Mental illness includes all kinds of different anxieties and stress reactions. Each of these disorders may seem similar, yet there are significant differences between them. Each one is classified in its own right for its own reasons. You have to understand each one’s intricacies so that you can adequately know if each one is afflicting you in some way.
Unlike a generalized anxiety disorder, phobias are focused on something specific. As with many forms of anxiety, a person can realize that their fear is irrational. They are experiencing a phobia, but they still cannot will the fear. There are an estimated 19 million Americans afflicted with some kind of debilitating phobia, causing some sort of difficulty in some aspects of their lives.
Identifying Your Phobias
There are three main groups of phobias to consider: specific (simple) phobias, social phobia, and agoraphobia. A specific phobia can produce intense fear of a particular object or situation that is relatively safe. These are phobias where people are aware of the irrationality of their concerns, but the thought of the object or situation still brings about intense feelings of panic or severe anxiety.
These can include a fear of dogs, snakes, insects, driving a car, and much more. No one is sure what causes these phobias to form, but they do know they can run in families and are also more prevalent in women. They usually begin to form in early childhood or adolescence. They can start suddenly and persist longer than most childhood fears. Sometimes, they can develop in childhood and disappear over time, but others will stick with a person into adulthood. No one is sure why some stay for some people but disappear for others.
On the other hand, social phobias produce a fear of being ridiculed or embarrassed in front of other people. It can be related to feelings of low self-esteem or inferiority. The feelings of fear and anxiety can be so strong that they drive a person to drop out of school or even leave a job. It also inhibits a person from being able to make friends.
Agoraphobia is probably a word you have heard before. It is usually used to describe a person who is afraid of leaving their home. It is also more general than that, as it can mean a person who suffers anxiety about being in places or situations where they feel trapped or exposed.
Fear of leaving their house is an extreme form of agoraphobia. This kind of phobia can often be misconstrued as shyness, but they are not the same. Shy people do not feel the severe anxiety that a person with agoraphobia experiences. Timid people do not necessarily avoid these kinds of situations like someone who has the phobia does.
Luckily, proper treatment is available for people who are struggling with phobias. Phobias can be diagnosed by a medical professional and are an illness that should be taken very seriously. A complete medical and psychiatric evaluation should be carried out to ensure the diagnosis is correct.
From there, behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can be great options for anyone looking to treat their phobias. Both can help a person learn the tools to properly cope with fear. The skills a person can learn from therapy help them react to situations in different, healthier ways. No one needs to live in their fear, alone, and let themselves suffer.
Everyone has a fear of something, but when that fear gets so extreme that it paralyzes you, that is a phobia. That is when you cannot function with your fear, and it is a good idea to get help. There are many kinds of dread, and seeing a doctor about your feelings can help you identify your phobia and begin developing a treatment plan. Never feel alone in your fear, and know that you can get the help you need.
Phobias are a real thing, and they deserve to be treated the right way. More importantly, phobias can be conquered as part of the addiction process, as long as the people helping you are aware of them. Speak up and get the help you need!
No matter how tough we may present ourselves to be, we’re all afraid of something. For some of us, recovery can bring out our very worst demons, elevating common fears into full-blown phobias. Fortunately, help is available. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find a sober living community ready to provide you with the tools you’ll need on the journey to sobriety. If you’re ready to get sober, it’s time to lean on the experience and strength of others who have come before you. People in recovery have walked through the most intense challenges, including phobias, and remained sober. Through a holistic recovery program, you can heal spiritually, mentally, and physically – you just need the time to do so. At Camelback Recovery, you’ll find the community you’re looking for and the experienced guidance you need. Give us a call at (602) 466-9880. Getting sober isn’t easy, but it can be an exciting period of your life, filled with transformational experiences and incredible growth.