Phobia (from the Greek phόβος “fear”), obsessive, painful fear is a symptom, the essence of which is an irrational uncontrolled anxiety about possible negative reactions in certain situations. In these cases, a pathologically increased fear reaction to a certain stimulus appears. Fear is often irrationally exacerbated and does not lend itself to any logical explanation. There is a deliberate avoidance of places and / or situations where there is even the slightest risk of developing such a reaction.
There can be many phobias, but one of the examples that we want to share with is aerophobia, fear of planes.
Patient A. (32 years old) came to our center for rehabilitation hypnotherapy with a complaint about a strong uncontrollable fear of flying. As the need to fly several times a year was not discussed, she was looking for ways to cope with this unpleasant symptom. By the time of her coming, this pathology has developed several rather unpleasant psychosomatic sensations, such as a strong increase in heart rate, very intense sweating, darkening in the eyes right up to the pre-fainting states, emotional reaction (uncontrolled tears). This was aggravated by the fact that she had to fly accompanied by her two small children, for whom she had to look after. Symptoms began to develop, as a rule, when she was leaving the house on the way to the airport.
The primary case of aerophobia developed after her aircraft got into a zone of turbulence and within half an hour she experienced the fear of an aircraft crash. Since then, 2 years have passed.
Another patient suffered from aquaphobia for 7 years. The primary case developed during an incident in a pond (convulsion). Since then, even with the mention of probability to get into any body of water (including pools), a series of symptoms developed, right up to a panic attack.
As you understand, there can be as many specific phobias as there are a variety of situations (interviews), locations (roller coaster), objects (spiders or insects). Each of these stimuli in its time caused a strong uncontrolled reaction of the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system with the subsequent ejection of adrenaline. As a result, very unpleasant bodily sensations appeared, which caused uncontrollable fear. This is what the development of phobias does not differ from panic attacks with, only it is believed that phobias are more specific to a stressor. The mechanism of development is the same.
It is relatively easy to handle with phobia at the beginning of its occurrence. In this case, the treatment of phobias presents a significant difficulty in fixating the reaction to the stimulus (several years). Unfortunately, people wait a long time before visiting a therapist.
In some cases, the phobia develops into a more clinical form with signs of severe neurasthenia or even anxious hysteria. In this case, we speak about a phobic illness. Treatment of this type of phobia is much more difficult.
Treatment of phobias and fears with hypnosis and hypnotherapy
Treatment of phobias is required in cases where pathology is out of the control of the patient. In these cases, hypnotherapy can be used as a platform for creating those metaphorical spaces in which a phobia occurs in real life. The method of relieving the emotional load in the patient’s experience, creating phobic situations in metaphorical spaces is used. To consolidate the obtained results, the hypnotherapist often uses the methods of projective hypnotherapy, progressive hypnotherapy and, in some cases, methods of changing reality.
For more information about treating phobias with hypnosis and hypnotherapy, read here.
Doctor of Science in Medical Psychology,