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How To Overcome Phobias – 2 Best Ways To Recover

How Phobias Work, And How To Overcome Phobias

Disclaimer: The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp
Fear is something we all experience. Some people even watch scary movies to purposely feel scared. But it’s very different when you experience the fear of a specific thing, like an animal, person or situation. That’s what is called a phobia. When we’re experiencing the fear a phobia can induce, it can be difficult to manage our own mental well-being. We may even feel paralyzed by the fear of this thing. 

How to overcome phobias

If this sounds a lot like an anxiety attack, in some ways it is. Phobias are considered to be an anxiety disorder. Through online therapy, it’s possible to access a wide range of specialized therapists who can provide CBT therapy, psychodynamic therapy, EMDR therapy, exposure therapy, as well as many other individualized courses of treatment.  

No matter what reason brings you to seek ways to improve your mental health, it’s important to know that there’s help out there if you’re feeling overwhelmed. You are not alone. There’s help out there for mental conditions, whether you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or a phobia that’s interfering with your life. 

In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways people experience phobias to bring more understanding of these irrational fears. 

What Are Phobias
Phobias are by definition irrational, but try telling your body that when you’re going through the fear and can’t stop sweating or breathing heavily. Some people may experience more than physical symptoms, they may have life-altering consequences as a result of their phobias. Some people change jobs or alter their life course to avoid the things they fear. 

There are many different kinds of fears and phobias, and some of them can seem almost humorous. Some people are afraid of small, mostly harmless animals like spiders, which is called arachnophobia. There are also more unusual phobias, such as the fear of postage stamps, which is called grammatosimophobia. 

No matter how innocuous someone’s fear may seem to someone who’s looking at it from the outside, it’s important to take them seriously. On the inside, the fear being experienced by the person who has a phobia is very real. 

The Three Main Kinds Of Phobias People Develop

Phobias are quite common, and many things can lead to a person developing a phobia. Some people can even become afraid of something they’ve had little or no contact with. Yet they all fall into a few major categories. According to Harvard Medical School, there are three major types of phobias people experience: specific phobias (simple phobias), agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder.   

Three Main Kinds Of Phobias

Specific Phobias

With a specific phobia, sometimes referred to as a simple phobia, a person develops a fear of a specific situation, person, or animal. There are those who are afraid of people like clowns. People can be afraid of certain kinds of common animals like cats, dogs or snakes. People can also be afraid of certain kinds of natural events, like thunderstorms, or forms of transportation like trains and airplanes. Specific phobias may even have a genetic component and may run in families. 


The second major type of phobia is agoraphobia, which is a fear of being stranded or embarrassed in public places. People with agoraphobia may experience symptoms similar to a panic disorder, which can be accompanied by some unpleasant physical symptoms. It’s not uncommon for someone with agoraphobia to have heart palpitations and sweating as their sense of panic increases.

Sometimes it’s possible for people with agoraphobia to be in a public place while accompanied with someone else, but that can leave someone dependent on others without them ever facing their fears.

Social Anxiety Disorder 

Finally, the third major category of phobias is social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorder is often somewhat misunderstood as people who don’t enjoy being around other people. Although there is some correlation to people who identify as shy as being more prone to social anxiety disorder, the phobia can also be developed after a negative encounter. 

It’s important to recognize here that different human beings find satisfaction in different levels of social interaction, and that’s okay. Just because someone is on the quiet side or doesn’t choose to socialize a lot doesn’t make mean they’re experiencing social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety disorder may be more often characterized by people feeling anxious in situations where there is the possibility they may be rejected. This could be as simple as not wanting to go to a party because there are new, unfamiliar people who don’t like you. Or not wanting to eat in public and be judged. Some people have issues with using a public restroom due to the disorder. 

But social anxiety disorder can actually extend to performance situations, such as giving a presentation for work or singing in front of people. This means it could potentially stand in the way of someone’s professional or personal development, if left untreated. 

Phobia Treatments And Exercises 

By gaining more information about how phobias work, we can begin to find ways to dismantle them through therapy and exercises. Let’s take a look at a few ways phobias may be treated. 

Exposure Therapy To Treat Phobias

Exposure therapy is one of the most common methods of treatment for phobias. With exposure therapy, a person experiencing a phobia is gradually “exposed” to the thing they irrationally fear. Basically, the therapy involves bringing the person with a phobia into contact with the irrational source of their fear.

Exposure therapy is used as a treatment for a wide range of mental health conditions, including phobias, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. A therapist who specializes in this treatment can guide a person through the process. 

Mindfulness And Grounding Exercises For Phobias 

Mindfulness and grounding exercises can also provide relief to someone who is experiencing the symptoms of panic when faced with their fear. For example, if someone is experiencing social anxiety disorder at a party, a grounding exercise can help them get out of the panic being created in their mind and return to their body. 

In Conclusion

Phobias may seem strange or almost silly on the outside, but they’re very real to the person experiencing them. If you or someone you know is experiencing interruptions in your life due to a phobia, remember that there are treatments designed to help you better cope with your fears. We hope this informative article helps you take the next step in your mental health journey and overcoming your fear. 

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