What Does Not Help Treating Phobias
It is not just frustrating but humiliating to live with a phobia. Most patients fear becoming the butt of ridicule. They also suffer from their inability to win over their unrealistic fear. This is a dismal situation indeed.
Most phobia patients realize they need help and often go for treatment. The conventional forms of treatment available for phobia are medication, exposure and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. However, traditional methods of treatment are based on a limited perspective.
Phobias exist due to a strong link between the fear stimulant and panic response. As a corollary to this link, the brain starts generating faulty impulses. Hence, the imbalance of biochemical materials comes into play.
Tackling the biochemistry with drugs merely diminishes the symptoms associated with the phobia. However, the seed of the problem remains untouched.
Drugs do nothing but mitigate the fear response temporarily. So next time a medical practitioner prescribes drugs for your phobia, make sure you clarify its effectiveness as a cure.
Patients often continue taking medicines for years together only to find their phobia relapse when they stop the medication. Can this ever be claimed to be the correct approach for curing a deep-seated problem?
Medication for phobia works on dulling your responses and produces a host of undesirable side effects. Drowsiness, blurred vision, low heart rate, low blood pressure, fatigue, nausea, sexual dysfunction, urinary disorder and constipation are the prominent physical effects.
Long use of drugs can lead to impaired memory and coordination, insomnia, tremors, depression and addiction. In addition, you might have to endure all this when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says there are no proven drugs for curing any phobia.
So why jeopardize your health for a futile pursuit? It is advisable to consult your doctor before reducing or stopping your medication. I have simply presented you with hard facts about medication for phobia. It is evidently an unhealthy bargain. You have a lot to risk and no guarantee of curing your phobia permanently.
Psychiatrists also use exposure and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for treating phobia victims. Both these techniques work for desensitizing an individual towards the phobic stimulant. This is attempted by repeated exposure to the phobic object or situation.
Psychiatrists claim that eventually the patient overcomes the fear of the phobic stimulant and learns to live with it.
However, with our knowledge of the phobic reaction, this approach seems to be very inappropriate. Repeated exposure to the phobic situation or object only works to strengthen the link between the stimulant and the fear response.
The patient endures intense suffering in the early sessions of such treatment which reinforces the anomalous link in the brain.
With repeated exposures the patient does not learn so much to live with the phobic stimulant, but with the fear it generates.
Most people accept the presence of the stimulant with taut nerves instead of getting desensitized.
But there is no need to despair. Many revolutionary approaches like
are being practiced for treating phobias with immense success.
Posted by Jan Heering
Master Coach, psychological trainer and author
Founder and President of the Morpheus Institute and
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