Overcoming Phobic Disorder


I honestly don’t think there’s anyone without a phobia and it’s not wrong, we’re humans after all. However, we’ve all come to the conclusion that it’s a norm and pay no attention to them whereas this is an actual disorder that should be worked and improved on. Achieving this means one step to keeping your mental health in check because an extreme case of phobic disorder can lead to anxiety attack, panic attack and sometimes death.

What is a phobia?

Let’s start from the beginning, Phobia means “fear of” which literally means being constantly scared of something that’s probably just natural and normal.  If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is irrational, yet you still can’t control your feelings. Just thinking about the feared object or situation may make you anxious. And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror is automatic and overwhelming. The experience is so nerve-wracking that you may go to great lengths to avoid it.

Using myself as a case study, I have an extreme phobic disorder, I’m aquaphobic, nyctophobic acrophobic and a little bit of homophobic. Due to this, I avoid swimming, being injected, staying in a dark room or standing on an elevated building, being in such circumstances most times results into me having the following symptoms; Difficulty breathing, pounding heart, chest pain, trembling, feeling dizzy, a churning stomach and sweating amongst others, these sometimes results into unhealthy emotional breakdown such as having an intense need to escape or be saved, also feeling like I’m going to die or pass out and even knowing that I’m overreacting, but feeling powerless to control the fear. Now you would imagine how a person can have all these and still claim to live a normal life, despite being scared almost all the time.

Overcoming this phobias is not an easy process but very much possible and there are two major steps to doing this, the first step is realizing and admitting you have a problem because it really is a problem and the second is confronting your fear and seeking for help. Believe me you this isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s like saying you’re allergic to a particular product and still continue using it. Crazy isn’t it!. Now this article is to help each and every one of us become better version of ourselves.

Treatment helps most people with phobias. There is no single treatment that works for every person with a phobia. Treatment needs to be tailored to the individual for it to work. Options include self-help, therapy or both. What’s best for you depends on factors such as the severity of your phobia, your access to professional therapy, and the amount of support you need.

Self-help is always worth a try. Gradually and repeatedly expose yourself to what you fear in a safe and controlled way.  The more you can do for yourself, the more in control you’ll feel which goes a long way when it comes to phobias and fears. It’s important to begin with a situation that you can handle.

Therapy for phobias has a great track record. Not only does it work extremely well, but you tend to see results very quickly sometimes in as a little as one to four sessions. However, support doesn’t have to come in the guise of a professional therapist. Just having someone to hold your hand or stand by your side as you face your fears can be extremely helpful.

About the author: Gloria Jumai Williams
Gloria Jumai Williams is an undergraduate of the University of Lagos studying Chemical Engineering. She is a sexual Reproductive Health advocate, a member of the Sustainable Development Advocates (SDA) Unilag Branch and a Volunteer at SID Initiative. She is also a writer.
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