Living With Phobias

Having one phobia or another is an isolating, overwhelming and debilitating feeling or experience for the people who have it. The intense fear that characterizes this condition makes people feel helpless and also that their world is falling apart. Phobias also restrict a person’s movements – a sufferer is very confused by the feelings and also powerless to do much about them. Most people lose faith that they will never recover to lead a normal life. There are many instances where people have got the right help and realize how wrong they are about living a normal life.

What People Face:

Many phobia sufferers have to deal with shame about their phobias and also stigma and discrimination from others around them. Very often, television and newspaper articles convey the wrong ideas about mental illness issues. Coworkers, some family and friends may back away from people with these problems – making phobia sufferers feel much worse about their problems.

How to Get Information and Support:

People with phobia problems do well when they get support from non-judgemental people who care about them. The best kind of support group is one where members have gone through similar issues – the group can see their potential and help them to overcome problems and live a fulfilled life.

Help is also available through counselors or psychiatrists. With support from friends and family, people with phobia issues are able to educate themselves and then make informed choices on treatment and managing their lives.

What to do When Seriously Troubled:

Some people with phobias may not be aware of the seriousness of their problems. They may also find it hard to ask for help – sometimes the easiest thing to do for such people is to just listen and support them through troubled times. It also makes them feel better when they are treated as equals and that people care.

How Recovery Works:

Quite a few people with phobias recover completely from their issues and go on to lead normal lives. Some others may have recurring episodes but with behavioral training and medications, a happy and fruitful life is very much possible.

Support Strategies:

  • One of the most important steps is to learn about one’s problems. Facing fears and the fact that there is a problem is the first step to recovery. Professional help is available to everyone at any time.
  • Contacting one’s primary care physician is a great idea as they will be able to recommend therapists as well as methods to overcome the problem. Some phobias may stem from a physical condition – the way to rule it out is to get a full physical. This way, problems can be handled.
  • Getting out of the house is also a good thing – especially for people who have agoraphobia. Enlist help from friends and family – they will be happy to help.
  • Relaxation techniques help to ease anxiety as well. Since phobias affect only one aspect of life, people should try to keep their lives as normal as possible. Get help from family and friends and also seek medical help.
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs is also recommended. They only add to the risk of becoming addicted. Alcohol and drugs can aggravate some phobias as well.
  • Getting a check up to see if a person is nicotine or caffeine sensitive is also a good idea as they can make a person jittery. Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques always make a difference in calming the mind and body.