Sunday, December 12, 2010

Is Your Fear Really A Phobia?, by Kimberly Hawthorne, C.Ht.

Is Your Fear Really A Phobia?,  by Kimberly Hawthorne, C.Ht.

A lot of people don’t realize that a fear and a phobia are not the same thing.  Fears are based on some negative experience that is grounded in reality.  Let me give you an example of what I mean.  When I was 10 years old I almost drowned in the pool at the neighborhood community center.  If it hadn’t of been for my best friend, Ivy Hill, I probably wouldn’t be typing this message right now.  She saw me struggling in the water and pulled me to safety. 

Ever since that day I have had a fear of swimming pools and large bodies of water.  I can be around them but I don’t necessarily want to get in them.  I even have anxiety when my sons are swimming or at the beach.  My fear of the water is one that is understandable because of the near death experience I had when I was 10 years old.   It is a fear that causes me anxiety.

A phobia causes anxiety as well, but it is not grounded in reality.  A person suffering from a phobia has anxiety but can’t really explain why.  Something triggers the person and they experience anxiety and panic attacks.  It is very frustrating for the person experiencing the panic attack because there seems to be no logical reason why they are reacting in such a way.

I was at a baby shower a few years ago and a young lady was telling me that she suddenly became terrified of flying in planes.  This is a young woman who was used to flying for her job and would fly from the west coast to the east coast several times a month.  For some reason on one of the flights she experienced a panic attack and felt like she was going to die.  Since that scary flight she’s had terrible anxiety around flying.  You can just imagine what type of effect this had on her career and on her personal life.

I always explain to people, “If your fear or phobia causes you to have a lower quality of life, it’s time to seek help.”

There are people out there who haven’t seen loved ones in years because the thought of boarding a plane completely paralyzes them.  There are people who are so terrified to drive on the highway that they spend extra money on gas and use valuable extra time driving surface streets to get to and from work every day.  And taking the stairs is great.   But, if you can’t apply for a job because their offices are on the 35th floor of a high rise, it’s time to gain control over your elevator phobia.

Conquering fears and phobias is possible.  Hypnosis is a wonderful tool you can use to move past them.  If you remember, hypnosis is concerned more with your subconscious mind than your conscious mind.  The subconscious mind doesn’t know how to take a joke.  What you tell or suggest to it will manifest as reality.

A qualified hypnotherapist will first gain knowledge as to whether your anxiety is fear-based or phobia-based.  Once that is discovered the appropriate therapeutic approach should be taken.  Part of that therapy should include giving the client an anchor for coping with future triggers and using hypnotic suggestions that reinforce the soon-to-be new behavior of the client.

I hope this was helpful.  If you are not sure whether your anxiety is caused by a fear or a phobia, I’d love to hear from you.  Feel free to post your questions and comments.


A. said...

Interesting and wonderful. Love the look of your blog as well...

Thank you.

Kimberly Hawthorne, C.Ht. said...

Thanks A. Can't wait to check out your blog.