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My Favorite Fear - Self-development
My Favorite Fear - Self-development

Phobias (with an obligatory emphasis on "and") are usually called obsessive fears that are irrational. Experience shows that more often they occur at a young age and can last for decades

The mind cannot understand

What is their irrationality? For example, in the personal luggage of a person there has never been a case of an unsuccessful flight, but at some level that defies logical explanation, an aviaphobia once arose and took hold. And this fear is so strong that such a person carries out all movements only by train or by car. Despite the fact that, according to statistics, it is much more dangerous.

Often there are phobias associated with altitude, darkness, bodies of water, fears of an enclosed or open space. People are afraid of the possibility of contracting AIDS, radiation or venereal disease, scabies (nosophobia).

But there are also exotic phobias

One of my patients experienced a strong fear of blue objects. When she saw more than three of them, she developed a state close to panic. Since we are talking about a patient of a psychotic level, undergoing treatment in a psychiatric hospital, no psychoanalytic methods of unraveling the tangle of this story were discussed from early childhood.

I tried to work on softening her fear in creative ways: I asked to draw the sea (despite my suggestion to choose any pencil for this, she traditionally chose blue). I learned the song "Blue Frost" with her, worked with her in the office, where there is a lot of blue in the paintings. On the eve of discharge, the patient stopped talking about her fixation on the blue color, I want to believe that her fear has subsided somewhat.

Some people fear their own shadows or the reflection of their appearance in mirrors. There are also those who are afraid of choking on their own saliva, afraid of bearded men, babies, pregnant women.

I do not think that it is appropriate to interpret such fears in a psychoanalytic manner and to attribute everything to early traumatic experiences. In my opinion, the legs of such fears grow out of a delusional worldview, which means they are related to the disease.

In my husband's practice (he is a psychiatrist with 48 years of experience), there was a patient who was afraid of dying in his sleep, although more often people are afraid of insomnia. And this case was atypical - the person did everything to stay awake. He did not last long without sleep, of course, on about the fifth day he was hospitalized.

What will help?

1. Ritual behavior

Ritual behavior can help with phobic fear. Patients use this method intuitively. For example, they knock eight times on the wall and then go out into the street. The ritual helps them make sure the trapdoors they feared before will not harm them.

Any phobia differs from pure delusion in that a person remains critical of his behavior and can partially control it

After completing the ceremony, he is relieved and more boldly looks his fear in the eyes.

2. Overcoming with a specialist

Another way to mitigate obsessive fear is to overcome phobic situations with a specialist.

Practical example

The young man was afraid to go down the subway, he felt an obsessive fear of crowds of people underground, fearing that if some breakdown happened, no one would be able to get up. The psychotherapist had to resort to a behavioral-behavioral technique. He himself, along with his client, began to travel on crowded trains. After about the sixth such trip together, the client began to feel relief and even expressed a desire to go unaccompanied by the metro next time.

3. Avoiding frightening situations

Avoiding fearful situations is also a way to mitigate obsessive fears (phobias). If a person is frightened only by hatches, he can simply bypass them. But if his fears are multiple, or he is afraid of everything at all (panphobia), the method of avoidance will be impossible or extremely difficult.

And finally: phobias are neurotic disorders and are often successfully treated on an outpatient basis. But if the phobia is accompanied by more serious symptoms, hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital, as a rule, cannot be avoided.

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