Jan 13

Have you been scared lately? If your fears come back again and restrict your daily life, this could be a phobia, a specific form of anxiety disorders. The main symptom of a phobia is an intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, objects, animals or people – but usually this fear is irrational, and often there was no specific previous experience that could have triggered the phobia. Phobics often try to the utmost to avoid the fear-prone situations – often to such an extent that their fear begins to interfere with daily life and increasingly dominates their thinking.

A former client would feel uncomfortable in normal social situations such as parties or business meetings and tried to avoid them if possible. Also, the eating and drinking in public was a problem for him and led to great internal stresses. This special form of phobia is called ‘social phobia’, as it relates to other people or social situations. Performance anxiety (the fear of giving speeches or performing on a stage), is something that affects many people and also a form of social phobia.

The difficulty to get rid of phobias is that rational explanations and efforts of relatives and friends almost never help, but sometimes even increase the internal pressure. Also, ‘exposure therapy’, which is a popular for TV shows on the topic -, showed only limited long term success for most people. Good success, however, can be achieved with modern psychotherapeutic approaches, like methods of hypnotherapy and solution-oriented counseling. In severe cases of phobia, medication can help get started in therapy and counseling. Thereafter, continuous work on the problem is crucial to avoid falling back into the old patterns of fear.

(This short article is part of a weekly series dealing with psychological expat problems and general mental health issues and was published in various newspapers and magazines in Thailand, 2011)

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Post a comment