Fears & Phobias
Fear is an emotional reaction to something that may cause one pain or danger. It’s a universal emotion that everyone has experienced at some point. Fears can develop from both personal unpleasant experiences, hearing of another person’s accounts, and by modeling. Examples being:
- Unpleasant experience- going to the doctor and getting a shot
- Another’s account- reputation of a mean boss or teacher
- Modeling- fear around Covid-19 from people’s responses
The part of our brain that controls fear is called the amygdala. The amygdala helps your body facilitate appropriate responses to things in your environment, especially those that trigger an emotional response. When the amygdala is heightened and senses danger, people respond in one of three ways: fight, flight, or freeze. On average, it takes roughly 20 minutes for one to return to a calm state after being triggered.
There is such a thing as a healthy amount of fear. For example, fear of failure will cause one to put forth effort to succeed. Fear of poor physical health leads people to eat healthy and exercise. It is when fear increases to the point when it impedes one’s everyday life is when it becomes a phobia.
Phobias are intense irrational fears of something, someone, or event. Phobias can cause a person to be in distress which can lead to panic attacks. According to Medical Health Today, 19 million people in the United States have a phobia.
Here is a list of symptoms someone with a phobia may experience:
- Increased heart rate
- Body sweats
- Body shakes
- Feelings of blackout or fainting
- Difficulty breathing or choking feeling
- Cloudy vision
- Butterflies in stomach feeling
Phobias are a diagnosed mental health disorder that can be helped through individualized counseling techniques. Meaning, there is not a blanket cure for each person experiencing a phobia which is why seeing a professional therapist is pivotal in the healing process. Please reach out to our trained staff at Crossroads Mental Wellness Center today to begin your journey towards healing.