What you think lowers fear, it increases.
Say you’re suffering from dog phobia, but want to get rid of it:
Most people will tell you that in order to get rid of your phobia, you will not escape the fear, that is, the dog – in the language called “the fobic object”.
One day, you decide to go to fear and just hold it out.
– But what happens next time you meet a dog? Now you have learned that a dog is dangerous and next time you will feel even more savage, explains psychologist Karl Johan Seim-Wikse at Samtalen AS, who has a specialization in cognitive behavioral therapy and lecturer on phobia treatment for other therapists..
Phobias and Exposure Therapy
Seim-Wikse even knows psychologists with phobias, who choose to just hold out the fear. This instead of destroying the body that it is wrong and that the fear is irrational.
We people rationalize our choices often: We choose as much from our limitations as our possibilities. And often we choose from an anxiety we may not even realize that we have.
– All my experience indicates that when people suffering from a phobia should help themselves to get rid of it, they operate with exposure, no exposure therapy. The distinction between exposure and exposure therapy is incredibly important, and that’s where people really blink when to help themselves, emphasizes the psychologist.
What is a phobia?
Phobias are counted as anxiety disorders. Although many have one or more irrational or inexplicable riots, it is only considered phobia and a mental disorder if the anxiety reactions act as inhibitors in daily life.
There are three different types of phobia: simple phobia, agoraphobia and social phobia.
Source: Public Health Institute.
Exposure correctly increases the ability to stand in the situation at the moment, but you also increase the anxiety.
Exposure therapy is about recognizing the anxiety, to notice that it gradually decreases after standing in the situation for a while.
– While exposure gives a 50-50 chance of effect, systematic desensitization increases (gradually addiction, red. note. ) this chance of 90 percent, he says.
Fob treatment in practice
– I do not want people to believe they have not understood anything because they do not understand this by themselves. What can seem simple in theory can be a little worse in practice without proper guidance, but it is by no means impossible, says Martin Lund Johansen, St John at St.. Olavs Hospital’s special post for treatment of phobias.
He confirms that exposure therapy is the most effective treatment against phobias.
Before you can treat a phobia, it is necessary to map out what you are afraid of, situations you fear and what action you take to control your own anxiety. As a rule, avoidance, avoiding fearful situations, the big ugly wolf here.
21 signs of anxiety
Evasion is a common denominator for people with anxiety disorders, that is, avoiding situations or taking precautions to avoid situations where one can get anxiety and discomfort and so does the fear maintain.
– Security strategies, such as turning off TV, avoiding situations or supporting friends, only teaches the body that it’s a good idea to avoid the situation because of a temporary reduction in fear.
The problem is that you will not get tested if what you fear will happen and what happens to your fear in the situation. Then you are at the main point of treatment, explains Lund Johansen.
By approaching the dreaded situation gradually, one will see that the fear is reduced quite quickly by itself.
– By taking a new step closer you will find that it does not take many minutes before the fear is reduced again. In this way, the connection between what you are afraid of and the fear you feel is gradually broken.
«Face your fear»
You can help yourself out of fear
However, the only way you face “face your fear” is to run out there and expose what you are afraid of, calling Seim-Wikse for the Rambo strategy.
Rambo stands out for more than usual mortals, but the point is not learning to tolerate more (to be a bit “Rambo”), but to relieve the body fear and fear.
– Many of the people I talk to and treat have tried the Rambo strategy to the fullest. They have often been exposed to pressure from friends, relatives and partners that they are afraid of it, they must only endure and tolerate, “he said..
It’s not a strategy where you desensitize, work with fear, are in it and teach the body another response in the face of phobia.
– It’s simply just a matter of; How tough are you and how much can you tolerate ?, says Seim-Wikse.
Check if you are depressed
It is crucial that you meet the phobic object in a way that is manageable for one’s own, yet in such a way that the fear is activated.
The fear is left in peace, so to experience that the body settles with the fear of itself, and then one must wait to move on until the discomfort has gone down or decreased considerably.
- First, you need to know how an anxiety curve looks, so you know what’s happening in the body. Anxiety curve looks like a crooked hump; One hurries up quickly in high fear, but as time goes by, it slowly goes down to the other end. That’s what the body reacts to anxiety.
- In the face of the fobic object, do not just expose yourself to standing in it – you only get well to withstand pain. What one should instead is to meet the object in a way that is manageable for one’s own, but enough to feel the fear being activated.
- And then you should stand in that situation and scale yourself; to know the fear. One should not avoid it, but do the opposite. On a scale of 1-10, how activated is I now? Maybe 6. Okay, we’re here a little, how does it feel in the body now? Then you scale it every other minute until you reach a 2 or 3.
- Then you go closer to the fobic object until you reach a 7 or 8’s. Then you concentrate, know that you are standing on top of the hill and waiting to be allowed to sail down. Two minutes later, you may still be on an 8’s, but eventually you will notice that the anxiety decreases over time.
It is also helpful to get and if you are bothered by a phobia that you are unable to handle this self, it is recommended to contact your doctor who can arrange a referral to an approved therapist.
A recommended self-help book is the book of Torkil Berge and Arne Repål, narrow rooms and open spaces. Help for coping with fear, panic and phobias (Tano Aschehoug, 1997).
Source: Psychologist Specialist Karl Johan Seim-Wikse
Test Yourself: Do you have an alcohol problem?
How to Find Your Biological Age
8 signs that you have a health problem
Here’s how to get rid of the blood phobia