Phobias Treated at Fareham Hypnotherapy
At Fareham Hypnotherapy I have always found my clients are pleased when they find out the truth about their particular phobia. For them it means there is light at the end of the tunnel, and gives hope for the relief of the phobia symptoms. If I explain, the word phobia is derived from the Latin ‘phob’ meaning fear, and more specifically the object of the fear (spider, water, buttons).
Why do I have a phobia?
Firstly if we look at who produces the fear, of course its us, not the spider. The irrational fear develops over time because although some spiders are poisonous most of those species found in the UK are not poisonous to human beings. This indicates that no one is born with a fear of spiders – it is something that is learned. If the fear is something that we learn then why, or how do we create the fear?
How do I create fear?
This idea is based on what is termed the ‘fear response’ and it is initiated when we ordinarily see, or hear things that are either unusual, or we perceive are dangerous, or a threat. For your information this has been tailored to highlight the effects of a phobia.
Both of the following processes happen simultaneously, unconsciously, and take place in the brain. The routes are involved in a phobia response:
- The low road which is quick, but not precise (take no chances).
- The high road which is slower, but offers a more precise interpretation of events
If you catch sight of something moving from the corner of your eye, it could be a piece of fluff. It could also be a spider. It’s less dangerous to assume it’s a spider and have it turn out to be a fluff than to assume it’s fluff and it turns out to be a spider. The low road is down and dirty, and reacts quickly by asking no questions.
This is what happens in your mind when you are having a phobic reaction to a stressor (the spider). The piece of fluff blowing across the floor is the stimulus. As soon as you see the motion (hear a sound), your brain sends the sensory data to the thalamus. As this happens, the thalamus is not sure if the data means danger or not, but since it might be, it forwards the information to the amygdala. The amygdala takes action to protect you when it receives the neural impulses from the thalamus. The amygdala tells the hypothalamus to initiate the fight-or-flight response that could save your life, if what you’re seeing turns out to be a poisonous spider.
The reactions, and intensity people experience in relation to the object of their phobia varies, but sweating, crying and shaking are often included.
The high road is considers all options. While the low road is initiating the phobic response just in case!