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Phobia – The Know-How And Remedies

Almost all of us are afraid of something. It may be a person, a situation, an object or anything else. Fear and phobia are two terms that we link with the feeling of being scared. But are they the same?

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Scientifically, phobia starts where fear ends. Phobia is the clinical manifestation of fear that is categorized as a separate Anxiety Disorder and requires to be treated with different Types of Counseling; even if it’ starts out as free online counseling as mentioned in this article: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/get-free-online-therapy-should-you-use-free-counseling/.

For example, you are afraid of social gatherings. This is fear. But when this fear starts making you avoid important social functions and you feel an uncontrollable urge not to face people, this will surely be regarded as ‘phobia’.

Symptoms of Phobia

Phobia is way more severe than fear and requires professional guidance in order to recover. The symptoms of phobia are both physiological and psychological.

Physiological symptoms

  1. Sweating
  2. Rapid heartbeat and pulse
  3. Nausea
  4. Numbness of muscles
  5. Dry mouth

Psychological Symptoms

  1. Feeling anxious
  2. Wanting to run away from the situation/person/object that you fear
  3. The fear is beyond control
  4. The fear interferes with normal functioning, making the person preoccupied with thoughts about the object of fear.
  5. Feeling helpless when confronted with the object of fear.
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Types of Phobia

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) 5 has given 3 subtypes of phobia.

  1. Specific Phobia – It involves intense fear of specific things like dogs (cynophobia), heights (acrophobia), closed spaces (claustrophobia), etc.
  2. Social phobia – This involves intense fear of social situations and gatherings. The fear is unbearable and the sufferer deliberately becomes aloof from any social situation that would aggravate the fear.
  3. Agoraphobia – This is the fear for being in situations which are perceived hard to escape from.

 What causes Phobia

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There are several views about what causes phobia. While some researches emphasize on the role of upbringing and observational learning, some psychologists focus on the genetics and brain functions associated with developing phobia. No single cause is enough to make a person phobic – a combination of different factors are responsible, some of which are discussed below.

  1. Genetic studies suggest that anxiety runs in families. Those who have a family history of anxiety disorders are more likely to develop phobia than those who don’t.
  2. Phobia is often the result of observational learning. For example, a child who has always seen her mother scream at the sight of a cockroach, will grow up believing that cockroach is a thing to be scared of.
  3. There are also studies that indicate certain neurotransmitters like GABA, serotonin, and norepinephrine to be associated with causing anxiety disorders like phobia or OCD.
  4. Unresolved conflicts at the subconscious levels can also manifest themselves as a phobia.

 Healing phobia

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It is easy to criticize and make fun of the apparently illogical phobias. But for the sufferers, it brings huge distress and they feel helpless at the face of confronting their fear. Psychotherapy and medicine helps in a good prognosis and early diagnosis of phobia may result in complete cure. Some useful ways in treating phobia are discussed below.

  1. Medicinal treatment – Group of drugs called Benzodiazepines (anxiolytic drugs) are helpful in treating phobia. They balance the neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain and diminishes the effects of phobia on the person’s physical and mental health.
  2. Systematic Desensitization or Exposure Therapy –  This is the most popular technique of treating phobia. Here the person is slowly exposed to the object of fear and is trained to control his response. The therapist starts by making the person imagine the feared situation and progressively makes the client confront his fear under the therapist’s guidance. It is the most effective way of dealing with any phobia.
  3. Hypnotherapy – This is not a very conventional way for treating phobia nowadays. It is mainly used to help the person know his subconscious conflicts and help him fight with them to get rid of the phobia. Performed under the supervision of a hypnotherapist,  hypnosis uproots the cause permanently.

Phobia can have long-lasting effects in our lives. So never feed your fears ; face them, challenge them and never let your fear be bigger than your faith.

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The ABCD of Managing Depression And The Benefits of Group Therapy

 

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Psychotherapeutic methods like Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness, or Supportive Counseling are sometimes the best answers for depression management.

Depression is a condition that can be fully managed by a combination of psychotherapies, group therapy being an important one among them. People who suffer from depression often rely on ‘depression chat rooms’ where they have conversations with people who are in similar situation. This might not be the perfect replacement to speaking with a therapist, but it has proven helpful to an increasing number of people.

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Social Media Anxiety And Ways To Recover From It

 

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“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” – Erik Qualman.

Social media is the perfect way to communicate and keep in touch with friends. But the increasing need of being noticed and liked has created a vicious cycle whereby people are falling prey to. The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) or The Fear of Being Online (FOBO) are common concerns that social media creates.

Different sites facilitating Strangers’ Chat are in trend now which have some obvious adverse effects. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/chat/theres-no-harm-in-an-online-chat-with-strangers-or-is-there/. People have become so comfortable with virtual conversations that they feel anxious to get into real conversations. But this only generates from the fact that social media makes a person cut off from all real life communications and one tends to feel lonely. “There are a lot of patients that need to talk to somebody, “ says Dr. Barnett.

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Avoiding Depression While Supporting A Depressed Person

Source: aarp.org

We all want to be a support person to others especially for people who are very dear to us like our family and friends. But when times get rough and we want to provide support or take care of them, how do we avoid falling into the trap of developing depression as well? How do we keep our sanity despite the day to day challenge of handling and interacting with them? Here are some of the helpful reminders which can ease up the burden of taking care of people with depression. Continue reading “Avoiding Depression While Supporting A Depressed Person” »

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The Stigmas Surrounding Mental Health Disorders

Statistics and information made available by The World Health Organization show that mental health disorders are not uncommon and are widespread, yet, there are a large portion of individuals across the globe with mental health disorders who still fail to seek assistance and support due to the stigmas attached to these disorders. Mental health stigmas impose feelings of disgrace, shame on the individuals with these disorders and with the fear of being isolated or disgraced. Having to face judgment by others as well as being isolated by communities result in people not seeking professional assistance or support. In addition to the challenges of mental health disorders, having to endure the pressure and challenges resulting from these stigmas, while not having access to support will mean the individual will not find the balance needed to maintain good mental health, manage their disease and continue to live a happy, productive life. Continue reading “The Stigmas Surrounding Mental Health Disorders” »

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Confessions Of A Panicked Mind

 

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A typical Sunday for me in my twenties was to take a shower, hear mass and spend the rest of the day with my family and friends. I always look forward to Sundays when my mom would cook special meals for us and when surprise visits from relatives or friends take place. But there was one Sunday that I can never forget. A surprise visit that I wish never came.

It was the most cruel Sunday visitor.

I woke up one Sunday morning in October with a headache. Not the throbbing kind that I would usually get when I’m at work or when I would have to beat so many deadlines in one day. It was a dull, steady pain that I couldn’t tell where it’s coming from. The day went by and the headache didn’t go away.  When it was time to call it a night, as soon as I laid down the bed, it happened.

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Mental Health In The Workplace

 

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The workplace is one of the most diverse environments you will ever find and is one that encompasses a variety of races, gender, ethnic groups, age, personality and more. Finding balance starts with respect and the appreciation for these differences. But how does management deal with differences that are not physically or obviously visible like in the case of mental illness, one that already has such negative stigma attached to it? Continue reading “Mental Health In The Workplace” »

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Cultural Diversity And Mental Health Disorders

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It is safe to assume that with most medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, regardless of location across the globe or the cultural upbringing of the patient, symptoms of these illnesses are quite similar. In most instances, the treatment would almost be the same as well. This, however, is not the case with mental health disorders. Mental illness is received very differently among cultures, and the manner in which cultural differences impact the person with the mental illness adds to the challenges being faced by the individual. In communities where interactions between a various number of cultures have exponentially grown, addressing mental illness has become extremely difficult due to stigma. In some, these illnesses can’t even be talked about without bias.

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How Mental Health Affects Families

 

 

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Dealing with the changes and unpredictable behavior of a loved with a mental health disorder can be stressful and may leave family members feeling stressed and anxious. Seeing and dealing with the symptoms and effects of the disorder on someone we care for is a frightening and exhausting experience and could leave us at a loss on how to handle the situation.

The lifestyle changes and adjustments needed to ensure good mental health are changes that need to be made not only by the person diagnosed with the disorder, but the need to adjust extends to those around them as well. Family life can become unsettled, unpredictable and challenging but the key to finding balance starts with understanding and acceptance.

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therapy-is-not-just-for-the-mentally-unstable-2

Mental Health Disorders And Discrimination

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Mental health stigmas give rise to discrimination. Discrimination results in the unfair treatment of people with mental health disorders. It can take on many forms and these include:

  • Direct discrimination
  • Discriminating against disability
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Harassment and Victimization

Regardless of the form the discrimination takes, the result and impact are the same. They deny people access to services, employment, housing and mental health treatment due to social and cultural stigmas. In some instances, this discrimination takes on the form of harassment, violence, and victimization. As a result, people are often denied their basic human rights.

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