It is helpful to break up your problems into smaller more manageable steps. One small step is usually all anyone can handle at one time.
Take responsibility for yourself and your own life. You are the only one that can give to yourself what you want and need.
Accept your feelings, thoughts and fears and deal with them to the best of your ability.
Do not fear making a mistake. This is the only opportunity we have to improve and learn. Make the mistakes of yesterday your lessons for today. (more…)
Accepting that you have a phobia and deciding to do something about it takes a remarkable amount of resolution.
In joining a support group, you are no longer alone. You have become part of a network of people who know exactly what you mean when you say, “I feel like I’m going crazy” or “I think I’m going to lose control.”
Group leaders hear those thoughts expressed week after week. Those dreaded, indescribable thoughts and feelings are not unique. Although specific phobias of a group will vary, the symptoms are always similar.
Members learn concrete procedures to enable them to deal with their phobias. They are taught to change negative thoughts and behavioral patterns into positive ones. Members are taught to face, rather than avoid, the phobic situation. This, of course, is not easy and requires a commitment on the part of everyone involved. It should be understood that we are with you 100 percent and we will give you all the support and encouragement you need while you are in the group. (more…)
This is Janet’s story. It is a poignant article to explain how someone feels when they are so anxious they feel they have to flee. Janet has since recovered through exposure and cognitive behavioral therapy and you can too.
Every muscle and sinew in her body strained to keep her from screaming and bolting off the Number 7 IRT subway car. The deafening and rasping clack-clack, clack-clack of metal upon metal clamped like a vice over her ears. The screeching and side-to-side lurching of the train brought up the sour tasting bile of motion-sickness.
Each stop prolonged the entrapment in the moving, tubular coffin. She hoped no one else could see her quivering hands or clenched jaw. Her skin prickled. She rubbed the red blotches forming on her wrists. Vision blurred as she sat crammed between commuters. Claustrophobia wrapped its unseen arms around her, pressing inward, forcing her to hyperventilate. She yanked at the neckline of her tee-shirt. (more…)
When working on my own, how do I set goals? I often encounter failure.
Maybe you are not realizing that even if you do not complete the goal you have done something. Many phobia sufferers are perfectionists. They feel that if they don’t complete the whole task perfectly it is a total failure. The only failure is in not trying at all. Each small step can be a success. For instance, if you are working on shopping in a store, first drive there and park. The next time get out of the car and look in the windows. Then enter the store but don’t try to purchase anything. The next time buy just a few items, and so on. Gradually enter the store until it becomes comfortable and routine. (more…)
Worry behavior is meant to relieve anxiety, but worry actually prevents emotional processing.
We might ask ourselves: To what degree is worry beneficial to me?
There are some common and telling statements people make about worry:
It would be helpful to remember that about 85% of the things we worry about don’t happen. Of the 15% of the bad things that do happen, people cope the majority of the time. (more…)
Portions of this article are reprinted from The Associated Press which discusses the problem of keraunophobia, an irrational, severe fear of thunderstorms.
Susan remembers thinking that she was going to die as she lay on her bed listening to the rain against the roof and the thunder rumble above her. A scientist from Connecticut, Susan also recalls hiding under a highway overpass for an hour, afraid the rain would never end.
For Susan and other sufferers of keraunophobia, thunderstorms cause the throat to catch, the heart to pound, palms to sweat and other physical symptoms. Changes are lightning won’t strike their homes, but it will fill their hearts with fear. (more…)
Is it common for phobic people to have thoughts of losing control?
Yes, this is very common with people who suffer with phobias. They fear they will “lose control” of themselves and act in an irrational manner (e.g. screaming, running away, embarrassing themselves)
The phobic person doesn’t usually carry out these thoughts.
It is OK to have these thoughts. It is what you do with them that matters. Try to remember the many times you have had these thoughts and haven’t lost control.. (more…)
by Martin K. Diner, MD
Stress is ordinarily experienced by a person as discomfort in the body, distress in the mind or emotional upset.
The body may show stress by having muscle tension, back pain, headache, stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, chest pain, palpitations, skin rashes, dizziness, twitches, trembling, fatigue and other physical symptoms. Some people find that a physical condition or disease that they already have gets worse.
Mental distress may lead to intense worrying, expecting something terrible to happen,
losing confidence, not liking oneself, developing fears of people or places and moving away from people and social activities. (more…)
By Martin Seif, Ph.D. ABPP
Learn and Become Comfortable with Diaphragmatic Breathing: Many people feel it is the single most effective tool for managing anxious feelings. Breathing with your diaphragm allows you to take regular and rhythmic breathes, even when experiencing high anxiety. Rhythmic breathing reduces the effects of hyperventilation, stimulates the calming response in your body and gives you a manageable task in the present on which to focus.
By Martin Seif, Ph.D. ABPP
Distinguish between Anxiety and Danger: Your task is to break your connection between feeling anxious and feeing that you are in real danger. Your body reacts in exactly the same way to both anxiety and legitimate danger. So, it is sometimes difficult to separate the two. When flying on an airplane, your anxiety especially makes you feel like you are unsafe. This is not true. Remind yourself that feeling anxious does not mean you are in danger. You are safe even when feeling intense anxiety.