Phobia Symptoms You Need to Know

Fear is a completely natural feeling in response to objects or situations deemed threatening. Some scream at the sight of spiders. Some reason to go under water for fear of drowning. And some sweat a lot when speaking in front of an audience. Most people experience minor fears every now and then. But for some people, such fears get out of hand, causing intense anxiety and affecting day-to-day life. Extreme and irrational fear, which occurs even if there's little or no real threat, is more commonly known as phobia. About 19 million people in the United States have phobia.

Are you afraid that you have phobia? If you think you have it, the first thing you must do is to know the different phobia symptoms. When exposed to frightening objects or situations, people who have phobias suffer from an array of symptoms that are associated with anxiety, ranging from mild nervousness to a severe panic attack.

The main phobia symptoms include anxiety, severe and irrational fear, and avoidance behavior. People with phobia experience intense anxiety immediately after exposure to things or events that they are afraid of. Usually, anxiety escalates when you sense that it is hard to escape from it. Also, anxiety becomes more intense if the object you are scared of is closer to you. Several changes in the body occur because of anxiety anxiety, which include blushing, excessive sweating, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, palpitation, and muscle tension.

Severe and irrational fear happens when people with phobia anticipate or face a certain object, person, or situation that poses little or no danger. For instance, if you have acrophobia or fear of heights, you dread going to an elevated place because you might fall from it.

Avoidance behavior is also one of the major phobia symptoms. People with phobia avoid on purpose the objects or situations that they fear. They believe that avoiding those things can help keep the anxiety from happening.

The following is a list of other common phobia symptoms:

– Increased heart rate or palpitations
– Sweating
– Trembling
– Discomfort in the chest area
– Dizziness
– Difficulty breathing
– Feeling of choking
– Hot or cold flashes
– Loss of sensations
– Fear of passing out
– Fear of dying

People with blood-injection-injury phobia have different phobia symptoms from others. Aside from fear, you would also be disgusted at the sight of a needle or blood if you have this type of phobia. Blood pressure and heart rate increases like in other phobia types. However, dizziness, passing out, and nausea occurs after the increase in blood pressure and heart rate.

Phobia is no cause for worry if it does not affect your day-to-day life that much. For example, if you have a dog phobia, then there will be no problem if you live in an area where you're not likely to encounter dogs. But if the symptoms of phobia disrupts your normal life or advances you from doing things that you enjoy, then you might need to seek professional help.

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Here’s a Method That is Helping People Overcome Social Anxiety Phobia

Are you looking for a method to overcome social anxiety phobia? Keep reading because in this article I am going to give you a great way to do this.

The best way to overcome social anxiety phobia is to join a gym. Right now you may be thinking that this is rubbish advice but there is a good reason why joining a gym can help you get social anxiety phobia. The reason is – when you go to gym you have to be around people.

By going to a gym that is filled with people on a regular basis you will get used to being around people, and after a few weeks of doing this your social anxiety phobia will greatly decrease. Going to the gym will also help you to get fit and healthy which will also go a long way towards reducing your anxiety.

If you have never attended gym before it can be very intimidating to start for the first time but this is the point of the method. By forcing yourself to attend you will grow as a person and this will help you to ever overcome your social anxiety phobia.

If you're really scarred of trying this idea out just remember this – you do not actually have to talk to anyone. Just by attaining and doing your work out is enough to start you on the road to recovery and after a while if you're brave enough you may even make friends.

If you enjoyed this article on overcoming social anxiety phobia and are looking for more tips on ending anxiety please visit my website by following the links below.

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Social Phobia Disorder is Treatable, it is Not a Death Sentence – Do Something About it Now!

Social phobia disorder is commonly know as a physiological disorder that prevails individuals from being part of society. They tend to lock them selves away rather then have to face the possibility of having an anxiety attack. Now believe it or not this is very common illness, Very depressing for most people who live there lives this way. I would like to go over firstly some or the typical fears some one with this condition has to face on a regular basis.

Do you suffer from social phobia disorder?

Well it is the start of a new week, off to work as usual. Morning tea arrives and a couple of the senior staff members are planning a night out, instantly you try to exit the room before you get invited, as you do not want to have to lie to them why you can not attend. Oh no, you just did not make that exit fast enough.

Symptoms of anxiety attack just from an invite out, this is why we call it social phobia disorder!

  • Stomach knots.
  • Sweaty hands.
  • Ridiculous trembling.
  • Finding it hard to pronounce your words with out quivering.
  • Chest and throat become tight.
  • Your heart is doing 165 beats per minute.
  • Feeling of a full bladder.

All those symptoms above are hard enough to contend with, but then you have to also deal with the lies about to make, or the wild story that you have not already used, to why you will not be able to join them. Guilt then can be added to the list above as well. Just the thought of attending a social function partnerships on anxious thought, and negative thinking about all the what ifs.

Social phobia disorder creates so many uncontrollable thought!

  • What if I have a panic attack and no one can help me?
  • What if I embarrass myself?
  • What if they think I am weird I may lose my job?

I could go on, but I think you get the picture!

The brain is the most incredible organ in our body. When you have full control over your thought pattern, you can turn any amount of fear into a mild panic situation, but for those who do not know how to deal with fear, they lose control the minute anxious thoughts begins. Briefly to explain the way the brain works when we are in a terrifying situation.

Brain function is this the real cause of social phobia disorder?

The brain has many sections just for this exercises we will refer to the middle section, and the front section. What happens is this, we are designed to react to fear with a certain amount of adrenalin, this is to prepare our bodies, and to give us the power to identifier danger and react appropriately. Fight or flight this is called, very natural.

Social phobia disorder can be controlled you just have to because how to!

For most people they get scared, the brain function work like this, waves get sent to the middle section alerting us of fear, then the waves usually return back to the front section for normal function with in seconds. Usually no big deal for the average person. Now some one that can not control fear can not get the brain waves to return back to the front section, so they stay on persistent panic mode.

Social phobia disorder can be minutes away, you just have to learn how!

So where is all this going you ask? curing panic attacks for a victim of social phobia disorder is as easy as training our brain waves to flick back and forward from front to back, very easy if you know how.

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3 Phobias Identified With Their Solution!

Its been established that as many as 8% -16% of Americans suffer from a phobia, a difficult statistic to measure because of the nature of phobias but for those affected, these statistics are very real. The anxiety felt sometimes just by thinking of the phobia can mar an otherwise happy existence.

The clinical definition of a phobia is an exaggerated or illogical response to fear, a type of anxiety disorder of which there are 3 identifiable classes:

Social phobias – Social phobias refer to any fear experienced when mixing socially, such as getting into a crowded elevator, shaking hands, or fearing crowded places.There are many environmental factors involved in their instigation

Agoraphobia – Agoraphobia is a phobia related to being fearful of leaving your safe environment and venturing outside and can also likened to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by a distressing event coming to us outside. Agoraphobia is not restricted to the fear of open spaces as is commonly thought, but extends to include fear of social embarrassment and contamination from outside germs etc.

Specific phobias – Specific phobias are irrational fears towards objects, or conditions, such as fear of snakes, fear of laughter, or the fear of breathing. Unbelievably, there is even the fear of having a phobia (phobophobia)! Specific phobias are often caused by a trigger, often early on in life when something happened to cause an associated trauma. Those with specific phobias will try at all costs to avoid their trigger, causing potential problems when they are possibly faced with them in an everyday situation. Very often the extreme reaction is misconstrued as those around who are unaware of the phobic reaction take it to be overdramatised, because of its illogical nature.

If you've experienced a phobic reaction you will know that the anxiety and sense of panic is very real and just the thought of an attack can start making you anxious and unable to think.

The subconscious response to the trigger object can make the application of hypnosis or self hypnosis for phobias a successful way to treat them. A combination of hypnosis and NLP (Neuro linguistic programming) can rep-program the subconscious reaction when confronted with the object of a phobia and because the phobia is an ellogical reaction the feelings of anxiety and panic can be released and replaced with calmer feelings and a more controllable reaction.

Imagine being able to confront your phobia without the feelings of panic and dread, and the freedom that would allow and without the use of medication. By treating the source of the problem hypnosis can also generate a feeling of refreshment and well-being that affects other areas as well and use of self hypnosis CDs or downloads means that if the phobia is based on a social anxiety, the embarrassment of having to explain to a third party is removed and it can be practiced in the comfort of your own home.

In summary, you no longer have to live with the phobia that is causing you so much misery and embarrassment, you can, with the help of hypnosis live a comfortable and stress free life without anxiety and fear constantly looking over your shoulder.

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Being a Prisoner to Social Phobia Disorder is a Thing of the Past – Find Out Why!

Social phobia disorder is a phase that most people would love to never have to hear. The fact is there are so many victims to this illness, and most of the time it gets ignored and historically except as part of their lives. Firstly it does not have to be. This condition is actually treatable, as scary as it looks you have the power to switch it off, as quickly as you switched it on.

Social phobia disorder does not discriminate from, age, color, or race!

Before we go any further i want you to know this, i have been where you are now, i thought i just had to live with the fact that i was not normal, and i had to just accept with having social phobia disorder. I believed i had inherited this from my family, and there was no treatment out there to fix it.

I was 17, this illness stub 13 precious years from me, years that i could never replace. When the first episode takes place, you do not have any idea what is happening to you or, why you reacted the way you do. Those years stolen should have been the best days of my life. So do not think that age matters social phobia disorder will recruit any one.

The first episode of panic is the most frightening thing that could possibly happen to anyone, for no apparent reason, your body just starts to react in a way that has no explanation near you thinking you are having a heart attack, or something more sinister.

Social phobia disorder can be cured with self help anxiety treatment!

Well you do survive it, but this is where it all begins, the constant thoughts in the back of your mind about that day, and what took place. It seem as if this is the only thought your brain wants to hold on to, no matter what you start to think about, it is like someone flicks a switch with out you consent, and there it is the episode being relived over, and over . and over, just like a DVD being fast forward, and rewound.

You would think that something this shrinking would be the last thing you would want to focus on, but for some reason you become obsessed with something like you. your ability of losing control, so you decide to shutdown from the rest of the world and stay in where it feels safe. (Home environment)

Do not Give in to social phobia disorder, get back into society!

Social phobia disorder has now become the new way of living, why, because you've gave those anxious thoughts the strength to take over, and make you feel weak, and then you lose the power to control them. Obviously this was not your intentions, never a less it did happen.

Breaking free from social phobia disorder is a matter of changing the way you react to fear!

First pointer, as silly as this may seem, you now have to realize that panic is in your life you, either fear it, or you except it and start to deal with it. Now is time for a reality check.

A plan to get social phobia disorder under control!

  • Today go out and by a diary, this is your viewing only.
  • Write in that diary, every single time you fear anxious, what the side effects were, how it made you feel. do not worry about the way you write it, your the only one that will sees it.
  • Record the time of day the attack takes place, how long it stayed, and if you can, what triggered it off. Most importantly were you alone or in company.
  • Do this for 1 week. At the end of the week go over your notes, review any patterns that may have taken place.
  • This is stage 1 familiarizing with the anxiety attack, let us give it a name, Hairy Harry, less threatening.
  • OK now that you know the pattern of the side effects, you have to except them. Exceptioning them makes you react differently because, you are becoming familiar with your new friend, Hairy Harry. After all you are not scared of your friends, but initially you were before you got to know them and except there bad behavior.
  • After you except and you know what to expect, invite Hairy Harry to give you a stronger attack then usual. By doing this you are taking the power away from an attack, as your fear level has now changed, you do not fear him as much.
  • Last part of this exercises is inviting, i invite Hairy Harry back every day, yes every day, persistent he comes to visit as you are now, familiar, excepting, and open to his results.

Social phobia disorder is a mind game, it is as severe as you allow it to be!

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Did You Know There is a Phobia of Fear?

Phobophobia is the phobia of fear. The word phobophobia actually comes from a Greek word Phobos that mean fear of fear. This can explain this phobia better than anything else. Phobophobia is the fear of fear. Having this phobia can lead to panic attacks and anxiety because the person suffering with this phobia is always afraid. When you are always scared that you will be scared then you are quite literally always scared.

When you are always scared that you will be scared it promises to make you very anxious and stressed. This leads to anxiety and panic attacks quite often. The cause of this phobia can usually be linked to a traumatic experience with a phobia in the past. If the person already had a phobia and had a really bad experience with that phobia it could make them scared that they will be that scared again.

People who suffer with this phobia can sometimes suffer from many symptoms such as dizziness, racing heart, sweating, tension, fainness, hyperventilation, and angst. This disorder can look a lot like an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder can cause all of these symptoms in a person when they start to feel threatened and the person may not even know why they are feeling threatened.

The anxiety disorder is always present before the phobophobia. Some symptoms of anxiety disorder that are slightly different from phobophobia is dilation of pupils, tightness of the throat, a desire to cry, a desire to run, desperation, and a sick sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach.

There are several ways to treat both disorders and the treatments used for anxiety disorders have been known to work for phobophobia. There are medications that can help control both of these disorders. There are also different exercises that can help with a phobia of this nature. When suffering with a disorder like this the best thing to do is see a doctor.

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Here’s a Great Social Phobia Treatment You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

Are you looking for a social phobia treatment? Keep reading because in this article I am going to give you some advice that will help you to overcome your problem.

The first social phobia treatment I am going to give you is to – put yourself in someone else's place or in other words see yourself through the eyes of other people. Doing this will help you when you are beating yourself up. By seeing things from their perspective you can ask yourself what would you judge, pick apart or condemn in yourself if you were them.

Most of the time when you really think about it you will not be able to find any fault with yourself at all. You will realize that if others are not picking you apart WHY are you doing this to yourself. The point of this exercise is to get you to realize that you need to be nice to yourself . If you ever want to have a hope of overcoming your social phobia you need to learn to treat yourself far better.

You need to realize that beating up on yourself will only make your social phobia worse and prevent you from moving ahead. You need to learn to be more rational and to see things more realistically. Realize that you're not perfect – but you're doing a pretty job.

I hope you enjoyed this social phobia treatment if you would like to learn an advanced way to eliminating panic and anxiety attacks from your life please visit my homepage by following the links below.

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Where to Find More About Social Phobia Treatment

Social phobia is a condition that should be treated right away, since communicating with people is something that humans naturally do in order to survive. How can one find more information about social phobia treatment and successfully help someone suffering from it?

The internet is one good place where one can find information on social phobia treatment. People who have the condition usually used the internet first as their primary sharing site, since they do not see other people personally yet. They may share their personal experiences and the treatments and process that they go through in order to fully recover from the condition.

Moreover, stories from other people might also be helpful. Although they are not first-hand information, a person can ask them questions about the condition and the ways one can recover from it. Also, he / she can ask that person to talk to the affected person so that he / she can reach out and give a hand to a person who is suffering the condition that he / she experience before.

Lastly, a person can also resort to the program given by some online effective programs such as Panic Away. Many people have reportedly tried this program and they have felt and seen the result after a short period of time. The degree may vary, but there is no doubt that all of them who tried have improved in their communicating ways.

In order to overcome anxiety or phobia, sufferers should bravely to move a step forward by following the right techniques available.

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Did You Know Just by Changing Your Way of Thinking You Can Cure Social Phobia Disorder?

How is it some people just breeze through life with no issues, then the unfortunate ones adopt social phobia disorder, do we deserve it, or is it something that just happens. Well to answer that correctly there are a number of factors that contribute to having a condition like this, I few I would like to point out. And no, no one describes this disorder. But yes you can over come it.

Social phobia disorder, am I just unlucky or is it my fault?

First of all yes it is unlucky that you have social phobia disorder, secondly there is a lot you can do to control it, and there are 100 and 1000 s of people that have this condition, your definitely not alone.

You probably say to self quite often, why me, this is a constant nagging thought in the back of your mind. Well now it is time to stop feeling sorry for your self and understand why you have it, and most importantly how are you going to deal with it.

Any body is capable of developing social phobia disorder, but some are more susceptible then others, and it is the way you deal with the symptoms that makes all the difference.

Did you know exhaustion is one the key triggers of this disorder? Mental and physical exhaustion, and emotion exhaustion. These 3 are the main offenders.

Your diet also contributions, and if you dabble in alcohol or drugs or, have a hectic life style, this also is classified as physical exhaustion.

Some of us just get so busy, we tend to forget about how strung out we are till the pressure cap blows off, by this time it is way to late the horse has bolted no point shutting the gate. What started off as (GAD) a little normal stress, is now social phobia disorder.

Firstly you need to sit back relax for 1 minute think about the way you have approached the situation so far. Has it worked, Answer is no other wise you would not be reading this article.

Social phobia disorder is a condition that makes us afraid to go out in public, because we carry around an anxious thoughts that makes us afraid of having an attack.

Think about for a moment every time you have had an attack, what has happened to you?

  • You got scared.
  • Your heart ran a million miles an hour.
  • You were shaky.
  • You had blurry vision
  • etc, etc, etc.

Now did it kill you, did you pass out, did it stay for 1 hour? See where this is going, a anxiety attack will not kill you, it is very scary that is all. So you need to do this.

Bye your self a diary, write in that diary every time you feel anxious, what time of day it was, where you were, were you alone or in company. This is calling identifying or observing what ever you want to call it.

Then you need to except, acceptance is a big part of curing social phobia disorder. Exception that it will visit you every day and sometimes twice a day, just prepare your self for the visit.

OK now you are going to invite, yes that is correct, invite a panic attack into your life.You know this can not harm you, so you can just get your self more familiar with the physical symptom it usually brings.

It is like any thing in life the more familiar you are with something, or someone the less scary they or it becomes.

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Is Social Phobia Disorder Preventing You From Speaking in Public? Try This Little Trick!

Social phobia disorder is a common problem for a high% of the population. I have found that public speaking in any form, or even just a little office meeting creates so much tension for a victim to this disorder, that some people say they would rather be in a coffin then do an eology. That is a real issue and I want to cover a couple ideas that maybe you can put into practice for your next speech, what ever that may be. This will definitely give you a bit of relief.

Reverse psychology for social phobia disorder victims to follow before, or during an office meeting!

Usually in work meeting situation there will be a group sitting in a close area taking turns to speak. Most people dread the fact that they will always have to speak, and try to think of some over the top excuse why they can not contribute to the conversation. This in it own self start to create an exotic thought before you even begin.

Social phobia disorder makes the simplest things out to be the most frightening situation one would have to face. OK brace your self, try this approach it is the total opposite to how you previously have been dealing with office situation.

Pretend to the group and try and convince the little man in your head that you are safe, nothing will happen to you, and you really want to speak.

Before you enter the room say to you self, i am looking forward to speaking today, i have ideas to throw around and they need to be heard. After all this will score big points if your boss loves your ideas.

Changing your thought process is the key to winning the battle against social phobia disorder!

Social phobia disorder tents to make us sit back and be silent waiting for that moment when you have to say something, your not going to do that this time as you are going to mingle before the meeting and not sit there quietly as usual. Start chatting to all the staff it will break the ice.

Now, if your speech is a little long, and you are not fully confident about projecting it in one go, break it up a little always ask questions. This takes the focus away from you, it promises to put it back on the group.

Social phobia disorder will not exist if you take away the fear!

See just because you have a social phobia disorder, it does not mean you can not do all the normal thing that others take for granted. You are the only one that knows your scared, start thinking differently about your fear this will make the difference.

Another great point is, if you are lucky enough not to have to speak first, ask question and get advise from other speaker, let them know what you are going to bring up, they then can give you some feed back.

Always interact and come across interested, and be fully engaged at all time, give an impression that you really want to speak. Anxiety tents to get worse if you sit in silence waiting to be call up, speak out first, never wait for them to call upon you.

When you continue speak, and do not sit in silence every one then gets to hear your voice, it becomes familiar. What this does is it takes the pressure of you hearing you voice for the first time.

Social phobia disorder no longer has to create an exotic feelings if you just convince your self not afraid, the anxious thoughts are all in your head. This in time will build your confidence level up that high they will not get you to shut up. I just had a giggle to my self right now, as this is the case for my self at present.

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Social Anxiety Disorder & Social Phobia

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is anxiety about social situations, meeting new people and fear of being watched. In such situations people are independently self conscious and can never relax in public. They always feel that they are being watched, stared and judged. This chronic and persistent fear grows even more intense if the situation is unfamiliar.

This disorder could have been a part of the development of social functioning in growing up days and may go unnoticed. The situations people feel anxiety in can differ from people to people.

“In any social situation, I felt fear. I would be anxious before I even left the house, and it would escalate as I got closer to a college class, a party, or whatever. felt like I had the flu. My heart would pound, my palms would get sweaty, and I would get this feeling of being removed from myself and from everyone else. ”

“When I would walk into a room full of people, I'd turn red and it would feel like everyone's eyes were on me. to anyone. It was humiliating. I felt so clumsy, I could not wait to get out. ”

Psychological Symptoms:

o Worrying for days, weeks, or even months before any social situation.
o Fear of being watched or judged by others.
o Excessive self-consciousness, nervousness and anxiety in social situations.
o Fear that others will notice that you're nervous.
o Fear of getting embarrassed or humiliated.

Physical Symptoms:

o Pounding heart or tight chest
o Shaky voice and rapid breathing
o Sweating or blushing
o Upset stomach, nausea
o Dry mouth, trembling or shaking
o Muscle tension
o Dizziness, feeling faint
o Clammy hands or twitching

Treatment
Like any kind of mental situation, there is no hard and fast rule of treating anxiety disorder. The first thing to do in this case would be to consult a physician and determine whether the symptoms are due to anxiety disorder or not.

Lifestyle Changes: Even though only bringing changes in lifestyle might not help in overcoming anxiety disorder, it's a great help in addition to the therapy or medication. Try making these necessary changes while trying to fight anxiety disorder:

o Avoid Coffee, tea, caffeine soda, energy drinks, and chocolate.
o Alcohol should be taken in moderation.
o Quit Smoking
o Proper sleep

Medication: Although medication helps in relieving the symptoms of anxiety disorder, they should only be taken in addition to the therapy or self help methods. The following three indications are used for the treatment:

o Beta blockers
o Antidepressants
o Benzodiazepines

Therapy:

CBT or cognitive-behavioral therapy is by far the best known treatment for social anxiety. It works on the theory that what you think affects how you feel, and your feelings affect your behavior. It involves

– Trying relaxation and breathing techniques to control the physical symptoms of anxiety.
– Challenging the negative thoughts that fuel social anxiety and replacing them with balanced and positive views.
– Facing the situations in a gradual and systematic manner than avoiding them completely.

For any kind of anxiety disorder treatment, the family plays a very important role. The family should be supportive and try helping the patient under the guidance of his doctor.

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How Can I Overcome and Control My Phobia and Fear of Needing a Toilet in Public?

It is common for people who suffer from various forms of anxiety to feel that they may experience a loss of control of their body functions, due to their anxiety, when out and about in public. Whilst this may sound almost ridiculous to a more calm, and collected person, these fears can literally take over a person's life for whatever fear and anxiety play a fundamental part. I would like to point out, however, that more and more often, these are only thoughts rather than facts, where the person is only concerned that they may not have any control of their toileting, but actually are fine with it.

To explain this more clearly, these people are usually absolutely fine at home, and have no problem at all. The real issue is they become over angry outside, and begin to imagine the worst scenarios that may occur.

Having explained the issue, what about the best way to tackle it? I feel the most appropriate way to manage the toilet phobia issue, is to go out, possibly alone, to avoid embarrassment of friends, and so on, and go to a place you know, like your local shopping center. Then, ensure you know where the wash rooms actually are, and make a point of positioning yourself far away from them, but still knowing where they are, if you should need them. This way, you can concentrate on the next step, while putting your anxiety of them being inaccessible, aside.

The best thing to do is ensure that you are aware of the difference of when you actually need to go, because your bladder is full, versus your anxiety telling you that you must go. Given 'reflective time', you will know the difference. To explain this point further, it is usually the anxiety of being embarrassed in a public, social situation, instead of you not having control of yourself. Here, understanding the difference, and practicing in this way, will help you better manage your anxious thoughts, and in time, over them as well.

In the event that you should start to feel apprehensive or feel the fear looming, simply acknowledge to yourself that the fears are OK. By accepting them, they will soon pass. The fear becomes a problem when you actually try to deny it, as it is at that point, that the panic can set in. However, you know you have control of your body, and acceptance of the feelings will speed up their departure.

You may need to practice these 'outings' on a regular basis, but the feelings will dissipate and you will find that you can gradually introduce your friends into the social picture, and cope very well.

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Social Phobia Disorder – 4 Small Steps to Help You Overcome Shyness

If you are worried and think that you have a social phobia disorder then what you probably mean is that you are really afraid of any kind of social situation. You are uncomfortable being around other people in a social setting where you are expected to make conversation or small talk.

I understand exactly how you feel and have many time gone to great lengths to avoid such occasions.

But in doing this we are missing out on many of the good things in life. As soon as I began practicing these 4 small steps my self confidence increased dramatically. Now I am quite comfortable meeting others, even total strangers and actually enjoy the experience.

Here are the 4 small steps that I have found that work wonders.

  • Whenever you are out shopping, walking or anywhere really, just look up occasionally and smile at people. Rather than look down at the ground lift up your eyes and look around you instead. When a passerby looks towards you just smile at them and then look away. That is all! There is nothing more to it.
  • The next step to take is to practice smiling and sometimes greeting them by saying hallo or hi. Take a moment to see how that makes you feel. It feels pretty good does not it! Your confidence is beginning to grow.
  • Then you might want to try a more formal greeting such as good afternoon or good day. Notice that you are still not engaging in a conversation with them.
  • If however someone stops and wants to have a chat with you then just relax and listen to what they have to say. Smile again say Thank you or sometimes, see you later and off you go again.

Gradually you will find that you become much more relaxed about meeting people and what you once thought was a social phobia disorder changes into more of an excited feeling at the prospect of meeting new people.

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A Quick Take on Fears and Phobias

When one suffers from a fear or phobia, one may often not be aware of it. Neverheless, its existence can manifest itself in inexplicable anxiety and apprehension when confronted with a certain kind of object or a situation. Fear is something we experience consciously or subconsciously when we perceive something as harmful. Nature has provided us with the capacity to experience it so that we are able to defend and preserve ourselves in danger. This capacity is directly wired into our brains.

When confronted with a feared object or situation, the brain responds with feelings of nervousness, panic and often even exhilaration. These feelings come in a mysterious rush that is bought on by the body's production of hormones like adrenaline. This hormone prepares our bodies for the kind of response or effort that we are usually not capable of under normal circumstances.

However, fear is not only aroused in situations where one reasonably needs to protect oneself. Fears can also have no rational basis, even though the one experiencing it perceives the danger as very real and logical. This kind of an irrational fear response is typically referred to as a phobia and the key to overcoming phobias lies in identifying and understanding them. Treatment of phobias is important because irrational and persistent fears can give rise to high levels of anxiety, panic and obsession that stop the sufferer from leading a normal life.

There are many phobias that therapists find themselves treating in their patients. Hydrophobia, or the fear of the water, is one of them. Acrophobia (which is the fear of high places), claustrophobia (the fear of enclosed, cramped spaces) and arachnophobia (an irrational dread of spiders) also have a high incidence rate. Less commonly, patients require treatment for more esoteric phobias such as ophidiophobia (or the fear of snakes), ailurophobia (a fear of cats) or even triakaidekaphobia, which has been identified as the fear of the number thirteen.

The good news is that such irrational fears can be treated successfully with therapeutic intervention. As already stated, recovery from phobias depends on the therapist's skill in identifying them, and the patient's ability to stop denouncing their existence. Once this has been achieved, sufferers can certainly get rid of them and resume normal lives again.

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The Low-Down on Social Phobias

Most people have little problem with keeping their fears under control. However, another segment of unfortunates are plagued and overwhelmed by their fears – often to the point of being socially dysfunctional. This kind of syndrome is often referred to as social phobia.

Social phobias very impede social interaction. They feed on themselves, meaning that they are self-perpetuating in nature. People in the grip of social fears tend to associate outsiders and outside effects as harmful, leading to a gradual reduction in human interaction.

One of the most documented of social fears is agoraphobia, which is the fear of open spaces. Those who are afflicted by agoraphobia have great problems with leaving the confines of places that offer them a feeling of safety. The fear of speaking in public, ordering at restaurants, making use of common washrooms and filling out documents while others are watching are also common social phobias.

Socially debilitating phobias can be addressed in two ways – psychoanalysis and behavioral therapy – and both have a more or less equal complement of adherents. In psychoanalysis, therapy proceeds from the promise that many specific social fears originate from repressed memories and feelings from one's childhood. In other words, the patient represses memories or feelings associated with some traumatic event or experience. The fallout of these memories expresses itself in adulthood through a phobia.

In psychoanalytic treatment, the therapist deals with the patient on a one-on-one basis in order to detect such repressed feelings and memories, point these out to the patient and then help the patient to deal with them. When the repressions have been properly identified, it becomes easier for the patient to manage and often abandon a phobia. Psychoanalytic treatment works best with more mature patients who prefer one-on-one sessions to a group therapy setting.

Behavioral therapy addresses social phobias differently. In this treatment system, therapy is based on the assumption that fears are learned and accepted and that the patient can 'unlearn' them, as well. The therapist will aim to gradually expose the afflicted individual to the sources of the fear with the intention of desensitizing him or her to it. The patient begins to perceive the feared object or situation with gradually decreasing trepidation. This kind of treatment works very well in a group therapy setting, and is particularly well-suited for young children.

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