The term “phobia” has become so casual that many people describe it over instances that aren’t truly warranted. This term becomes misconstrued, as true phobias genuinely cause distress, and even deep panic, for a person. Mental Health America explains that phobias may cause a person to avoid certain events entirely for fear they will come into contact with what they fear most. Symptoms of a phobia may include severe anxiety, panic attacks, heart racing, sweaty palms, blushing, and more. Luckily, phobias can be cured through use of a variety of treatment methods. With approximately 19.2 million people experiencing phobias each year, many have sought treatment and have been able to better manage their disorder.
For example, Kathleen Caggiano shared her story with travel phobia on WNYC. She stated,
“My throat started closing in…and I just had this sensation of, ‘I have to get off the plane now.’”
It was stated that after her 2008 episode on an airplane, she avoided them for 2 years. Caggiano explained that she tried breathing and visualization exercises, which helped her a lot. From there, she practiced taking short flights to re-introduce herself to her fears. She said, “Most people really need to take three or four flights – even short ones – that year. The repetition – locking it in – is really important. If they let even 6 months go by before they take that second flight – they start to relapse.” Caggiano is feeling much better about airplanes now that she has been practicing her tools from recovery. She stated, “For the first time I’m actually excited to fly again.”
According to NHS, a UK-based website, Claire Ledger was diagnosed with agoraphobia and spent the next 2 ½ years indoors after having a panic attack while shopping. She stated that after a few panic attacks at different places, she began associating the panic attacks with the places and avoided them altogether. Once Claire made friends with another woman in town, she began taking small trips with her to expand her boundaries. Now she has developed tools to help her overcome these worries. She stated, “It’s important for people to know that you can recover. You may think it’s like a death sentence, but the treatments do work. I never thought I’d return to work.”
If you’re considering help, speak with a reputable treatment center that has expertise in phobias. You can lead a happier, healthier life, and your phobia does not have to control you any longer.
New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment programs. If you are ready to seek help for your phobia disorder, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation. You’re not alone, and there are so many people who want to help you succeed.