With Halloween just around the corner, we see “scary” things around every corner. A creepy advertisement for a horror film. A “haunted house” designed to give you a fright. A spooky decoration made to make you jump. Fear becomes fun at this time of year.
But fear isn’t fun for everyone. When fear becomes so consuming that it affects how we go about our day-to-day lives, it can prevent us from living our lives to the fullest and enjoying life’s moments. While some people may experience only specific fears, such as a fear of spiders, many people experience fear’s effects to the point where their entire days are spent living with fear’s consequences.
Many significant mental health issues that revolve around fear can be overcome with the help of a trained counselor or therapy group. While this is not an overnight fix, overtime the issue causing fear can be adequately addressed and through therapy techniques, can be eliminated.
Here are a few conditions relating to fear:
1. People with anxiety and panic disorder have sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes or longer. These are called panic attacks. Panic attacks are characterized by a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. A person may also have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack. It may feel like having a heart attack. Panic attacks can occur at any time, and many people with panic disorder worry about and dread the possibility of having another attack. A person with panic disorder may become discouraged and feel ashamed because he or she cannot carry out normal routines like going to the grocery store or driving. Having panic disorder can also interfere with school or work.
2. A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger or has a controllable element to it. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything. If you have a phobia, even though you may realize the fear is unreasonable, you can’t control the anxiety when facing the feared situation. Often, even thinking about the feared situation can cause anxiety to grow, and if actually exposed to it, terror and panic is automatic and overwhelming. When you try to deal with a phobia on your own, you may go out of your way to the point of changing your lifestyle, just to avoid the feared item. If you have a fear of heights, for example, you might drive an extra twenty miles in order to avoid a tall bridge.
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