What is a Phobia?
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that causes an individual to experience extreme, irrational fear about a situation, living creature, place, or object.
The person will experience intense distress when faced with the source of their phobia. This can prevent them from functioning normally and sometimes leads to panic attacks. The individual is often aware of the phobia, however, the root cause (what caused this phobia) is often unknown. The response of the individual to the extreme fear/phobia is not in his/her control.
The phobia becomes diagnosable when a person begins organizing their lives around avoiding the cause of their fear. It is more severe than a normal fear reaction. People with a phobia have an overpowering need to avoid anything that triggers their anxiety.
How does phobia or extreme fear impact the life?
The person with a phobic response often finds ways to avoid the situation or feels anxiety. This results in helplessness, impacts the quality of life of the individual and his/her family and makes the person “feel out of control”. Some of the cases I have worked with include the fear of not progressing in exports related job (due to the person’s inability to travel), extreme frustration at not being able to travel overseas for business trip (again due to fear of flying and claustrophobia) or stressful situations (since children teased this mother due to her extreme fear of lizards). In some cases, young adults, with multiple phobias develop some form of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) which – upon elimination of phobias – was eliminated !
The phobias can be simple (fear of lizards, fear of water) or can be very complex (multiple phobias resulting in some form of inability to live normal life or some subtle phobia such as fear of evenings resulting in displaced priorities of life impacting quality of life and relationships).
Case studies: Phobia:
This person’s quality of life, relationships (with child, parents) was in a mess since he would take priority calls based on the unusual fear/discomfort he would face in the evenings. He would avoid going back to home from office and also would not be able to focus on his work at the office. The relationship with family members was also at the nadir (and could only get better from that point !).
In another case, the individual was afraid of water. Upon further coaching, the extreme fear was related to fear of drowning. The results were fantastic and the person not only could jump into river (of course with life jacket) but also did snorkelling !
Contact me if you need Life Coaching in this area.
Gunjan Trivedi (Life Coach)