Fears and phobias, begone with you!
Many people believe they suffer from a phobia because they have a strong and seemingly irrational fear they cannot overcome, so they do what we all do these days – an internet search for further information on their specific fear, and hey presto! A name comes up with the word phobia on the end. But did you know that the names for phobias have been created by doctors and other clinicians, usually using a Latin or Greek suffix and then adding the word phobia?
The list gets longer every year, as new names are added, and they include some that may seem laughable (unless of course, you are someone who suffers from that particular fear). Some examples of these include:
- Linonophobia (fear of string)
- Sesquipedalophobia (fear of long words. Try pronouncing that one – it’s enough to make anyone fear long words)
- Soceraphobia (fear of parents-in-laws - which could well be quite a common one!).
There is even a name for Fear of fear: Phobophobia. But what exactly are phobias, and what is the difference between a fear and a phobia?
Fears and phobias: What's the difference?
Let me try and help you understand. Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder; in other words, an irrational fear of something that we believe might harm us. The word itself comes from the Greek word phobos meaning fear, and typically, phobic people will become increasingly fearful and anxious over time, actively avoiding certain objects or situations, and may even develop panic attacks.
A fear, on the other hand, is an irrational fear of something that we believe might harm us. Can you spot the difference? No? That’s because a phobia is actually a smart word for a strong fear!
The reality is that there is no medication to cure what are known as phobias and many people believe they have to live with them all of their life, with the misconception that their condition is incurable. The reality is that they have a strong fear that can be completely neutralised with professional help that doesn’t involve any medication.
Working with a highly-qualified and experienced Hypnotherapist has been shown to be a very successful way to remove the specific fear, not just temporarily, but permanently, by working with the underlying anxiety that has developed into a major fear. This may take several sessions, so any offers of ‘quick fixes’ by therapists should be treated with suspicion! Anyone who has tried removing pernicious weeds from their garden will know that cutting them off on the surface, or half-heartedly digging out just some of the roots, will only stop the weeds from growing back for a very short while.
Over the past twenty years, I’ve worked with more types of fear than I can remember, and with the trust and cooperation of my clients, the success rate is very high. One client recently described the way he was feeling at the end of our final session as: ‘It’s as if I’ve been dragging a ball and chain around for years, and someone has just removed it. I feel so light and free now.’
If you’d like help in removing your own ball and chain, then please either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07973 346747 so we can schedule a free 30-minute phone or video chat. Online sessions are my speciality, or you can come and see me for face-to-face consultations in South Somerset.