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How to cope with Phobia-related Disorder - CBT Kenya
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How to cope with Phobia-related Disorder – CBT Kenya

About Phobias

Phobias are diagnosable mental disorders. A phobia is an excessive and irrational fear reaction. The fear can be of a certain place, situation or object. Unlike general anxiety disorders, phobia is usually connected to something specific. The impact of a phobia can range from annoying to severely disabling. People with phobias often realize their fear is irrational, but they’re unable to do anything about it. They will often shape their lives to avoid what they consider to be dangerous. The imagined threat is greater than any actual threat posed by the cause of terror. Many people dislike certain situations or objects, but to be a true phobia, the fear must interfere with daily life.

What are the types and causes of Phobias?

Types of phobias

  • Social phobias involve a fear of social situations. Such phobias include an extreme and pervasive fear of social situations. In some cases, this fear may center on a very particular type of social situation such as public speaking.
  • Agoraphobia involves a fear of being trapped in an inescapable place or situation. As a result, the phobic individual may begin to avoid such situations. In some cases, this fear can become so pervasive and overwhelming that the individual even fears to leave their home.
  • Specific phobias involve the fear of a particular object (such as snakes or moths). Such phobias typically fall into one of four different categories: situational, animals, medical, or environmental.

Causes of phobias

Someone with a phobia understands that their fear is not logical. Still, if they try to squelch it, it only makes them more anxious. While there is no single known cause for phobias, they are thought to run in families, be influenced by culture and how one is parented
  • Genetic and environmental factors can cause phobias. Children who have a close relative with an anxiety disorder  are at risk of developing a phobia.
  • Distressing events, such as nearly drowning, can bring on a phobia. Exposure to confined spaces, extreme heights, and animal/insect bites can all be sources of phobias.
  • Age, socioeconomic status, and gender seem to be risk factors only for certain phobias. For example, women are more likely to have animal phobias.
  • Children or people with a low socioeconomic status are more likely to have social phobias. Men make up the majority of those with dentist and doctor phobias.
  • Some areas of the brain store and recall dangerous or potentially deadly events. If a person faces a similar event later on in life, those areas of the brain retrieve the stressful memory, sometimes more than once. This causes the body to experience the same reaction.
  • Another possible contributor to the development of phobias is classical conditioning. In classical conditioning, an individual responds to something that scares them by generalizing the fear of that specific thing.

A Word From Cbt-Kenya

Phobias can be a source of genuine and ongoing distress for an individual. However, they are treatable in most cases, and very often the source of fear is avoidable. If you think you may have a phobia, please seek out treatment from a licensed therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. You deserve to develop control of this fear, and you can with proper therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most commonly used therapeutic treatment for phobias. It involves exposure to the source of the fear in a controlled setting. Ways that individuals with a phobia can work toward overcoming their fears include talking about their phobia. Relaxation training alone has also been found to be effective in treating phobias. While some interventions, like sedating people who are phobic about getting dental work, may be useful in the short term

The therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative thoughts, dysfunctional beliefs, and negative reactions to the phobic situation. At CBT Kenya we have a qualified team of psychologists who are ready to have a talk with you. Get in touch with our psychologists on +254 739 935 333/+254 756 454 585, email us on info@cbtkenya.org or visit our website for more details.

Author: cbtkeadmin
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