Phobias and Anxiety – How to Overcome Them

“With your thoughts you create your world” said the Buddha. I did not realize the depth of truth in this statement until experiencing it first hand in my life. You have always heard people tell you to be positive. Well, the condition of anxiety and social phobia was something that had developed through years of negative reinforcement. I was negative towards myself to the point that self-bullying had become a passing subconscious feeling: “What is wrong with you?” Egypt “You are stupid” or the expectation to fail in everything. It was also towards others -thinking everyone wanted to wrong me – like I was a universal bulls eye and purpose of creation was to humiliate me. The negativity oozed out into social situations where I felt everyone was looking at and judging me negatively. This led to avoidance of social situations and reinforced the belief of negative jurisdiction by others, which eventually developed into a phobia. The extent of this phobia was severe. It was difficult to even do small tasks around another person. Everyday life was literally hell. Standing in queues to buy groceries was impossible. Even sitting at home, I would be gripped by anxiety as the mind anticipated situations it dreaded. There is no need to go into details of life as a phobic. If you are reading this I assume you have some experience or knowledge it.

Fear is like a prison where the prison cell keeps shrinking. Avoidance of situations puts restrictions on life and fear starts creeping in other situations until living a normal life becomes very difficult. It is like a python that takes your life with every breath. A change was needed – not because I had grand ideas of improving myself or becoming a better person – but because it was no longer possible to survive with this debilitating condition.

A realization came that all phobias have the same pattern. A full-blown panic attack starts when a 'mental barrier' is crossed. The panic is felt because the mind believes it is trapped and there is danger . Of course, it is natural to panic when you believe there is no escape from an impending danger. Panic is body's preparation for physical confrontation or for running away – what science calls the 'fight or flight' response. The thing is that every time you avoid or run away from a situation, the negative belief strengnthens. This makes it more difficult to deal with the same situation next time and explains the increasing hold of fear on life. So, how do you change this? It is quite difficult to change your belief system overnight. Even though you know there is no danger, still you believe it is there. You need to weak negative beliefs by reversing the process that makes them strong – ie stop avoiding and running away . That's it! Face your fears! How many times have we heard that? It is that simple. I know this is easier said than done but there is a strategy you can use to do this.

Firstly we need to understand what fear does. When you cross the mental barrier (“point of no return” – usually characterized by catastrophic thinking like: “oh God! It's happening again”) and believe you are trapped and in danger, there seem to be three major physical symptoms that make it increasingly difficult to stay in the situation:

  • Holding of breath
  • Tensing the body
  • Hurrying out of the situation

These symptoms are reflexive in nature. This means fear causes them and they in turn increase fear – which means the panic gets out of hand pretty quickly. Remember our goal is to face the situation through to end. So if we are to stay put in the situation, we need to work to mitigate the symptoms. This means:

  • Keep breathing – no matter how it comes out, keep taking in oxygen.
  • Instead of tensing let the tremors come – let the body shake / tremors come freely. I am sure you are familiar with tremors associated with panic. Give them freedom to express themselves! You probably think everyone notices them. You might be surprised but most people are lost in their own thoughts and hard notice these things. It is very hard to notice when someone is having a panic attack. This is a fact.
  • Slow down – act / speak slowly and say to yourself “I can stay in this situation forever”. You are not trying to hurry. If you are, you are still avoiding the situation and reacting to fearful thoughts.

Notice the positive self-affirmation we use here – “I can stay like this forever”. You can use others through the process. Here are two more I frequently use:

  • 'There is only discomfort – I am safe'
  • “I have all the time in the world”

Obviously keep these statements short, as it is easier to say them when in the middle of a panic attack. These statements have a subconscious effect that might not be visible straight away. As you practice the method and become calmer in situations, you will see the statements passing through your mind without effort and the calming effect will become more visible. There is another important thing you need to know. People who have a phobia usually believe that anxiety escalation in a panic attack is limitless. Reality is not quite the same (it might come to you as a shock). Panic attack does have an end – your mind will calm down . As you face the situation, you will see anxiety levels rise. But, if you stay in it for a while, you will see them fall back down again. You will become calmer and focused. However, this usually happens in waves – the anxiety goes up, then down, then up again and so on. Remember you are up against beliefs with a deep subconscious penetration. As you face a situation properly, your mind initially calms down but then maybe rise again (sometimes within a few seconds). You should follow the method again until you are out of the situation (without hurrying – take your time).

Do not be discouraged if you 'feel' it is not working. This is your negative attitude at work. Try to keep a positive outlook as much as possible (I totally understand this is quite difficult sometimes). It will take time and you can not expect overnight results. You have to unravel years of negativity. When you try this at first, you might feel quite exhausted and physically and mentally stressed. It may seem you feel worse than you did before. This is a very important and necessary part of the process and we will come to it in a while. To give you some perspective, I have been practicing the method for over a year now and actually did not start seeing major results until the eighth month! However at this moment in time, I am at a stage where I feel comfortable with my life. Everyday tasks do not seem daunting and I do not feel like a prisoner. Obviously, there are still certain situations that I dread but I am taking steps to face these and do not feel afraid to be afraid (if you know what I mean). The bottom line is, progress will most likely be non-linear – meaning you might not see results for some time but then you see a burst of progress. For eg over the last year, my fear of eating with my colleagues in the canteen at work did not improve. I always felt anxious and dreaded while walking to the canteen. It appeared there was no progress. Surely, I should have made some in one year! However, after 14 months, one day, I was no longer afraid! The anxiety went away! To be honest, there are still episodes when I get a flash of anxiety. But I am sure this will go with time. Non-linear progress also means difficult situations you thought you had overcome, come back and haunt you again. This is perfectly OK and natural. Remember, you are facing your subconscious beliefs. They are engrained deep in your mind and it takes some doing and time to transform them completely. However it will not take a lifetime to get to a point where you feel your life has transformed. Have patience and face your fears – it will come. Believe me, once you break through one mental barrier, you will get hooked. When you gain a particular situation and stand calmly while in it, you will feel indescribable joy. It's like a bird freed from a cage.

Let consider the stressful state experienced immediately after confrontation a challenging situation. What is that all about? To understand this, you need to realize that the mind suppresses memories / emotions from a traumatic experience that are too painful. In order to protect itself from feeling them, it develops mental barriers against similar situations. The phobia is a result of this. Now when you break this barrier and face fear, these memories are released into your consciousness. This manifests itself as stress. The stress needs to be felt and underlining emotion expressed – whatever that may be. So go into a room and make sure that no one disturbs you. Be comfortable, take a few deep breaths and let go of your mind. If you feel sad – then cry. If you feel angry then visualise screaming at who / whatever situation that comes to mind. Practice deep breathing (see below) in between screams. The aim is to let go of yourself and the mind so memories can be assimilated, emotions felt and expressed and acceptance can be achieved. These are few exercises I use to 'clean' the mind:

  • Deep Breathing: In-breath needs to be as deep as it can go and held to a count of 3. Then released with slow out-breath. Repeat a number of times. After few moments, you will feel relaxed.
  • Visualising: Imagine the situation of fear that has 'upset the system'. Feel objects in your imagination (this makes exercise more real) for eg feet touching ground or coldness of air or hand holding the grocery basket. Now, feel the anxiety you felt (this should be fresh enough in your mind as you are still feeling its after-effects). Let out the anxiety eg mentally scream (hear your sound and the people being shocked / scared – I even imagine windows blowing up – more powerful the scream or action is, the heavier the bulk of emotions that are released). Sometimes I imagine picking up a car (with my bare hands!) And throwing them 100/200 metres! Not physically possible, but the result is amazing! Especially as the car hits the ground. I feel a release – characterized by a very deep in-breath followed by a slow long out-breath where you feel the tension flowing out.

These techniques should bring back your composition and peace of mind after the initial hectic shock to your system.

I believe this method can be used not only to cure phobia but also in other things. We can now begin to understand that negative behavior patterns (apart from fear) can be seen as a 'mental barrier' that the mind develops in order to suppress painful emotions. For eg a boy who was bullied at young age, becomes a bully. The mind creates a barrier by placing itself in the role of a bully rather than the victim to keep unresolved memories suppressed. The urge to be a bully is very strong and hard to resist. He does not want to accept himself as a victim. If he realizes this and overcomes the 'barrier' (by changing his behavior – ie not being a bully), he will release those painful memories. As he comes out of denial of his emotions, realization comes, then expression of the feelings and then acceptance. Every time you free yourself from an issue or undo an emotional knot, you will notice an automatic change in your behavior – it becomes more positive – without effort. As you express hidden emotions, the mind no longer needs to impriminate itself behind barriers – resulting in passive positivity. If by getting over one hurdle you feel such liberation and change in life, just imagine what level you might reach with lifetime of practice – there is no limit! Remember, behind all negative behavior, there are hidden unresolved issues screaming to be resolved. Be negative and your life will become miserable. Free yourself and you will become positive effortlessly!

Rumi says: “Your task is not to look for love but to look for and remove all the barriers you have created against it”

Good Luck!

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How to Overcome Fear of Doctors – Cure For Phobia of Doctors

People fear doctors because of an underwriting anxiety about disease and, extremely, death. Rationalally, they are aware that the doctor is a medical professional, that his or her job is to prevent disease and death – not cause them. Yet, panic and phobia do not operate upon rational principles. Doctors remind people of the threat of disease, and, for some, that association is enough. Others are afraid of having to stay at the hospital, or having to undergo complicated and invasive medical procedures, such as surgery. As far as these peoples' unconscious minds are concerned, the mere act of visiting a doctor – rather than actual illness – is what “causes” surgeries and hospitals. The people know that this is an inaccurate picture of reality, yet often their fear, or even phobia, of doctors persists.

The Consequences of Fear

This dread of visiting the doctor can have recourse, or even tragic, consequences. Those who are anxious about visiting medical professionals will often neglect to get regular checksups. People with serious doctor phobias will even find reasons to avoid visiting the doctor when there are plain symptoms of illness. They will tell them that they are “fine,” that that growing lump on their shoulder is nothing to worry about. Tragedy can strike if these people continue to avoid the doctor while the lump grows to the size of a baby's head. When their friends and family finally drag them in for medical attention and discover that the lump is a now-inoperable tumor, the situation is twice tragic because it could have been avoided.

Impact Beyond Onself

One of the biggest problems with phobias is that they can be passed on through the generations. Offspring can inherit their parents' unhelpful attitude towards the medical establishment at an impressionable age. Children are very sensitive to subtle cues in their parents behavior. Even if the parent does not say anything, children can pick up on their parents' distrust of doctors – and start acting on that distrust.

Do not Fear Doctors A Moment Longer

The fact is, doctor phobia – irrational though as it is – is far from harmless. No doubt, it seems easier not to deal with one's anxieties. After all, if you suffer from doctor phobia, the immediate effect of ceasing to see the doctor is greater peace of mind. But that peace of mind is an illusion. It is an illusion from which it is your moral duty – to yourself, and to your children – to break free.

NLP And Hypnotherapy Root Out Phobias

Unfortunately, if you have a truly entrenched fear, merely confronting the object of your fear (ie going to the doctor) is not enough to rid yourself of the fear. If you find the prospect of visiting the doctor unbearable, you're probably simply able to go through the agony of visiting one time after time. The source of your doctor phobia absolutely does not lie with your medical practitioners; it lies in your unconscious mind. Fortunately, the psychological techniques of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and hypnotherapy address your fears at their unconscious source, ensuring that you'll never have to fear doctors again.

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How to Overcome Dental Phobia – Fear of the Dentist Cured Easily

Most people have experienced a mild form of “dental phobia” at some point in their lives. Or, to be more accurate, most people have been, at some point in their lives, afraid of going to the dentist, without developing full-blown phobias. Even a simple tooth cleansing can cause a great deal of anxiety and fear, especially among young or first-time patients. The teeth are an intimate, vulnerable part of one's body: they're lodged in the face, and they feel like bone. Teeth are different from skin. They protrude outside, yet they're part of one's body's core. Plus, the effects of dentistry have not always been as safe or painless as they are today. Expressions such as “it is like pulling teeth” testify to the horrors of dental operations before effective anesthetics.

Fear Turns To Phobia

As modern dental techniques rarely cause serious difficulty or pain, many people have learned to overcome that initial fear. In others, that natural fear of dentists has developed into a full-blown phobia. Several factors can cause the transition.

First, although anesthetics and modern medical equipment have made tooth work significantly faster and less painful than in the past, some operations do involve some amount of discomfort and pain. If you're a child going to the dentist for the first time, and already expect a painful experience, any discomfort that you do experience will corroborate your expectations. A child who's had a negative first experience at the dentist will obsess over the perceived pain he or she has suffered at the dentist's hands. This pre-existing dread will make unique visits even more unpleasant for the growing child, until – potentially – a full-scale phobia developments.

Loss Of Control

Second, the experience of sitting in the dentist's chair can be unsuitable from a psychological, rather than physical, standpoint. Even a simple procedure such as getting one's teeth cleaned requires the patient to lie, helpless, immobile, and almost horizontal, on a giant, reclining chair. The angle at which the patient lies in the chair – and, indeed, every aspect of the dental experience – is in the control of an all-powerful masked and gloved figure who towers above the prone patient. This temporary lack of control is enough to make even the most stalwart patients uneasy. For some people, it is the stuff of nightmares.

Stop Dental Phobia Now

Sigmund Freud, who has contributed greatly to our understanding of phobias, believed that the first step to helping those who suffer from crippling fears is to understand the cause those fears. Unfortunately, this “first step” takes years of conventional psychotherapy. What if you can not wait that long? Fortunately, 20th and 21st century NLP and hypnotherapy techniques can often yield significantly faster results.

How NLP And Hypnotherapy Help

NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and hypnotherapy techniques can be used to eradicate phobias irrespective of their underlying cause. If someone has a pervasive, irrational fear of the dentist, chances are his or her past past experiences have ended up “programming” that person on an unconscious, neuro-linguistic level.

NLP and hypnotherapy work quickly because they do not ask the patient to root out the specific experiences that now result in a fear response whenever anyone, for example, broaches the subject of dental work. Instead, these techniques ask the dental phobia sufferers to “re-experience” their fear of dentists in a controlled environment – and then work to teach them new responses, other than fear.

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How to Cure My Fear of Flying – Self Hypnosis – You Overcome Flying Phobia

Phobia of flying can be debilitating, especially if travel is a regular part of your life. Your fear and anxiety about being on an airplane are significant and should not be repressed. You can overcome being afraid and the next time you fly; you will be as calm as the pilot or someone with a background in aviation.

Assessing Your Flying Phobia

The first step is to consider the severity of your fear. Being afraid of flying has different levels of intensity and you may find that your fear is developing into a phobia. There are some signs that this is occurring and it is important to catch this process before it gets out of control.

When you are afraid, your body has natural responses to this state. You may feel an inner panic that swells as you approach an airplane. Your flight experiences are nothing short of painful. This fear is uncomfortable but it is manageable. When it becomes unmanageable, it has developed into a phobia of flying.

A phobic condition is very problematic because it interferees with your daily life. You avoid going places because of the intense fear and you become obsessed with your fear of flying. When your frightfulness gets in the way of your ability to function, you have a phobic condition that requires attention.

NLP Treatment for Phobia

You can use neuro-linguistic programming to address this phobia wherever you have fear or a phobic condition. Even though your fear may be manageable, you really do not want to suppress these feelings. Your subconscious mind may become overwhelmed if you are constantly managing your fear.

Consider what it takes to manage something. You wind up cultivating the emotion by giving it attention and focus. You still feel the fear and anxiety but you control your behavior. This works against you in the end.

NLP helps you work through your fears and anxieties instead of repressing them. This approach is ideal because your behaviors change automatically because of your new thought processes. You begin by dealing with your thoughts.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming Phobia of Flying

Your phobic condition is manageable through various interventions but NLP and hypnotherapies can help you overcome this intestinal fear completely. This superior approach focuses on healing and recovery rather than control and regression. Letting go of the thought processes that lead to anxiety is the first step.

Consider the pattern that you experience with intense fear. You think about airplane travel in ways that develop fearful emotions. The fear and anxiety build up inside the subconscious and conscious realms of your mind, leading to physical responses that seem impossible to control. Your mind and your body create automatic responses to the situation.

You have the same feelings of fear when you simply think about flight. This is very problematic because you are completely overwhelmed with the emotional state. This is a direct result of your thought processes.

The only difference between you and the pilot is your perspective on flight and airplanes. You can take a new perspective with realistic thought processes that lead you to feel calm when you are taking a trip. You can overcome your phobia of flying.

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Far Out Phobias – The Weirdest Things People Are Afraid Of

It's perfectly normal to be afraid of something. We're all afraid of something. Some are afraid of cockroaches and others feel a little queasy when they're in high places. But some things people are afraid of simply boggle the mind. There are fears so irrational that you sometimes wonder how these people got to fear the things they do. And you are sometimes left in awe of the power of the human mind and how it can influence our behavior.

Here are some of the weirdest phobias that overlook people. It may be difficult for some people to go through life with these inhibitions and fears. But many of them do! But it seems hard to think of living with these kinds of conditions:

– Thaasophobia: This is otherwise known as the fear of sitting. Other than being a very tiring phobia, this can get you in some discomfort in social events. The only time you should really be afraid of sitting down is when people are strapping you into the electric chair or for lethal injection. Otherwise, it's perfectly OK!
– Phronemophobia: Fearing things like death or even worms are pretty much normal things to be afraid of. But when you fear something like thinking, it becomes pretty odd, not to mention pretty difficult since a lot of things we do everyday have some sort of mental aspect to them.
– Chaetophobia: This is known as the fear of hair. It is not only a pretty strange phobia it is probably one of the more uncomfortable ones since it would probably involve you constantly shaving or waxing your body to be able to cope without. Sometimes it hurts just being a mammal.
– Anablephobia: This is the fear of looking up. Let's not get into the difficulties you could face with this one. Falling pianos, anyone?

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How to Stop Fears, Phobias and Anxieties

If you have phobias and anxieties, you may require support to help stop fears from overtaking your life. You can use a number of different approaches to guide you to success. Any anti-fear approach can be augmented with self-hypnosis.

Phobia

A phobia is a fear that has gotten out of control. Your fright is a natural, healthy response to threatening circumstances. Your body is very effective in keeping you out of danger when it uses this emotion. The physical effects are enough to encourage you to avoid dangerous situations.

When the natural protective emotion gets out of control, it develops into a phobia. You know you have this condition if you are constantly worried about running into your source of distress. Your feelings are irrational and overwhelming.

Phobias interfere with your ability to function normally on a regular basis. You may avoid normal situations and you obsess over the fearful experiences. The very notion of facing the source of your phobia can cause you to feel great anxiety.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a response that you feel when you are overwhelmed with emotion and nervousness. Anxiousness and phobic state of mind can lead to feelings of panic that seem to come out of now. The anxiety and fearful responses are all encompassing, making it seemingly impossible to control.

Treatment approaches

You can use a few different psychological interventions to help stop fears before they get out of control. Even when the fearfulness develops into a phobia, there are steps you can take to work through them. Each approach can be complemented with self-hypnosis to maximize their effectiveness.

Desensitization is a great approach for dealing with phobic and frightful responses to situations, animals and objects. This systematic approach begins with you simply picturing your source of anxiety in your mind. Gradually, you are introduced to the object of fear until you can face it without feeling anxiety.

Cognitive therapy helps you retrain the way that you think about your source of distress. This approach uses your conceptual thoughts to work through your anxiety and phobic responses. Cognitive therapy is a process that takes reasonable time but it does yield excellent results.

Help Stop Fears Using Self-Hypnosis

Each approach can be augmented with self-hypnosis. This complementary approach is ideal because it supports you as you try to use your conscious mind to guide you to feelings of calm and relaxation, no matter what you face. Hypnosis creates a path to the subconscious mind.

Your subconscious is the hub of automatic responses like fearful reactions to certain situations or objects. Self-hypnosis works directly with the inner workings of your mind, easing you through your recovery process. This is the perfect complement to desensitization and cognitive therapy.

Both desensitization and cognitive therapy rely on your conscious mind to do the work. This can be counter productive if you subconscious mind is convinced that there is reason to be fearful. Self-hypnosis can help stop fears as an augmentative approach or independently.

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Fear of the Dentist – Overcome Dentist Phobia Now

Your phobia of dentist and dental procedures has been learned. You may have had a horrible experience when you were young. Perhaps your teeth cause you great discomfort even without entering the dentist's chair. No matter how your dental phobia began, there are ways to treat it effectively.

Phobia or Fear

You never hear anyone say, “Oh I can not wait for my next dental appointment.” No one really enjoys being poked and prodded with sharp metal objects. Novocain and needles are not appealing to anyone and the sound of the dentist's drill can be a great source of stress.

It is logical to assume that the vast majority of individuals are afraid to go to the dentist at some level. Where do we draw the line between a simple fear and phobia of dentist and dental procedures?

Fears are protective in nature. We need them to help us make sound decisions. However, fear that is out of control begins to lead us to make irrational decisions that can be very problematic. If your fear is bordering on pure panic, you may have a phobia.

Problems Phobia of Dentist Offices

Your oral health is of the utmost importance. This is the main concern that you should have if you have an overwhelming fear of dentists. You may neglect to have check-ups twice each year, worse yet, you may neglect to address serious teeth problems.

This neglect can lead to oral health problems that are difficult to fix. As your teeth become worse, you become even more appreciable to go to the dentist. This starts a horrible cycle that seems almost impossible to break, especially if you do not seek help for your phobia of dentist and dental procedures.

Medication

Some people feel that they have to be medicated before they can even think of entering the dentist office. This is not a very good approach for a number of reasons. Medication is problematic because it masks the underlying problem. You may make it through the appointment but the phobia of dentist is still looming.

When you medicate, you are unable to operate a vehicle. Someone has to take time out of his day to transport you. When you are finished with the appointment, the medication is still in your system. You are likely to lose an entire day just by having one dentist appointment.

Self-Hypnosis

Self-hypnosis is a viable solution because it addresses the underlying fears that you have learned to adopt into your psyche. The process helps you to relax and focus on the benefits of visiting a dentist as well as visualizing your success.

Remember that dentists want to help you achieve good oral health. Your ability to embrace a dental procedure with calm composition can make all the difference in your experience. Self-hypnosis can help you work through your phobia of dentist in order to achieve a healthy smile.

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Rape and a Snake Phobia – Can They Be Connected?

Rape can have a devastating effect on a person's life. Some of that effect can be easy to identify. It is not uncommon for people to have difficulty in sexual relationships, trusting, feeling an irrational sense of guilt, amidst may other things. How else can it affect a person's life? Can a rape also cause or be part of a snake phobia?

Ruth attended one of my EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) training courses. During one of those events she mentioned her snake phobia. It quickly became evident that somehow in Ruth's mind snakes, and an event in her life where she had been sexually attacked, were linked. Somehow the way the attacker had moved reminded her of a snake.

Trainings rarely provide sufficient time to fully explore an issue as was the case here. However we were able to work with the event she had stated and deal with it to such a point where she felt it no longer affected her. Relating that to her phobia, she found that she felt more relaxed around the idea of ​​snakes and how they moved. However, this was not the full story.

About a year later I revisited Ruth's snake phobia. She kindly volunteered to let me work further on it to see what else might be causing her problem. She also agreed that the session could be recorded so that others could learn more about how to use EFT.

Working with her phobia it quickly became evident that an early life event when she had been hospitalized at two years of age and had had tubes coming from her body was also linked to her snake fear. After clearing this connection using EFT, I asked Ruth to look at a snake. She had a book nearby with pictures in it. Opening the book up Ruth exclaimed, “hmm, unpleasant.” She went on to say, “….. I'm looking at the detail of them yeah? And their heads are a bit phallic really.”

It quickly became evident that when she saw the snake her mind was connecting it to an earlier event in her life when she had been rapped. Ruth had done a lot of work on herself regarding this event, though she still saw the rape itself vividly in her mind. We worked on this event until it faded from her mind and became more difficult to recall. Testing how she felt about snakes at this point gained a very different reaction from Ruth. She actually expressed an interest in reading about them. Within a week of this session Ruth visited a pet shop and was totally calm in the presence of a wriggling, bad tempered snake. In her own words she said, “The pet shop owner got it out of the cage and I was amazed at how pretty her black and white markings were. me off) and I asked how he knew. “He said because she was flicking her forked tongue out frantically.”

From the work that we did to clear Ruth's snake phobia it is very obvious that the earlier rape had been a key event in her life and was causing her fear of snakes. Although the two things were connected for Ruth, other snake phobias might have very different causes.

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Real and Permanent Cure For Social Phobia

I'm sure you've heard the news already: it's all over the blogosphere since BCC Health first broke the news. Yeah, this is about that nasal spray you sniff – and your social phobia is gone !

If you have not heard about this “latest and greatest” social anxiety cure yet, let me regurgitate the news in brief. It all started when scientists from Zurich University found that people who inhaled the hormone called oxytocin continued to trust strangers even after they were cheated on. That discovery, they say, could lead to future treatments for social phobia. It did not take long for a long-sales-letter type websites to appear selling the new wonder drug:

oxytocin.

It has been called “the love hormone”, “the cuddle chemical”, “the mind reading hormone” and “the trust drug”.

And for a reason.

It's the chemical that makes you feel what you're feeling during an orgasm. It is also produced during labor and it's responsible for the unique and unbreakable mother-child bond. When your brain is releasing oxytocin, you feel loved, relaxed and more open to trust – not only friends and lovers, but also strangers.

The Zurich University's study has found that oxytocin has a very specific effect in social situations: it seems to diminish fears. Lead researcher Dr Thomas Baumgartner thinks that a lack of oxytocin is at least one of the causes for the fear experienced by social phobics.

Brain scans show that oxytocin can lower activity in the amygdala – a region of brain that is responsible for feelings of fear and apprehension – and which is overactive in social phobics. So, yes – it's true: a sniff of oxytocin could improve readiness to engage in social interactions for people who suffer from social anxiety disorder by simply making them less fearful.

Then again, there are other things you can sniff to increase your confidence in social situations … Lots and lots of people who do not have social phobia consume alcohol for the same reason.

The problem is, such substances are indiscriminate in their effects: uncritical trust can be just as damaging as irrational avoidance.

Will this new drug heal us or kill us …?

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Combating Dental Phobia the Easy Way, How to Make the Whole Experience So Much Nicer!

How to beat nervousness at the Dentist. Modern Sedation Techniques, including easy needles!

I was really bad at going to the dentist. My mum used to drag me into the surgery attached to her heels. My old dentist still finds it funny that I followed the same profession as him!

I once had a really bad root canal filling. The anesthetic had not worked properly, the Dentist did not believe me when I said it was not numb, I could feel everything he was doing. I had to end this for 45 minutes, sweat dripping off my forehead.

From that day on I decided I was going to do everything possible to make sure that that never happens to my patients. I also made it my promise to offer ways to make Dental Treatment as easy as possible.

So firstly, before using any drugs, we make ordinary dentistry more pleasant.

  • After applying a numb gel to the gum to reduce the feeling of the needle, we use body temperature local anesthetic in needles so fine, you can hardly feel them.
  • We use slow injection techniques, going too fast causes pressure and pain.
  • For roof of the mouth injections, which I especially do not like having myself, we rub the skin for about 20 seconds. Try it yourself with firm pressure, you can make the surface go quite numb. The needle is then hardly felt.
  • We use anesthetic that penetrates so well, we do not often have to use those larger injections for back teeth, we can just put a little juice next to the tooth.
  • We make sure things are numb before we start. We test the gums and test the teeth to make sure there is no sensation.
  • Impressions stiff enough that they do not flow down the back of your throat. They also set quickly so you are not left with a mouthful of goo for minutes on end.
  • Sedation

    Using oral premedication like Diazepam, nitrous oxide gas or intravenous sedation are all great ways of making the whole experience better.

    The oral route is an easy way to reduce the feelings of anxiety. Often patients try this first before trying the deeper sedations.

    Nitrous Oxide Conscious sedation produces very nice levels of anxiety control. The patient is awake but feeling very happy (the joys of laughing gas) and much more amenable to treatment.

    The ultimate though is Intravenous Sedation. A very fine needle is put in the vein and within minutes relaxation sets in. IV sedation is great because a long session feet very short and the whoel experience is forgotten about afterward, so there are no memories.

    Because of this amnesia, we find each session getting easier and easier as anxiety is naturally reduced before each visit.

    We give the injections in the mouth after the patient is sedated, never before.

    For patients scared of needles, we can use Intranasal Sedation. A more concentrated formula of the drug is introduced into the nose using a device similar to a Vicks inhaler. Its takes a little while longer but get absorbs really well and produces sedation similar to IV. We still have to put a line in as the patient gets more relaxed, but the anxiety is already reduced.

    All three techniques discussed are really safe and used thousands of times a day across the country.

    We have carried out many procedures here and its got to a stage where we recommend these techniques to everyone. Why should patients have to be even remotely uncomfortable by Dentistry? There are procedures carries out in hospital that are unsuitable but not painful where IV sedation is routinely used as standard. Why cant dentistry be the same?

    If any of this has sparked an interest, speak to your Dentist!

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    Koumpounophobia – Button Phobia

    Phobia of buttons is an actual recognized phobia and has been given the name koumpounophobia. Nearly koumpounophobia affects 1 in 75,000 people.

    We're faced with buttons all the time. Even if it's not us wearing clothes with buttons on you're sure to soon meet someone that is. Even a trip to the shopping mall, that is quite often a pleasureable experience for most as you search for that perfect summer top to go with the jeans you bought in the sales last month or you're looking for something to spend your birthday vouchers on , either way it's supposed to be a fun time but for anyone with koumpounophobia it can be quite the opposite. Every turn you make there is a shop front decked out with this seasons new collection all with fancy buttons on the front; shiny ones, bright colored ones and all shapes and sizes. This sight can turn a koumpounophobic from a very normal person to a person with sheer terror. Their heart rate starts to pound, their body starts to shake and they start to go out of control. Of course it is not like this for every koumpounophobic as some have it slight but it still comes with its own problems.

    There are treatments available for koumpounophobia all with varying degrees of success but depends on each individual as to what works best as what works for one does not need to work for the other. Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and reiki to name but a few.

    So when you're next on your weekend shopping trip or doing up the buttons on your new shirt spare a thought for the people who find this task so difficult.

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    What Are Phobias and What is Emetophobia?

    Phobias are irrational fears from specific objects or situations. They affect people of all ages, from all walks of life, and in every part of the country. They are not related to self esteem, age, sex, race, social or economic status. They are among the most common of all mental disorders, and they are usually the most successfully treated. Phobic symptoms can occur through exposure to the fear object or situation, or sometimes simply thinking about the feared object can lead to a response.

    What Is The Connection Between Anxiety And Vomiting?

    Anxiety has a direct impact on the abdominal region. It can make people feel anything from a mild jittery sensation (butterflies in the stomach) to physically sick. Most people tend to get more anxious when they imagine they might vomit, and that worsens the sensation of anxiety, making it all the more likely to happen. The fear of getting sick makes the situation worse.

    What Is Emetophobia?

    It is the irrational fear of vomiting, being around others who are vomiting, and / or the vomit itself. Vomiting is not a pleasant experience for any of us but for somebody who is unfortunate enough to suffer with emetophobia, even the idea of ​​vomiting is absolutely terrifying.

    This extreme fear of vomiting, can affect just about every aspect of the life of the sufferer. It ranges from everyday considerations (choosing the safe food to eat) to more critical decisions (Avoiding situations that have even the slightest chance of making you sick).

    For Conclusion, it is possible to stop your fear of vomiting and return to a life not governed by your fears. We should try to keep in mind that vomiting is a normal part of being human that we need not avoid, worry about, or try to control. The good news are that emetophobia is treated very successfully in natural methods. Do not let your fears ruin your life, treat them and start living.

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    Causes Of Social Phobia Explained

    When an individual is extremely self conscious and also has extreme depths of anxiety regarding social situations, it is called social anxiety. It is also referred to as social phobia and is a disorder. These people constantly have the fear of being judged, watched or criticized. These people have such a great amount of fear that it does interfere with life at school, work, and any kind of social activity or even with everyday life. Most of these people do realize that the fear is something that is not really needed but are still not bale to stop it.

    Social phobia is also one form of phobia. A few people feel scared to drink or even eat in front of other people. Some of them do not speak in front of other people also. Some of the cases may be so severe that the person is scared to speak to another person. Physical symptoms develop in many of the cases of social phobia. They include blushing, sweating, talking with difficulty, palpitations, trembling, discomfort in the stomach and many more. It makes it very simple if they deal with these problems instead of worrying more about it.

    Social phobia may be caused due to many a reason. In may be because of the fact that it runs in the family. Therefore, the children get the same problems from their parents. It may also be due to alcohol dependence or due to depression. In women social depression occurs two times as much as men for reasons which we do not know. It may start at childhood or even at adolescence. It seldom begins at 25 years of age. Researches have been going on in this field to learn all the problems that are causing social phobia.

    Some of the researchers have been blaming the cause if these symptoms on a small structure present in the brain which is called amygdale. Our sense of fear is what is controlled by this amygdale. Another group of scientists believe that this social phobia is passed down from generation to generation. Yet another group of researchers say that the cause of this social phobia is due to a sensitivity that is very high to disability, it may also be based on physiological reasons or on hormones.

    The environment may be yet another reason for the cause of social phobia according to a few researchers. This may be due to something that happened to someone else in the same situation. It is called observational learning. This in other words is learning to be based on others around you.

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    Social Phobias And Anxiety Medication – Exclusive Tips For The Phobic Lot

    People having social anxiety disorders most of the times find themselves not having a peaceful life. People suffering from this condition can be plagued by fear of scrutiny, failure, rejection and even ridicule. These people move away from social situations and miss enjoying their lives to its fullest. The patients are often prescribed medications for social phobias anxiety to overcome the symptoms and continue with their lives. To make the symptoms at check, several levels of medication can be used to make a really big impact and this helps people to get their lives going on.

    In many cases, depression can also be treated using the same medications used for social phobias anxiety. Two of the major anti-depressants used for treatment of social phobias are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor anti depressants.

    SSRIs – The Understanding
    Medication for social phobias anxiety in SSRI type functions by stopping serotonin, a neurotransmitter from getting reabsorbed into particular cells of the brain. This ends up leaving more amount of serotonin in the brain. Issues with serotonin are being connected to depression and anxiety disorders.

    There are many brand names for SSRIs. Medication for social phobias anxiety such as Zoloft and Prozac are SSRIs

    MAOIs – The Understanding
    Similar to SSRIs, MAOIs function by inhibiting some chemical activity in our brains. MAOIs medication for social phobias anxieties prevails the breaking down of a chemical called monoamine, again leaving more of the chemical at the brain. This type of medication for social phobias anxiety is used for curing social phobias disorders, depression and many other types of mental health concerns.

    There are many numbers of names for MAOI drugs such as Nardil, Aurorix and Marplan.

    The Importance of Medications

    Medication for social phobias anxiety is just one part of an overall treatment for this condition. Social phobias can sometimes be left when left untreated but most of the times they might tend to become worse, because therapy and medication are both important.

    Therapy actually just gives the persuasion to the people having social phobias so that they are able to cope up and overcome the phobia. For people to cope up with the symptoms, medications are used, and so are they freer to undergo the needed therapies.

    The patients are also given exercise for building up their own esteem during therapies as it is crucial while tackling with social phobias.

    Medication for social phobias anxiety is considered priceless for treatment. Scrutiny, fear of rejection, failure and more plagues a person and makes him avoid interaction, and hence quality of life degrades. Using the right treatments, social phobias can be cured and people can regain control of life and enjoy it once again.

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    Phobias – What They Are and What You Can Do About Them

    Phobias are when someone has an irrational fear of a specific situation, object or activity.
    Examples are; fear of driving, fear of snakes, fear of public speaking, performance anxiety and stage fright. Sufferers recognize that their fear is out of proportion to any actual danger but are unable to control it or even explain it.

    Phobias are the most common form of anxiety disorder being present in between 9% and 18% of the population. Taken together phobias are the most common form of mental illness in women and the second most common in men over 25. Phobias in children are also quite common, severe errors are present in about 10-15% of children and specific phobias are found in about 5% of children.

    Types of Phobias

    There are three types of phobias:

    1. Agorophobia which is the fear of being alone or being in an open space.
    2. Social phobia, typified by the fear of embarrassing oneself in public.
    3. Specific phobia which is the fear of a single specific object such as fear of dogs or fear of heights.

    Causes and Incidence of Phobias

    The precise cause of most phobias is unknown, but it generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external and internal factors.

    Many specific phobias can be traced back to a specific triggering event, such as a traumatic experience at an early age.

    Social phobias typically begin in late childhood more complex causes that are not entirely known at this time. Most phobic patients have no family history of psychiatric disorders, although it is likely that heredity, genetics, and brain chemistry have some bearing on the development of phobias and together with life experiences these major factors are in the development of anxiety disorders, phobias and panic attacks.

    Signs and Symptoms of Phobias

    Phobia sufferers show all the signs of severe anxiety when confronted with the feared object or situation. Complaints of: dizziness, feeling ill, difficulty in breathing, dissociation from reality, a pounding heart and chest pains are common and are often accompanied by an unreasoning panic.

    A development of avoiding the objects of phobias is that this kind of behavior can lead to loss of self esteem which can in turn often reinforce the fear related to the phobia. Often this can further develop into depression.

    Treatment of phobias

    Specific phobias in children often resolve themselves as the child matures but Agorophobia and social phobias are usually chronic and have in the past been difficult to treat.

    New techniques to help sufferers break the fear producing links are appearing: including the use of virtual reality or imagery exercises, cognitive behavior therapy, hypnotherapy coupled with Neuro-linguistic programming and “the one move technique”.

    Drug treatment includes; anxiolytics, tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and serotonin reuptake inhibitors for Agoraphobia or social phobia. Gabapentin has been used for social phobia and beta blockers may help with performance anxiety.

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