Phobias affect an estimated 10 million people in the UK alone. For those who suffer, the results can be crippling, with the fear often impacting upon the individual’s everyday life. Anyone, regardless of their age, sex, social background, etc., can have a phobia, and there is a vast array of variations upon the condition out there.
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, and symptoms can lay dormant until the sufferer comes into contact with the source of their fear. Many go to huge lengths to construct their daily lives so as to avoid the thing that scares them so much. When they do have to come face to face with their fears, or sometimes even at just the thought or mention of them, they can experience symptoms such as nausea, excessive sweating, dizziness, an increased heart rate and an upset stomach. The feeling of being scared amongst those with phobias is generally irrational and uncontrollable, and generated from the subconscious. Fear is a function to keep us alert to any danger so we can protect ourselves but, in phobic individuals, it can materialise in situations where there is no real threat present.
Different forms of phobias
Phobias fall into two distinct types – direct and indirect.
A direct phobia is distinguished by an individual who can trace the routes of their fear back, perhaps to a specific incident. For instance, someone who is phobic of dogs may know this came about after having been bitten by one as a child.
Someone who suffers from an indirect phobia has no recollection of any reason for being scared, and this kind of condition can, therefore, be more complex to get to the root of and to treat.
Hypnotherapy is the answer
Treatment is available in the form of hypnotherapy. A clinical hypnotherapist will firstly assess whether their condition falls into the direct or indirect category before deciding upon the right course of treatment.
It is a very relaxing process, and at no point will a therapist expose their client to what it is they are afraid of. After lulling them into a deep state of hypnosis, he or she will take them into a state in which they are able to explore what has triggered off their fears and better understand them.
For those with indirect phobias, a procedure known as regression hypnosis can be used, where the hypnotherapist will help the patient access repressed memories. By doing so, they can then identify what caused the problem in the first place and deal with it from there.
Treatment has a very high success rate and can often be a permanent solution.