The theme this week is “Fears and Phobias”. We all have fears to face in life. Even your friend who says that he or she is afraid of nothing. We all have something of which we are afraid.
Fear – an increase in the level of stimulation causing both physical reactions (increased perspiration and muscle tremors) and psychological reactions (racing thoughts, self-doubt and thoughts of impending harm). At it’s worst, a fear can enable a ‘fight or flight’ response. This is a very natural human response to feeling threatened. We either get ready to fight and defend or flee. The last option is to freeze up. This is innate and goes way back to early human existence.
Fears are usually grounded in the rational. In other words, we usually have some reason to be afraid of the thing in question.
E.g., I am afraid of spiders because I was bitten by one while camping when I was little. It really hurt and took a long time to heal.
E.g., I am afraid of airplanes because the last time I was on one there was a lot of turbulence. The flight attendants looked scared too which made me really worried.
This is different from a phobia.
Phobia – an intense fear not rooted in the rational. These can lead to very intense reactions similar to that of a fear response noted above including the ‘fight or flight’ response. The main difference between a fear and a phobia is that the phobias do not usually have a rational reason to exist.
E.g., I am afraid of spiders. They are small and I have never been hurt by one…but I am still deathly afraid of them.
E.g., I am afraid to go on an airplane. The likelihood of a plane crash is very low. Air travel has come a long way and it is deemed very safe. The security measures are more than sufficient. All that being said, I break into a cold sweat on the thought of an airport!
E.g., I am afraid of spaghetti. It makes my skin crawl and I can’t even watch someone eat it. Sometimes I can’t go to certain restaurants if they serve spaghetti on the menu.
All humans have some sort of fear. Not all humans suffer from phobias. Phobias can be crippling and can have negative effects on one’s life. Having a phobia is usually co-morbid with other psychological conditions although they can exist on their own.
Do you have any fears or phobias?
Please share your experience with us.
Here are two links connected to this post; Please click here for an article in Psychology Today’s Articles about Phobias.
Click here for a link to
The Challenge – Week of November 26th.
Are you ready? Here we go! Your challenge is to guess what fear is involved with each phobia listed below. No Cheating OK!
Whoever gets the most correct will win the “Happy Pack”. Have your answers in by noon on Sunday, December 2nd!
You can do it! You have nothing to lose.
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Please let any comments, and feedback. All is welcome.
BE AFRAID. BE VERY AFRAID – PART 2
Everyone is afraid of something. Sometimes these fears are grounded in a rational motive in preserving one’s health (like avoiding a bad habit like smoking out of fear of cancer). Other times, these fears are not grounded by rational thinking; rather they exist within the realm of irrational thought. One may be afraid of
Moreover, when one has a fear that is based in the irrational realm and it is long-standing, causes severe anxiety or negatively affects how one lives one’s life, then that becomes a problem. This can become a phobia.
One can learn to face their fears (and phobias) and overcome them. Once a fear has been defeated, it will no longer hinder the formerly afflicted person from achieving life goals.
This may not seem like a new or ground-breaking idea but consider a person who has a fear of speaking to those in authority. This will keep the person from going to job interviews or speaking to his or her superior, hence never moving upward in the world.
Some common ways of overcoming fears include:
- Exposure – in small increments, the fearful puts the feared item in close proximity. Each time he or she will be close to the item for long periods of time and then eventually the person must touch the feared item. While seeing and touching the feared item he or she must use strategies to remain calm. Eventually, the stress response reduces and over time the fear will too.
- Hypnosis. There are various recorded hypnosis products that promise to help the reader/listener to overcome common fears.
- Talk Therapy. This method involves talking to either a professional or a friend (who is willing to listen objectively) about the experienced fear. The hope is that through the conversation, coping strategies can be realized and fear can be reduced through rational thinking.
Face your fears and remember to Eh! Be Positive.