are irrational fears that can prevent people from living normal lives.

Phobias belong to a spectrum of mental problems known as “anxiety disorders” and can be separated into three basic types: specific phobias, social phobia and agoraphobia. Specific phobias revolve around the fear of a specific object or situation.

Common specific phobias include fear of flying, and fear of snakes and spiders. If the specific phobia is not encountered often in a person's life, it will probably not be very disruptive. However, if it is a common occurrence then the afflicted person may well be living in an unhealthy mental and emotional state and not being functioning at their best.

Social phobias include being afraid of being watched and evaluated by others when in public, fear of public speaking and stage fright. People experiencing social phobias are more than just uncomfortable or worried, they are intensely anxious.

Agoraphobia is a fear of being trapped and of experiencing a panic attack in a public place. A panic attack is usually the trigger for agoraphobia. When many people experience a panic attack away from home, they fear the experience occurring again and therefore desire to avoid public places. For many people, this means never leaving home.

The symptoms of phobias include a sense of terror and often impending disaster, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and sweating palms. These symptoms can be triggered by simply expecting the event or circumstance that triggers the phobia. For example, people who have a fear of flying may experience anxiety symptoms for days before the event.

Phobias can have a strong hold on individuals. Traditional methods of dealing with phobias include the use of medications to block feelings of anxiety and panic, and cognitive-behavioral therapy which helps people to retrain their thoughts and responses. However, many people have had great success in overcoming phobias through the use of hypnosis. Hypnosis is used to treat phobias by reprogramming thinking patterns. Hypnosis is able to by-pass the conscious mind with its tendency to resist change. The suggestions target the subconscious mind and are readily accepted.

The fears which cause phobias stay in the subconscious mind. The original cause of the fear may have been valid but is no longer real. Hypnosis can reach this part of the mind and give it suggestions to ease the anxiety and convince it that there is no longer any valid reason to retain these fears.

Common phobias aided (and even cured) by hypnosis include:

o Fear of flying and other forms of travel.

o Fear of heights.

o Fear of childbirth.

o Fear of animals (usually a specific type).

o Fear of insects (spiders are very common).

o Fear of performing.

o Stage fright.

o Claustrophobia and agoraphobia.

o Fear of nightmares (can cause insomnia).

o Fear of the dark.

o Fear of doctors and dentists.

o Fear of exams.

Unlike medication based treatment, hypnosis has no negative side-effects. Even cognitive-behavioral therapies can have negative side-effects because some of them can trigger severe panic in order to desensitize a person. This is extremely traumatic for many people. Hypnosis, on the other hand is very relaxing and soothes the nerves. It calms anxiety and gently gives suggestions directly to the subconscious mind. As such it offers benefits even beyond the purpose of eliminating phobias.

As a practicing hypnotherapist, I have helped many clients to overcome debilitating fears and cure phobias and thereby become fully functional and successful human beings. If you are suffering and want to cure a phobias that is limiting your choices and your life, I strongly recommend you seek the services of a qualified hypnotherapist near you.

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Phobias Explained

In an earlier article Phobias What are They I told you about the way Jane reacted when confronted with a snake. What follows is a brief introduction to the model I use to explain phobic reactions and why they are so very real for the individuals that experience them.

All phobias are apparently irrational, but in truth they are not. They are in fact based upon primitive self survival knowledge / instinct. In order to stay safe we ​​must be aware of dangers in our environment. Natural dangers are: –

Heights – you could fall off

spiders – some spiders are poisonous

snakes – some are poisonous

being enclosed – the cave roof could fall down or you might be trapped in a confined space

dogs or other animals – could save you

Vomiting – a sign of possible dangerous disease or just plain unpleasant

darkness – not possible to see dangers

open spaces – there are dangers all around in the World.

etc. etc.

The list is intensive All these phobias have one common element, possible threats to life. Other phobias may be connected to life threatening or fear inducing situations. Fears of such things as buttons, birds, touching, nakedness, etc. all are linked emotionally to some situation in which a sense of fear or panic was induced.

For instance the fear of buttons could well stem from an early childhood experience of having a button tangled in long hair. Or of being unable to remove a coat or cardigan causing a young child to panic.

All phobias seem to stem from some significant experience. This significant event is linked to our basic, primitive, fears and fixed permanently in the mind Many people are unable to recall the event as it is back in very early childhood.

Another factor of phobias is that they can grow just like snowballs, each time the phobic reaction occurs it strengthens the fear. This is because each experience is linked emotionally to the previous one. When the reaction is triggered you are reacting mentally to all previous feelings of fear in the same context. Your mind has created a structure to deal with the fear and each time you go through a similar experience the structure grows larger and stronger.

Imagine it this way.

The mind stores all experiences good, bad and indifferent with the emotion experienced at the time. The first experience of a fear is linked to the second and subsequent events of the same kind. Thus the phobia can grow and grow becoming more powerful with age. Phobias are emotional events and our brain is set up to react to fears before logic can assists us.

A simple diagram can give an idea of ​​this structure. Imagine a nest of squares. The smallest square is in the center and each subsection square is larger and contains the previous ones. Links connect the squares together The diagram represents how the brain builds an experiential structure. The central square represents the first experience. This is then embedded in and linked to the second event and then linked and embedded to the third. This causes the emotions from each event to be linked together. Each new experience triggers the emotions of all past experiences and the new one is added to the structure. To remove or reduce a phobia what needs to be done is to break the links between each emotional memory or override the structure with a new one.

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What Causes A Phobia?

A phobia is a fear, a fear that for many people is debilitating and life changing. But let's just explore the whole concept of fear for a second. Fear is good. Fear is an emotion that protects us when we are in danger. Imagine a world with no fear, and you imagine a world of lawlessness and anarchy. Without fear, we would have little or no incentive to hide and protect ourselves. Fear is our brain's way of protecting us.

Through the ages we have learned to be afraid of certain things and situations. It is fear that protects us from snakes, sharks, and situations that can harm us. We are right to be afraid of snakes – many of them are venomous and even if they do not kill us, we know that at best we will feel pain. We know that if we fall from a great height, the chances are we will break a leg or possibly die. So in these situations we are right to feel fear, because it protects us.

Most people do not particularly like spiders or snakes, but they do not suffer from a major phobia. So when does a normal fear become a phobia, and what causes some people to develop a phobia of everyday situations and objects?

The answer to what causes a phobia is specific to each individual, but certain situations may contribute to the situation. For example, a person who experiences a panic attack in an elevator might avoid taking an elevator after that for fear of experiencing another panic attack, despite the fact that the environment probably played no role in the initial attack. The individual will, perhaps subconsciously, blame the elevator for the attack, and ultimately the elevator and the panic attack became so interlinked, that soon a fear of elevators and enclosed spaces has developed, and the individual now suffers from claustrophobia.

A phobia may also be inherited, or rather taught. Take the case of Brian, an 11yr old boy who is afraid of flying. Why is an 11yr old so afraid of flying? The answer may be that his mother is also afraid. We learn from our parents, and trust them to protect us. Therefore, if our parent, who is supposed to protect us, is afraid of something, we learn that it must be harmful and that we too should be afraid of it. The big danger here is that what might be a mild fear in a parent, can develop into a full debilitating phobia in a child.

The one thing that all phobias have in common is that they are psychological, and therefore the treatment of phobias lies there. By understanding why we suffer from a specific phobia, we can begin to treat it. One of the best ways of treating phobias is with hypnosis. Hypnosis works by re-training the mind subconsciously to react to the phobia differently. By doing it subconsciously, a great deal of the stress and anxiety is taken out of the treatment for the client – for many people, even talking about their phobia can cause some stress.

One thing that everyone who conquers their phobia has in common is a huge sense of relief. When we face up to, and overcome our fears we begin to realize how we have been held back, and the intense sense of freedom is overwhelming. That does not mean that phobias can be considered trivial or banal – they're far from it. For sufferers, they are very real, and all consuming. At http://www.free-hypnosisdownloads.com there is a growing number of excellent hypnosis mp3 downloads that help sufferers of many different types of phobias to conquer them easily and quickly. The download sessions typically say about 30-40mins to listen to, and their success rate is quite phenomenal.

Hypnosis is so successful in the treatment of phobias because it addresses the phobia in exactly the same way that it got there in the first place – subconsciously. This makes the whole ordinal so much more enjoyable for the subject, and therefore the likelihood of success is extremely high.

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Clown Phobia and Fear Treatment and Cure

One theory is that the face paint, big nose and weird colored hair is so far removed from our conception of what a human face should look like that it unnerves some people.

Another is that we can not “read” the emotions or mood through all the make-up. This scares some because reading facial expressions is one of the ways we relate to people.

Although it appears on the top ten most common phobias on some lists, there is very little information in the medical literature on the subject.

The symptoms of clown phobia are similar to those of other phobias: high anxiety, sweating, rapid breathing and heart beat and intestinal fear. Clown phobics know that their interactions are irrational but they can not control it. Do not worry, it is possible to effect a clown phobia and fear treatment and cure.

Medication is sometimes used but they do not get rid of the phobia they just mask the symptoms, to get you through an encounter.

Hypnotherapy or hypnosis works for some people but not everyone can be hypnotized and many people do not want to lose control even in a theatrical situation.

Therapy to unaware the cause of the phobia can help. Once the cause is know, treatment can begin to desensitize the client. You may be asked to look at pictures of clowns and then maybe look at film clips and eventually come face to face with a real clown.

One therapist broke through her client's phobia when she asked her to be made up as a clown and look at herself in a mirror.

I know of one adult male, who can not even enter a McDonald's because he might see a picture of Ronald McDonald. Clown phobia, unlike other phobias, can be kept at bay by just avoiding places where you might encounter them. Of course it will not free you from the phobia but you do not have to hole up in your home to avoid the phobia.

Ignore people who tell you to get a grip on yourself, grow up and get over being afraid of a silly clown. This can do more harm than good.

Adults remember not being able to attend birthday parties where clowns would be part of the entertainment and many of them still have to avoid those parties. They can not have a clown at their children's party or go to grandchild's party if a clown will be present. Imagine someone who works in event planning for a large arena who has to book a circus or even worse, host a clown convention. This phobia like others can have an effect on every area of ​​a person's life.

People can sympathize with someone who is afraid of heights, snakes or spiders for instance, but kind of pooh-pooh the fear of clowns. This attitude together with the phobia that they know is irrational, can cause a clown phobic to sink into depression.

As mentioned earlier there are a few treatments available that appear to work well for those suffering from clown phobia. A phobic needs to do some digging to find the one that works for them.

Rest assured that you can beat this and find the best clown phobia and fear treatment and cure for you.

For more information on cure go to http://www.symptoms-of-anxiety-depression.com

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Fear of Dentist Dental Phobia -Odontophobia Treatment and Cure

Statistics show that for many people with dental phobia, the sunset directed fro a traumatic experience in childhood. That was what happened to me. I had an abscessed tooth and the dentist pulled it with no Novocain and never prescribed an antibiotic. After that even the thought of getting my teeth cleaned would make me physically ill. When our children were young I took them to a dentist who dealt exclusively with children. I could not stay in the room with them. This kind man had me just sit in the chair and chat with him. When I was comfortable with that (a few weeks) he took x-rays, then we progressed to a cleaning. It took four months to get that point and another two before I allowed him to fill two cavities.

This is not an atypical approach to dental phobias. Many therapists recommend this method. Some dentists do not feel comfortable with this approach, and will refer you to someone who uses it routinely.

Those who developed dental phobias as a result of a horrific experience are referred to by some researchers as exogenous phobics, while those who develop it as a result of a sense of loss of control or from hearing of other people's tales of terror are considered endogenous.

Some people have a form of the condition where they may fear only one dental procedure, such as the Novocain injection, the gas mask, or more commonly the noise of the drill.

Dental phobia can seriously affect a person's life. In addition to poor dental health, an oral infection can become systemic and cause serious overall health issues. Also some sufferers begin to withdraw from friends and associates because they are embarrassed by the appearance of their teeth. They can become seriously depressed. Loss of self esteem, over not being able to overcome the fear, also can be a problem.

If you are a dental phobic you may be accused of being afraid of something that everyone else does routinely and probably think nobody else feels the way you do. Researchers estimate, that between 5 and 20% of people in western countries never see a dentist due to fear.

Do not despair, you can get dental phobia and fear treatment and cure. You can call a dentist and explain the problem, she may be able to help you or refer you to someone who can.

Your medical doctor can refer you to a therapist. Before beginning with a therapist ask if they have experience with dental phobia. The local school of dental medicine should also be able to help you with a referral at the very least.

How does treatment proceed? Some therapists suggest what my kids' dentist used more than 30 years ago. A gradual desensitization. Get comfortable sitting in the chair, having x-rays, cleaning and finally whatever treatment is needed.

Others start out with therapy sessions, aimed at getting to whatever may have triggered the phobia. This is the key to beginning the healing process. Then they may suggest the gradual desensitization process or the client may now feel ready to tackle a visit to the dentist.

In extreme cases it may be necessary for the phobic to be heavily sedated or even anesthetized for necessary dental treatment. However most of us can successfully experience a dental phobia and fear treatment and cure.

For more information on cure go to http://www.symptoms-of-anxiety-depression.com

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Driving You Crazy – Driving Phobia And Its Treatment

It's a surprise to most people – including those that suffer from it – that driving phobia is one of the most common phobias.

This is because it's a hidden phobia: sufferers are embarrassed by it so they go to great lengths to accommodate and conceal their fear. And they think they are alone. But they are not. Their condition is well understood by phobia specialists and their symptoms, avoidance patterns and responses are very similar to those of other silent sufferers.

WHAT IS DRIVING PHOBIA?

Driving phobia is an irrational fear of driving, of being or feeling out of control whilst driving, causing dread, panic and avoidance. It is rarely skills related – most people with a driving phobia are good, competent drivers. They are usually normal, well-balanced people who once drve happily but are now anxious and panicky when driving or else do not drive at all.

WHO IT AFFECTS

A driving phobia is like getting a puncture: it happens to lots of people, it can happen to anyone and it makes driving very difficult or impossible.

And it's very frustrating for sufferers because a part of them – the conscious, rational, thinking part – knows that they are good drivers and these situations are non-threatening. But they soon find that when they are on certain roads or in particular driving situations, another part of them (the irrational unconscious part) drives out rational thought and fear floods in.

Experience shows that it is the more imaginative, creative or artistic people who are more prone to developing driving phobias. This is because phobias have a lot to do with the misuse of the imagination. So it can affect all sorts of people, irrespective of their driving skill.

THE CAUSE

Driving phobia can be caused by a traumatic or unsettling event (such as an accident) but it is usually caused by something much milder (like overtaking on a freeway, being stuck in a jam or going over a high bridge) which would normally be okay but at the time the individual was perhaps a lot more stressed that normal (background stress levels raised by other things like tiredness or financial, work or relationship problems) and this tipped them into a mild panic attack. The irrational mind (which is also responsible for survival and instincts) creates a pattern of this event and matches this to future times and places, triggering the same kind of panic response again and again. This builds into a phobia.

So driving phobia is linked to different things for different people – to driving on wide open roads like freeways (most common), to expressways, small roads, hills, high roads, bridges, flyovers, particular routes, junctions, to maneuvers (especially overtaking ), to being boxed in by heavy traffic, to being close to particular vehicles (usually large or high-sided ones) or to being limited to a particular speed. It often starts on freeways and spreads to smaller highways or expressways, then to smaller roads, restricting the routes, speed and distances that can be transported.

SAFETY BEHAVIOURS & AVOIDANCE

Sufferers use numerous safety and avoidance strategies to accommodate and control their embargo and panic.

As more and more routes or situations are avoided, the sufferer's world starts to close in. Energy and time are used in planning and driving alternative routes. They may have to drive at times when the roads are clear. Partners and friends may have to drive instead or have to take over en route. Excuses are made to avoid giving people lifts or traveling with friends and collections. Jobs and invitations may be turned down. People and situations are manipulated. Freedom and independence are diminished.

Over time such “solutions” interfere so much in life that they actually become part of the problem. At this point – and it can take years for someone with a driving phobia to get to this point – the sufferer acknowledges that they can not change this themselves, and seeks professional help.

TREATMENT FOR DRIVING PHOBIA

There are now effective, pain-free, scare-free and drug-free treatments available for driving phobia, indeed, for any phobia.

The most remarkable of these is the Fast Phobia Cure which rapidly, reliably and comfortably de-conditions the patterns that drive the phobia. Using the Fast Phobia Cure most phobias – even extreme and long-standing phobias – can be eliminated in a matter of minutes.

Other common phobia treatments include the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which can provide effective and fast relief, and Cognitive Therapy – designed to change the way you think about driving – is also useful but often involves exposure therapy and is more long-term.

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The Science Of Phobias

Here's how phobias work.

There are two parts to your mind – one that thinks, and one that feels.

The thinking part is the conscious, rational mind that you are using now as you read this.

The feeling part is the unconscious, emotional mind. It takes care of automatic tasks like regulating the heart, controlling pain and managing our instincts.

It's the unconscious mind that is programmed to act instinctively in times of danger. It reacts very fast – making you run or fight – rather than allowing your thinking mind to philosophize while you are attacked by a tiger. This has great survival value.

The unconscious mind is also a very fast learner. The same emergency route that can bypass the rational mind in times of danger can also stamp strong emotional experiences (traumatic ones) in the unconscious mind. This makes evolutionary sense – it ensures that we have vivid imprints of the things that threaten us.

And just as we have two minds, so we have two memory systems: one for the facts and one for the emotions that may or may not go with those facts.

Sometimes, when a person experiences a very traumatic event, the highly emotional memory of the event becomes trapped – locked in the emotional brain – in an area called the amygdala which is the emotional storehouse. There is no chance for the rational mind to process it and save it as an ordinary, non-threatening memory in actual storage (in the hippocampus). Like the memory of what you did last weekend.

Instead, the emotional brain holds onto this unprocessed reaction pattern because it thinks it needs it for survival. And it will trigger it whenever you encounter a situation or object that is anything like the original trauma. It does not have to be a precise match.

This is pure survival again. You only need to see part of a tiger through the bushses for the fear reaction to kick in again – for the “fight or flight” response to trigger – you do not have to wait until you see the whole tiger or identify it exactly as the tiger that attacked you before. In fact, it probably only has to be something orange and black moving through the bushes. This is why the pattern matching process is necessary approximate, or sloppy. You err on the side of safety. You do not have to have all the details to know if something is dangerous.

This is the basis of a phobia: a fear response attached to something that was present in the original trauma. The response is terror, shaking, sweating, heart pounding etc. And because of the sloppy pattern-matching it can get stuck to literally anything – animal, mineral or vegetable. It may not even be glued to the thing that caused the trauma. So a child attacked in a pram by a dog may develop a phobia of prams rather than dogs.

It is because phobias are created in this way, by our natural psycho-neurology, that they are so common. It's the way we are wired. Approximately 10% of people have a phobia. It's a very human thing. And it's probably because they are created by the unconscious mind that they seem so irrational. Of course they are – the rational thinking brain has not had a chance to go to work on them.

Many traditional phobia treatments, including drugs, attempt to deal with the phobia by calming things down after this response pattern has triggered. They treat the symptoms, not the cause.

To treat the cause, this trapped traumatic memory has to be turned into, and saved as, an ordinary unemotional memory of a past event. The emotional tag, the terror response, needs to be unstuck from that object or situation.

This is exactly what a remarkable therapy called the Fast Phobia Cure does. It allows the phobia sufferer to review the tragic event or memory from a calm and dissociated, or disconnected, state. The rational mind can then do its work in turning the memory into an ordinary, neutral, non-threatening one. And store it in actual memory where it should have been to start with. This happens very quickly because the mind learns fast. It learns the fear response quickly and it learns (or relearns) the neutral response just as quickly. And when that happens the phobia is gone.

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The Legendary Fast Phobia Cure

A man with a spider phobia walks into a room. His phobia means that he can not even look at a picture of something that looks like a spider without having a panic attack. So he unconsciously scans the room for spiders as he sits down in a comfortable chair opposite a therapist. Twenty minutes later he is standing in the middle of the room with a spider on his hand and a smile of his face.

A remarkable therapist? Probably not. A fluke? No: this kind of thing happens all the time. A remarkable treatment? Yes: the man has just experienced the Fast Phobia Cure.

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE FAST PHOBIA CURE?

The Fast Phobia Cure is probably the single most reliable and effective tool in psychotherapy today. It is reckoned to be about 90% successful on most phobias because it does what it says – it cures phobias fast. The twenty minute example above is quite typical. And it does this without the scare tactics, psychological archeology, drugs and exposure used by the older and less effective phobia treatments.

HOW IT WORKS

Most of us have experienced traumatic and upsetting events in our lives. When we look back on these events, they are never pleasant memories but they do not upset us to the extent they did at the time.

For the phobic, it's different. Very different. When they recall their trauma, they feel pretty much the same as they did at the time it first happened, even if that was decades ago. They have vivid and affecting memories of the event.

It is these kinds of memories – held in the emotional part of the brain – that drive and maintain phobias. Such memories are so strong and present that just recalling them can bring on fear responses. That is, the phobic is associated into these memories so it's almost as if they are in the situation again, experiencing similar responses – panic, pounding heart, shaking, sweating and an overwhelming desire to run.

For the rest of us, our traumatic memories are disassociated – they are more factual and carry less emotion – because they have, over time, been processed by the logical, thinking part of the mind. For the phobic, this disassociation has not happened. But it needs to.

The Fast Phobia Cure is a process of rapid dissociation. It allows the sufferer to experience the traumatic memories from a calm and dissociated, or disconnected, state. The other part of the mind – the unemotional, rational, thinking mind – can then go to work turning the memories into ordinary, factual, neutral, non-threatening ones. Like the memory of what you had for breakfast. With the emotional tag unstuck from the phobic encounters, the phobia is de-conditioned. It's gone.

THE MECHANICS

The way to achieve this dissociation is to have the sufferer imagine watching themselves from a remote, third person or detached position going through the traumatic event.

The classic scenario is to have them imagine themselves in a movie theater watching an old black and white movie of them going through the experience at very high speed (like watching a video on fast forward). The dissociation can be increased by having them imagine being in the projection booth watching themselves sitting in their cinema seat watching the film of their younger self going through the experience. This creates the distance and comfort for dissociation to occur.

They are then asked to step into the safe time at the end of the movie and imagine physically rewinding through the experience at very high speed. This step is repeated several times. It creates dissociation because the mind has never experienced the traumatic event returns and thus has no prepared fear response for it, so they experience it in calm. The memory is recoded by the brain and saved with less emotional charge attached to it.

These steps are the core of the Fast Phobia Cure. They are run on the key traumatic memories around the phobia – typically three or four such memories are used – in a process that can take as little as five minutes.

VARIATIONS

Variations of the Fast Phobia Cure can involve changing the cinema scenario to just watching a television screen, or having them imagine witnessing the event as a bystander, from a helicopter or birds-eye view, or seeing it played out on a stage. Or, once the memory is more comfortable, having them watch a “director's cut” by adding their own soundtrack (light or silly music is often used) and changing something about the way it looked in a creative and humorous way.

MEASURING AND TESTING THE CHANGE

Before, during and after the Fast Phobia Cure is run, the individual is asked to rate their level of discomfort around the traumatic memories. Very high levels of discomfort fall quickly to zero or thereabouts when the Fast Phobia Cure is run. Such rapid change is often a shock and a delight to the subjects.

The final step is to test the new responses by searching out the old trigger (going on a spider hunt with the man in the example above). Again, subjects are usually surprised by how keen they are to do this and by the feeling of not being scared around the old trigger. To many it can indeed seem miraculous. But the Fast Phobia Cure is not miraculous: it's just based on good brain science, on current neurology.

THE ADVANTAGES

As well as its reliability, the Fast Phobia Cure has three key advantages over traditional phobia treatments.

Firstly, as the name suggests, it's fast. The treatment usually takes only a single session. The mind learns very quickly. It learned to be phobic very quickly, sometimes in a matter of seconds. Learning how not to be phobic again can be, and is necessarily, equally quick. So long painful treatment is not necessary.

Secondly, it's safe. There is no direct confrontation with the phobic trigger and the phobic is calm and comfortable through the treatment.

Thirdly, it's non-intrusive. Because the “movies” are the patient's, the therapist does not need to know the precis details of the traumatic memory or phobic encounters.

WHY IS IT NOT MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE?

The Fast Phobia Cure is a remarkable treatment that can be learned and used by any competent therapist. But it's not being widely used. Why?

The answer seems to be that it works too well. And too fast. It can be done in minutes and easily within a single therapy session. And there's the rub: therapists using the Fast Phobia Cure will probably need to see a client just once, so they do not make much money. And traditional old-school therapists and counselors when faced with fast, painless results start to question their own models of long, drawn-out painful therapy.

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The Dangers of Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia

Many people have a fear of their dentist and many often avoid seeing one for as long as they can. It seems to me that most of these people's fears are either bad experiences at the dentist or are simply irrational. I attend my dental practice every six months and have never had a problem visiting my dentist. I have had x-rays, my wisdom teeth have been rolled out and my teeth have been polished but the one thing I have never had done is a filling.

From speaking to my friends and family most people seem to have a problem with fillings. I've heard tales of giant needles being plunged into gums and then the age-old story of the anesthetic not working as your teeth are dropped from your mouth. Having never experienced a filling I can not tell if these are exaggerations or not but if you do suffer from dental practice phobia it can effect you badly as many people put off seeing the dentist altogether.

Avoiding going to the dentist can be very bad for your dental hygiene. Failure to visit the dentist can result in tooth decay and gum disease. If these conditions are not appreciated they will result in tooth decay which is not only painful but causes bad breath and will eventually result in teeth having to be removed. Dentists also notice other changes in your mouth and can be the first to notice developments of mouth cancer and can there save your life.

For these reasons dental procedures are looking for ways to overcome dental anxiety in order to get people to come back to the dentist. They have been offering patients the opportunity to discuss their fears with their dentist and the possible solutions to overcome these fears. Many practices that have their own branded dental plans will offer different types of sedation, either inhalation or intravenous, as well as options like counseling services, hypnotherapy and distraction techniques.

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Social Phobia Facts

Many adolescents, adults and even children experience a severe case of social phobia, which consist of being afraid of talking to people and being observed. This phobia is very frustrating and can lead to depression if not treat it properly.

There is not much information about social anxiety on the media and the news even though it is a very common mental disorder in the US. So I'm going to give you a few social phobia facts so you can be aware of what is this really about and how you can over it.

Usually a person is aware that they have this disorder in their awareness, although you can have it at any age. They usually do not look for help because they do not want to feel embarrassed with their friends or they think that is something that only they have and no one else.

The causes of social phobia are not yet very accurate, however there are a few facts that are known to trigger this disorder. Genetics can be a cause of social anxiety, if a parent had it you are most likely to have the same problem.

One of the most common causes is social experiences, everyone reacts different to negative criticisms and embarrassment, even an abusive event or constant criticism of a person can trigger social anxiety. Sometimes they had a very bad experience at school where a teacher humiliated them and that could cause it, similar events in different situations can happen.

After the negative event they feel so embarrassed and frustrated, that they just cant stop thinking on that event and then get a social phobia problem. As i said, it depends on every person, some are not vulnerable to this but for others can be life changing.

The effective treatment for this social disorder is cognitive behavior therapy which helps you change your patterns and self beliefs. You should find professional help as soon as possible, so the disorder can be change it easier.

Medication is another option to relief symptoms in the short term, but they do not cure the source of the problem. Usually anti depressants are used to reduce depression and anxiety but have a few side effects that you should be aware of.

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Telephone Phobia – 5 Tips on Making a Phone Call

I have always found those Internet advertisements for telephone phobia quite ironic. “Have telephone phobia? Call today to speak to a professional therapist / hypnotist!”

Yeah right.

When I was terrified of the telephone, those ads just made things worse for me. But the fact was, I was not the only one who hated the telephone, and neither are you. While the best way to cope with social anxiety is to welcome it to altogether, here are some tips on coping with making a phone call:

Tip # 1: Change Your Attitude

What stops you from making a phone call? Are you worried that you might be bothering the other person? Not knowing who will answer the phone and how the conversation will go? Being turned down?

The thought of making a phone call can cause some people to start outright panicking. However, thinking of all the bad things that could happen will not help you, especially if you have to make the call anyway. Instead, think of all the good things that could happen. Imagine yourself making that call, run it through your mind as everything goes smoothly and you complete the conversation with a smile on your face.

If you are bothering the person, then they would not have answered the phone. They have chosen to be “bothered” by you. And as long as you stick to the point, and not decide to chat for hours (unless they invite you to), it's not going to worry them. If you have a request that is turned down, it is most likely for many reasons, probably none of which are directed at you personally.

If you are calling an organization, remember that you are doing them a favor by calling them. Whether they are going to get money from you, or even constructive criticism from you, it is very helpful to them.

Tip # 2: Prepare Beforehand

Write out the phone number and what you are going to say. If you are comfortable enough, just use keywords to help you along, otherwise a full script may be more suitable. Make sure you are in a situation where you are alone and no one is going to interrupt you.

If the actual dialing of the number is a concern of yours, it may pay to invest in a phone that tells you what numbers you have entered in. Otherwise, pay close attention to each number as you dial it.

Check if there are any alternatives to making a phone call. Do they welcome email or have online services? If it is a friend, will it be appropriate to use text messaging? For some people, talking to the person face to face is a bit easier than using a telephone.

Tip # 3: Practice

Practice on “easier” calls. Who are you more comfortable calling? A certain friend or family member? For some, these are also difficult, but perhaps not as terrifying as some other calls.

If calling a family member or friend is still too scary to agree, then start with your own mobile or home phone. No one will answer it, and you will be able to practice dialing in a number and listening to the phone ring.

Make an easier phone call at least once a week. You will be glad you did when you are facing a more difficult call.

Tip # 4: Smile

Before the person on the other end answers, put a huge grin on your face. Keep smiling through the call, whether you are talking or not. People can tell whether you are smiling or not through your voice. It also helps with your attitude, both consciously and subconsciously.

Tip # 5: Reward Yourself

Immediately reward yourself afterwards. This will help link pleasure to using the telephone and give you something to look forward to. A reward could be enjoying your hobby, a snack, reading a book or magazine, or anything else that would be appropriate.

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Stop Social Phobia – Top 4 Mistakes to Avoid

No one wants to live with social anxiety. So why do so many of us suffer from it when there are ways to overcome it? Here are the top 4 mistakes that social anxiety sufferers make.

Mistake # 1: Procrastination

So you have a plan to make social anxiety. Or depending you intend to research a way to overcome social anxiety. And yet, nothing has happened. Many people would love to be rid of this phobia, but just have not gotten around to it.

One of the top mistakes people make is procrastination. They may spend too much time researching everything they can, or putting it off for whatever reason. Overcome your procrastination. Just start. Learn as you go along, or you may never get anywhere. You do not have to get it right, you just have to get it going.

Procrastinators also tend to focus on things that are not that important, rather than what will actually help. Avoid slaving away at something that will not really help you in the long run. Be sure to keep focused on what will get rid of social anxiety for good.

Mistake # 2: Trying To Overcome With Willpower

Every now and then, one of us will be hit with a bolt of inspiration or incredible energy and eagerness to overcome our anxiety. We get going and immediately work at overcoming.

Now, if this sudden rush of willpower has helped you cure your social phobia, then that's great! However, most of us will eventually lose that rush and sink back into fear's grip. Why is this? Because there is nothing to support you when you act on willpower alone. While you are trying to overcome, that relief you feel from avoiding situations is calling to you very loud, tempting you to come back where it is safe.

Most of us can not do this on will alone, we need to create an alternative – a support – that will keep us on the right track and drive away that temptation of turning back.

Mistake # 3: “I Can not Do This”

Perhaps you love the thought of being anxiety free, but deep down you are afraid to be rid of it. Something is stopping you from getting rid of social phobia for good and for now you would rather just avoid it all.

The fact is you can do this, as long as you have a plan. Set yourself goals. And note that everyone makes mistakes. Do not try to be perfect, just get started.

Mistake # 4: Do not Leave It Too Late

Do not put up with social phobia. Resolve not to put up with another year of living with all the stress and fear. It is not worth it for you. You have a life to live and so much potential.

Do something every day, even if it's small that will help you in overcoming social anxiety. Pick a method (either through self help or therapy) and get started. Do not give up so fast on one thing either. Start today.

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