Tag - phobias

What is a Panic Attack?: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Panic Attack: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Panic Attack Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

A Panic attack is a situation where the patient feels intense fear or discomfort and it often triggers within minutes.

During the episode of a panic attack, a variety of physical and psychological reactions occur. It is quite frightening as a person undergoing this situation might feel like having a heart attack or losing control of mind and body. Panic attacks do not affect every person the same way. Several persons experience this only once or twice in their lifetime, while many others go through recurrent anxiety periods. This condition is called panic disorder.

Although these periods are not life-threatening, the person experiencing this might feel like dying. It has several physical as well as psychological symptoms such as,

Physical Symptoms

  • Sped up heartbeats
  • Sweating
  • Shaking or shivering
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Choking
  • Tingling sensations
  • Abdominal pain

Psychological Symptoms

Panic attacks can happen anytime, during the day or night, too. Regular panic attacks tend to trigger at certain places and in certain situations. Specific events can cause nervousness in the human brain as well as the body which may result in a worse condition.

Most panic attacks last no longer than 20 minutes. However, the duration of this period varies between individuals. Sometimes it can last for more than an hour, but it’s a rare condition. They start suddenly and reach a peak within 10 minutes or less.

The study says people with periodic panic attacks or panic disorder are at higher risk of heart attacks or other heart diseases. Although it has major health risks, no one can die due to panic attacks. Still, we cannot ignore the fact that they are very intense and uncomfortable, and hard to manage. It is always advised to seek medical help as soon as the person starts experiencing the symptoms. While these symptoms are often mistaken with heart attacks, the patient should consult primary help in case of confusion.

There are many causes of panic attack, usually, people with a negative mindset and emotions are more likely to experience this situation.
Image by Dmitry Abramov from Pixabay

What Causes Panic Attack?

Usually, people with a negative mindset and emotions are more likely to experience this situation. People with bad childhood experiences like physical or sexual abuse, stressful education period are also at risks. People may inherit these symptoms from their biological parents or grandparents, too. Hence, the most common causes are:

  • Genetics
  • Never-ending Stress
  • Sensitivity
  • Changes in the brain’s functioning

However, it depends on how your body and brain react to certain situations. For some people, situations like facing an interview can be terrific, while for some other people, it can be as simple as talking and sharing views among others.

Risks

  • Major changes in life
  • Family history of having such attacks
  • Excessive smoking
  • Excessive caffeine intake
  • Traumatic events
  • Life stress

Complications

Panic attacks last for around 20-30 minutes, and many people easily ignore them after the anxiety period is over. Left untreated, these attacks can cause severe effects in your life. They include,

  • It can cause specific phobia such as fear of swimming or even taking a shower
  • It can create serious problems at the workplace or school
  • The patient may require frequent medical care
  • The patient may experience other resultant health conditions
  • Financial problems may occur due to constant medical treatments
  • The patient may develop the tendency to avoid social gatherings
  • They may fall into depression or other psychiatric disorders
  • The risk of suicidal thoughts and even suicide may increase
  • The patient may start to have habits that can damage their health

How to stop a Panic Attack?

Prevention or Treatment for Panic Attack

The panic attack is an experience that can wear out the person, but there are several techniques that can help in preventing them.

1.      Make a plan and keep it handy

Making a plan of what to follow during the anxiety period is important. This plan can be a set of certain instruction such as get out of the current place as soon as you start to feel the symptoms, call for help, and calm down until you get help.

2.      Deep breathing

While facing a panic attack, the patient may experience shortness of breath. This situation is quite uncomfortable and terrific. However, this is temporary. Hence, the patient should tell themselves that everything is going to be fine, it will be over. Practicing deep breathing helps a lot while the patient is already feeling shortness of breath. Inhaling enough oxygen relaxes the brain and heart. Thus, helps the patient become controlled and steady.

3.      Focus on something

This comes as a very handy technique during this period. The patient can pick an object and start focusing on noticing every single detail about it. Focusing helps to divert the mind from the current condition. This definitely helps in moving ahead from the fear.

4.      Practice relaxation methods

At the time of a panic attack, it is common to feel like losing control of the body. According to several panic disorder therapists, relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) are effective and assist in gaining the control back. To start PMR, first, get comfortable and, sit on a chair or somewhere else comfortably, and close the eyes. Then start breathing deeply. Use the nose to inhale the oxygen and let the abdomen rise while doing so. Then, slowly exhale from the mouth. Repeat three to four times. After breathing practice, start tightening and then releasing muscles of feet. Clench toes and press towards the ground. Inhale and stop for a few breaths and release. Point the toes towards the head, hold for five to six seconds and then release. This way, tighten and release each muscle of the body. Keep repeating on the areas that feel the need.

The panic attacks damage the body in one or other ways. They must be treated before they start ruining a life. Psychotherapy and medication can help in reducing the frequency and intensity of the panic attacks. Medications are extremely helpful in case of frequent panic conditions. It helps to manage symptoms such as depression, over-anxiety, and fear. Psychotherapy is equally effective. It involves relaxation training, reframing of thought, structuring behavior, and stress reduction. This therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). These treatments can help most of the times. However, there are chances of these symptoms coming back if the treatments are not carried out properly.

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How to Overcome the Fear of New Things

Neophobia – Fear of New Things

Many times, our fear of changing our fixed schedule or do something out of routine stops us from trying out new things and carving out new paths for us. While most of us would agree with the quote that says, “Change is the only constant in life”, we may not find it easy bringing out changes in our life, especially when they are needed.  Fear of trying new things (Neophobia) comes from fear of failure, fear of being mocked, fear of messing up things and fear of the unknown. But, it is important to reinvent life every day so that nothing is stagnant and rotting.

Stuck in a rut? Want to change but scared?

Sometimes, all that you need in life is to change but you avoid taking an initiative or decision because of the fear of trying new things also known as “Neophobia”. Neophobia could be about trying out new food or going to a new place or meeting new people. Most of us have Neophobia in smaller or larger proportions.

Here is a list of why you should totally try new things:

  • It widens your horizons: It’s a new experience, something you have never experienced before. Once you try something new, be it that new dish, that new idea or that new place, it adds one more experience to your kitty. Well, you have one more dish to talk about. If you like telling stories, then you have one more story to tell!
  • It’s empowering: Going for something you haven’t tried before needs some courage. It needs you to take a decision and taking a decision in time makes you feel independent and confident. You are more equipped to make a choice next time rather than postpone decisions. You know getting to decide and exercising that power is empowering, right?
  • Grow out of your comfort zone: “Life happens outside the comfort zone”, what better way to prove our point that this quote. When you push your limits, come out of your comfort zone and give it a try, you grow. Your mind will be more comfortable with taking some “worth-it” risks in the future as you realize it’s not that bad being out of the security zone.
  • It doesn’t get boring: Though discipline and routine are as important to polish and perfect yourself but after some, it sets the stage for boredom and stagnancy. Breaking out of that routine chain is necessary because boredom, my friend, is not exactly what you are meant for. Take a change in schedule, do something out-of-routine, refresh yourself so that you can have the energy to start work with more enthusiasm the next day. Make small changes in your room, do something else today rather than what you would you usually do. Change your route, talk to someone new, visit a new place, cook something different or cook if you don’t cook. Try something different once in a while.
  • Live with no regrets: If you don’t try, there is always a regret “what if?”. If you try, it only makes you wiser and more informed. Try it for the sake of removing those what-ifs from your life. There is only one life and it’s not worth those regrets, trust me. It’s better to fail than to live with regrets.
  • Sometimes, it changes your life: You chose a path but it’s not working for you be it a choice in personal life or career-wise. To make necessary changes, you need to shed your previous life, make a decision and slip into a new world. It’s a tough choice, it requires brain-storming and mostly, it requires guts. Guts to go with your gut feeling, to go all out for what you have your eyes on and remove the unnecessary mess. Be what you want to be and if you aren’t that already, then you need a change.
Often times fear of new things (Neophobia) we think that trying out new things might come out to be unsuccessful and would eventually fail.
Image by Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay

Symptoms that you have Neophobia (Fear of trying new things):

Most of the time, you delay taking decisions that may cause changes in your life. If many things in your life are lying on the backburner waiting for your nod, then face the fact that you have Neophobia.

  • You are bored with your daily life, there is monotony and life is taking a toll on you sapping your energy. You are one energy level down than the previous day. All this means you haven’t been making a new coffee for days together.
  • You believe you need change. You want something but you don’t have it. In fact, you are sure. Every pore of your soul tells you what you want to be, what you want to do and if all you have been is to hold yourself back, then it’s time to face your fears. Things are not changing because you are not treading a new path.

You are born with some seeds and others you need to grow. There is nothing you cannot overcome if you believe you can. There are some good tips that surely go a long way in helping you get over your fears.

Tips to help you overcome your Neophobia:

  • Write it down: Pick up a diary and note down all that’s wrong in your life and needs to be fixed up and renewed. Now, tick-mark all those things that have been lying low because of your carelessness. Write down the pros and cons of making those changes, weigh them and decide. Take some time to decide and then, start working towards those changes and write down the progress. Writing down is important, it makes you confident that you are taking conscious and calculated steps, the fear is lessened as it feels like a planned strategy. Moreover, you tend to remember clearly written things.
  • Take help: Research helps. Researching the right places, talking to the right people. People who can help you make a decision. If it’s a big decision like changing careers or jobs, talk to the relevant people. Talk to people who have been there and done that. Also, talk to a bunch of people and not just one or two so that you have all angles of opinion and listen to your inner voice. What you want is always crucial and more crucial is going all out for that.
  • Start with making small changes: When it’s a big change, it is not easy. Start by taking baby steps, steps that do not require much strain. Handling small changes well gives you the confidence to bring on some not-so-easy changes. As Paulo Coelho puts it, “when you are not sure, take the next small step.” Take a small step, crawl, limp, don’t rush but keep walking. The day you become sure, you can start running but let it be an honest effort all the time.
  • Track your progress over a period of time: As I mentioned, writing down is the most important part. Track your progress. Note down the new things you successfully accomplished, write down the positive or negative effects of it on you. Keep a watch over the results, we are sure they will be positive. This will give you the confidence and confidence, my friend, is the key. Again, tracking your progress shows you a clear picture and you feel more in control.

We hope the above tips help you in embracing change more readily. We wish you luck. May you conquer all your fears and every fear conquered is a step towards a new and happy life. Face your fears, write it down and beat them into submission. All the best.




How to Overcome the Fear of holes (Trypophobia)?

What is Fear of Holes (Trypophobia)?

Every time that small little hole makes you nauseated, anxious and mad then there is something major hinting at you. Well, this may come across strange but recently an unusual phobia came under the scanner which is making lives difficult. The phobia is fear of holes or Trypophobia which makes the person fear any sorts of asymmetrical shapes specifically small holes in body, insects or anything similar.

Trypophobia is the fear of holes which are created by nature especially. People suffering from this kind of fear face a lot of difficulty in their day to day life. Since holes in the bathroom basin or even in the trees can make them anxious and uncomfortable.

Trypophobia is not anything related to the holes in general, it is more related to the perception of the person regarding the holes. Trypophobia is a condition where the person senses danger related to the holes and whenever he/she comes across such holes, panic strikes.

For example, a person is normal when he is in some room or seated comfortable on a round bed or anything but as soon as he sees some small pores on his friend’s skin, he feels panicked and disgusted. He can even start behaving in the most unexpected manner because those pores make him feel sick. He has lots of perceptions about those holes, he thinks there are dangers residing inside or those holes are life-threatening.

This person is trypophobic and he should definitely consult a doctor since this can majorly affect a person’s confidence and lifestyle.

Symptoms that trigger the fear of holes (Trypophobia):

As mentioned above, some people are just scared of insects and not holes in specific and this condition is not trypophobia. Therefore, one should have a clear idea about trypophobia to make the treatment easy for them. Trypophobia is related to fear of small holes. Like the ones on skin, honeycomb, bot or anything in a natural environment. Though even small holes on things can make the person panic, the natural one effects more disastrously.

Whenever the trypophobic patient comes across any such holes they react in a strong way. Reactions include:

  • They feel like their skin is shrinking
  • They feel very itchy on their body
  • Some may even fall sick physically
  • Some get weird thoughts that people are living inside the holes or they can fall inside the holes, these thoughts result in panic attacks.

Sometimes even just an image of such small holes can make the person react in the same manner. Therefore this condition should not be avoided for too long.

A boy or girl hiding and peeping out of the hole. This can be example of fear of holes.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

What exactly makes the person fear the holes?

For a layman, trypophobia may across to be something beyond their understanding. Since holes are the most basic thing to be fearful about. However, trypophobia patients don’t see holes as something small. The fear, therefore, exists and that too in large number. Trypophobe sees a hole as a potential danger. Their brain has associated the hole with danger, life-threatening thing. Therefore whenever they see any hole they get disturbed and defensive. It’s the stimulus that triggers the fear over which they exercise no control. Even when trypophobes are told that there is no danger attached to the holes, they do not change their behavior. This happens since they have no control over their thinking and reactions. It just happens since its unconscious response action.

Facts

  • Even an insect bite can make the trypophobic become paranoid as they think it can make holes in the skin.
  • The most feared species is bot flies, as the trypophobes believe that use humans for their larvae and they make a hole in the skin.

How to overcome Trypophobia?

For a better life, getting healed from such phobia is essential. It’s not like trypophobia cannot be treated, it can be fought with a lot of patience and will. These are key things that help the patient get over the phobia and lead a normal life. The medical help is, of course, necessary and here are some of the therapies listed below:

  • Behavior Therapy

This therapy helps in altering the unwanted behaviour which the person is aiming to get rid of. This therapy will help the person to take control over their reactions which are triggered with the tiny holes. They can possibly even not get panicked if the therapy is properly followed and executed. Hence behaviour therapy is a good option that helps in coping up with trypophobia.

  • Cognitive Therapy

While the behaviour therapy helps in controlling the response to stimulus, cognitive therapy focusses on the thinking process of the trypophobe. Since the person’s thoughts are the main source of the fear, this therapy becomes an important part of the healing process. This helps in discarding all the negative thoughts which creates a loop of harmful perceptions of the holes. Basically, it helps the sufferer distinguish between the real thoughts and the unreal ones. In order to make this therapy a success, the patient has to fully cooperate and take part so that he/she recovers quickly

  • CBT or Cognitive and Behavior Therapy

When the two therapies are together used to treat the patient, we call it CBT or Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy. This therapy comes handy to sufferer since they can apply it to their daily life and overcome the panic attacks triggered due to trypophobia.

Conclusion

It’s not an easy journey for the person who suffers from trypophobia, since this phobia is related to something that is so general and basic, something that can be seen anywhere and unexpectedly. The sufferer is always under a tension mind and the panic attacks furthermore gives them confidence issues and the negative feeling. So the best way to get over the fear is to face it rather than just dealing with it or running away. It’s the only hope to get cured and the patient must take immediate action so that the condition doesn’t worsen up.

How to overcome the Fear of Water (Aquaphobia)?

fear of water

Fear of Water (Aquaphobia)

For today, I chose the topic: Fear of Water! When we read or hear this word ‘water’, we tend to draw a picture of it in our minds but what about others who are suffering from this phobia? Have we ever talked about how others feel who are suffering from Aquaphobia; yes, that’s the word.

From ancient times and till now, the world has changed in a positive manner but are we running on the right track. Each and every human being talks about their styles, attitudes and what not but have we ever talked about our weaknesses, our problems or our fears? I don’t think so! To start with today’s journey, let me tell you that it is high time we start talking about things in which people are more interested plus they will build up a sense of confidence to fight with those situations.

What is Aquaphobia (fear of water)?

Aquaphobia is the term which we further explain as ‘fear of water’ which is also known as Hydrophobia. Many people suffer from this disorder and sometimes it’s even uncontrollable for others to control the patient. It is a kind of abnormal fear which is not restricted to only a few areas of water. It could be anything! There are also situations wherein the patients can’t even enter their washroom; it is that scary for some. Not only by seeing water but also when they listen to the word ‘water’ or anything associated with it, they tend to avoid these terms and refuse to participate in any kind of discussion. Their heartbeat runs faster and sometimes it is also difficult to control their behavior and reactions.

Aquaphobia; fear of water is an easy fear to overcome very easily, it takes time. Sometimes the person doesn’t want to enter a swimming pool or even want to have a glass of water in spite of being thirsty.

Statistics:

Statistics say that Aquaphobia is more common and deadly than you can even think of! It is said that every person suffers from one or the other type of phobia. If we talk about Americans then the numbers indicate that between 8.7% and 18.1% of them are suffering from this phobia. Now you can imagine how many Indians suffer from fear of water. There are no proper numbers given on the internet as far as Indians are concerned who are suffering from this particular disease, or aquaphobia.

Facts:

A human being is not born with fears; rather fears develop when human being initially experiences it or seeing another person suffering from the same fear; fear of water. Here, we’ll discuss some of the facts related to fear of water, aquaphobia. As we have already studied about the actual meaning of this term, now further we will be learning about how it develops; the symptoms and also how you can adopt some remedies to have control on your fear. And further, let us start learning about various facts in the next sections of this article.

Fear of water or aquaphobia could easily be overcome, by doing the right exercises and taking the right professional help or therapy.
Image by sasint from Pixabay.

Symptoms of fear of water:

When you go and see a doctor, he/she will always ask you about how you feel; the symptoms. After listening to those symptoms only, the doctor is able to detect the problem and accordingly prescribe you the medicines. Similarly, in this part also you need to understand the symptoms of Aquaphobia or Hydrophobia.

  • Inability to swim: This is one of the most common symptoms from which the patient goes through. He/ she have always this fear that the person can’t swim at all.
  • Fear of drowning and then death: Every human being thinks that a person suffering from aquaphobia experiences only one problem; which is, fear of getting drowned. But that is just not it! The person suffers from many other problems except this one.
  • Avoiding entering any water bodies: Another symptom which is common in all the human beings suffering from aquaphobia.
  • Shortness of breath: Another common symptom every patient experiences suffering from this particular phobia. Even if you do not step into any water body, still you will feel that you are not able to breathe properly.
  • Increase in heartbeats: Just the way you deal with any of your business transaction, in the same way, your heartbeat increases at a very fast base.
  • Tremors: This is again another very common symptoms patient goes through who is suffering from this fear of water. When your whole body is tremoring, you just cannot control them at all. So you need to be really careful!
  • Sweating: This is but obvious! If you are experiencing any kind of fear, it is very natural that you will sweat before trying out anything new associated with that fear.

These are the main symptoms from which the patient suffers. So it is really important for you to see and watch out these symptoms in the people around you. By doing this you will be able to track down this fear of water and accordingly you can take the patient to the doctor.

How to overcome the fear of water?

When you are suffering from any kind of disease or fear, some remedies work really well. And further, we shall be discussing the same.

  • Exercises: There are some light exercises which you can try every day to avoid any difficulties.
  • Professional help: Counselling performs a very positive role and helps to develop your personality is a beautiful manner.
  • Therapists: They act just like a guide who are highly professional; they know how to handle the patients.
  • Swimming lessons: Perfect way to overcome your fear of water. Practice makes a man perfect, so can you. With regular practice, you will be able to overcome your fear.
  • Medications: Medicines is a quick type of alternative to overcome with your Aquaphobia.
  • Cognitive therapy: There is not much information available about what exactly this therapy means but yes it does transform you’re thinking from negative to positive.

These were some of the remedies you can try out to fight with your fears. Never give up and try to lead this world with positivity, you will surely overcome with your fears; not one but many.

Cleithrophobia – Fear of being Trapped or Locked.

What is Cleithrophobia?

Every time we take the elevators or we are just enclosed in a small congested place, we never think of it as something unusual or scary. However, unlike us, there are many among the crowd who feel suffocated, panicked and traumatized in such places. As weird it may sound, these fear do exist and the scary part is that such phobias are very risky to life only if one fails to address it. If you are guessing Cleithrophobia synonymous to claustrophobia then you are little on the wrong side. They are like soul phobias yet a little different from one another. Cleithrophobia is the fear of getting trapped somewhere or being in some congested small space where you have very little to move about.

Difference between
Cleithrophobia and
Claustrophobia

Does this sound like Claustrophobia? Well, they are like soul phobias as mentioned above. Claustrophobia is a little different. Let’s take the example of a person who is Cleithrophobic. He enters a small room and he is fine, nothing triggers the fear inside him. This happens because Cleithrophobic people do not feel fearful in confined spaces where they can leave the space at their will, their fear gets triggered only when they are trapped inside the room. If that person would have been locked inside the room, he must have had the panic attack or suffocation because of his Cleithrophobia.

On the other hand, claustrophobia is the fear of small place itself. Which means if someone is in a small enclosed place, he will feel panicked or stressed irrespective of the fact whether he/she is locked or not. These kinds of fear are known as claustrophobia.

Clearly stating that Cleithrophobia is fear of being trapped while Claustrophobia is fear of small confined places. The difference between the two phobias are very bleak but very important too. One should identify the phobia differently as treating it would be easy then.

How would you know you have Cleithrophobia? (Common Symptoms)

The symptoms of Cleithrophobiaare same as other phobias. The common symptoms being anxiety, tension, excessive sweating, nervousness, rapid heartbeats and shortness of breath.

If one has this type of phobia then there is generally a trigger point which in the case of Cleithrophobia is the feeling of being trapped. So if one enters an enclosed space with locked doors or some box where there is no place to leave then generally this phobia gets triggered. Along with the common symptoms, these reactions can be an aftermath of the phobia attack:

  • Crying
  • Screaming,
  • Physically slamming out,
  • freezing up
  • Trying to run away

If the patient fails to run away from the place, then he/she might get fatigued, unconscious or even get severe panic attacks. There will some kind of physical illness and the person won’t be able to think of any other way rather than just escaping from the situation.

Facts

  • Cleithrophobia is mostly more related to winter based fears like being trapped in the snow or underneath ice sheets.
  • Even being locked in a bathroom can trigger Cleithrophobia. Though the lock can be unlocked many people feel clogged inside the bathroom if they suffer from Cleithrophobia.
  • Cleithrophobiausually develops because of some traumatic experience either in childhood or growing years. Eg: A man suffered from Cleithrophobia because when he was a small child he was locked in the traveling trunk for quite some time.
  • Scientifically this phobia is because of the deficiency of a particular brain chemical or malfunction of the brain.

How to come out of it?

If the symptoms are life-threatening or beyond one’s own capability of dealing with it, then the patient should immediately consult a mental health doctor. Phobias can always be dealt with medical help in a better way. Since the experts know the exact remedies to cure the phobia from its root.

Systematic desensitization and other cognitive-behavioral techniques are used to treat the phobias and these can be implemented only when a professional doctor is consulted. However one should refrain from taking potent drugs which claims to cure such phobias. They actually help in calming down the severe symptoms but not actually treat the phobia. They should not be taken also because once the person stops taking the medicine there are many abrupt side effects.

While those patients who feel that their symptoms are milder and not life-threatening can resort to some self-help techniques to deal with phobias. They can practice breathing exercises to help their panic attacks that make the body calmer. They can also remove possible locks from the doors of the rooms so that they don’t feel suffocative. However, it is not always feasible to remove locks everywhere.

Fear of being Trapped/Locked or  Cleithrophobia can be a psychological issue which might be resolved depending on the situation.
Image by Prawny from Pixabay

If there is some anxiety or panic triggered, the patient can make meditation a tool to beat the fear if they are alone. And if by chance there is a friend or relative who is with the person while he gets an attack, then they can ask them to speak to them and divert their attention to many interesting things. This Stop! The technique has worked for many people who are suffering from Cleithrophobia.

And if by chance there is a friend or relative who is with the person while he gets an attack, then they can ask them to speak to them and divert their attention to many interesting things. This Stop! The technique has worked for many people who are suffering from Cleithrophobia.

Unlike any other phobia, Cleithrophobia can also get serious. The only way to deal with it is through proper remedy and treatment. One should consult a doctor in case its worst and not delay. If the situation is under control then the patient should possibly foster more mental strength to beat that little fear residing in him/her.

Cleithrophobia facts

Most people feel uncomfortable if their movement is restricted, even if the circumstances present no danger at all. Signs of this anxiety are frequently seen in domestic mammals that are confined or restrained but in wild animals, the fear can be extreme and even result in stress-induced, sudden death. In claustrophobics compared to Cleithrophobia, the stress or fear response provoked by any form of physical restriction is highly developed.

This helps to explain why people with this condition experience phobic fear not only in small, confined spaces such as a lift, phone box or cubicle of a public toilet but also in other, less obvious, circumstances, such as sitting in a chair at the hairdresser or in a seat on public transport, waiting in a supermarket queue or being among a crowd of people.

This aspect of claustrophobia provides evident similarities with agoraphobia in which feelings of being trapped and inability to escape to safety are a prominent feature.

Conclusion

Any kind of phobia should not be encouraged in life since fears are those small restrictions which can become the biggest of obstacles in the path of living life. Cleithrophobia is one such phobia, which doesn’t allow the person to live freely even when the situation is more than normal. If the patient cannot deal with the phobia on his own, he should take help and get it cured. Also, some healthy lifestyle and control over mind can inculcate better results. The important aspect of the entire process of dealing with Cleithrophobia is showing the mental tenacity needed to throw away the phobia outside the mind.

How to overcome the Fear of Being Alone?

Fear of Being Alone (Monophobia)

We all have been through the lonely phase of our lives. While some come out strong, a few get trapped in this loneliness. A surprising number of people fear to be alone. Maybe just about all of us do to some extent.  Which is natural, right?  We’ve all felt it, deep within us, though we try desperately to avoid this fear. But what happens when alone turning into a fear?

This fear of being alone is irrational behavior. Alone doesn’t mean “lonely.” Yet, the false premise states that clinging to ‘another’ for safety will somehow guarantee our safety. Monophobia, or the fear of being alone, is a common term for several discrete fears. Some people are afraid of being apart from a particular person. Some fear to live alone or being in public alone.

This fear is a latent one can’t be traced by any specific medical examination. It is difficult to track the percentage of people suffering from this phobia. You might be scared to be alone in the dark but such mild fears don’t make you monophonic. However, research conducted in the US shows that 1 in every 3 citizens suffer from this phobia. Have you started to feel that you may be a victim of this phobia?

Here is the story of a teenager who is monophobic and slowly recovering from the fear. If you are monophobic, you might just relate to this.

Example for Monophobia:

This is the story of a girl Sarah. She was pursuing her graduation and was usually a happy person.  She went to college every day with a smile and tried to enjoy life to the fullest. But, sometimes, it was hard for her. She had a phobia of being left alone. It’s called Monophobia. Monophobia is an acute fear of being alone and having to cope without a specific person.

About 7 months ago, she fell wildly in love with a boy.  You may think that she’s really too young to be in love, but with monophobia, it’s easy to get closely attached to people. And, soon came the day, when he was ready to move on. She began to have panic and anxiety attacks, crying his name in the middle of the night. She would lock herself in her closet, not letting anyone in.

Recently, she started going for therapy. With monophobia, even therapists can’t bully or talk someone out of their phobia. Monophobics don’t talk about it, but they work on the fear. She’s doing much better now and feels good to be open about this.

Reach out has helped her, and so has therapy. She still has loads of it to go because she still doesn’t feel stable alone. But she will get through. A little bit at a time.

Do you know of anyone who has expressed their fear of being alone? Did you take it seriously or ignored it and asked them to pull up their socks and move on? Think about it! They might be a victim of this fear and just need the right help.

Fear of being alone is often related to being shy or introvert. But it could be easily overcome.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

There are some typical symptoms of Monophobia. Here are some of them:

  1. Irrational fear of being alone
  2. Feeling of panic
  3. Feeling of terror
  4. Rapid heartbeat
  5. Feeling of Dread
  6. Shortness of breath
  7. Nausea
  8. Dry mouth
  9. Trembling
  10. Anxiety

Check for these symptoms and if you know anyone going through the same, immediately seek medical help.

How to overcome the fear of being alone?

You may not be an extreme case but it’s always good to know about overcoming this fear and stay happy.

One study found that when older people are socially isolated, there is an increased risk of an earlier death, by as much as 26%. If you are worried about your fears of being alone, these ways will help you find your comfort zone.

1.      Enjoy your alone time

When you are alone, it is important to enjoy it to the full. Pursue your interests and hobbies. Take up new ones. Learn new skills. Lie on the couch. Eat pizza. Leave the kitchen in a mess. The list can go on and on, but finding the right balance is crucial. There will be times when being on your own is perfect, but then there will be a creeping feeling that you should not be so isolated. Once you start feeling loneliness, then it is time to take action.

2.      Don’t do social networking

In desperate needs to connect with someone, you might end up on Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, etc. It is true that social networking can provide an initial contact, but the chances of that becoming a real-life personal contact are pretty thin. Don’t stalk your ex and end up feeling miserable about being alone. Enjoy the time you have. Also, remember when you really need company, your Facebook and Twitter friends won’t be there for you.

3.      Don’t be getting into a relationship

It is a bitter fact that loneliness often turns into desperation which often gets us into wrong relationships. There might be peer pressure, pressure from the family to find a suitable partner and get married. But don’t rush into things. It will happen when it’s supposed to be. The main problem is that you need to pause, reflect and get advice. Recognize that your fear of being alone is taking over. A rash decision now could lead to endless unhappiness. So act upon your fear slowly and steadily.

4.      Count your blessings

Study after study shows that if people show gratitude they will reap a bountiful harvest. These include a stronger immune system, better health, more positive energy and most important of all, feeling less lonely and isolated.

Surround yourself with your loved ones, travel and don’t be scared to be alone.

How to overcome the Fear of Commitment?

Fear of Commitment

“You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear”

The word ‘commitment’ itself might scare some people. The fear of commitment could either be in a relationship or even in simple life decisions. With the emerging infinite dating apps, one-night stands have become a common thing with the new generation. We are scared to commit to a relationship because we know it might end up miserably. This fear of commitment has stopped us from trying, leading to the concept of ‘no-strings-attached’.

This idea of non-commitment might temporarily fix our issues but only make us soul-less in the long run. We don’t want to commit and then keep complaining about how miserable and lonely our life has become. Sometimes we woo away our potential partner by indirectly letting them know that this is just another passing affair. We are stuck in the same situation over and over again.  Einstein describes insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” so instead of complaining about being stuck, do something about it. So, what do we actually do?

We fear giving commitment because we think that we would be locked in some kind of emotion.
Image by MimzyImage from Pixabay.

Let’s take a very simple example here. How many times have you hit the gym ever since you took that membership? Most of us would be feeling guilty about it right now and a few might even be rationalizing the casual behavior by giving excuses. The excuses range from having no time to being lazy to having no motivation. But then we still complain about the stressful lives we lead and how inactive we have become. One simple solution here would be owing responsibility for ditching the gym and working out a way to become a regular. Some of the ways could be buying new gym gear or finding a gym partner. But do we actually do it? NO! Because we fail even before we try. We are scared of committing to even fitness here.

Here are some of the reasons why we may be scared of this big word – ‘commitment’. How many of these are actually true? Time to take note!

Unrealistic expectations

All thanks to Television shows and movies that we expect happy endings all the time. We forget that the movies are written by people who are paid to take the audience on an emotional roller coaster ride. We set the bar so high that we end up getting hurt and commitment-phobic. That’s where we go wrong sometimes! But then it’s human tendency to expect from someone you love.  Here’s something that can work for you; Perfect relationships and perfect people don’t exist!

Letting the past predict the future

You fell in love with that cute girl in college and everything was just perfect. You loved her and she loved you. But things didn’t work out and your heart was broken into millions of pieces. You had to drown your sorrows in alcohol and listen to sad songs to recover. You then decided to never fall in love again. This has happened with almost each one of us. Experiences work like shock therapy; you get burned enough times and you naturally become conditioned to stop doing it.

Here’s something you can do to let go of this fear of the past daunting on your future: Don’t generalize people and situations based on your past experiences. It’s tough but works wonders sometimes!

Here’s a short but not such a sweet love story.

Once upon a time, there was a guy named Bhushan. He had just completed MBA from the UK and returned to India to pursue his career in advertising. He got a job at a very good advertising agency. Bhushan had good bosses, lovely parties to attend, success at an early stage and great friends. Everything was going fine and then boom…he fell in love with this girl from his office. They were very much in love. Their relationship took a serious turn when their families got involved and their kundlis were matched.

It was all hunky dory for them. But then what do they say about time? It changes in the fraction of a second. She decided to pursue her MBA from the same college as Bhushan did and then come back to get married. Bhushan was hesitant first but then supported and encouraged her to go live her dream. She went to the UK and their long-distance relationship continued well for around 4 months.

The fear of commitment is a fear which people can get away with if they try.
Image by Angelic cooke from Pixabay.

Suddenly tragedy decided to make Bhushan’s life more interesting. He finds out from a couple of common friends that she had found another guy and that she no longer wanted to be with him. Bhushan could not believe it initially but reality slowly seeped in with time. He was devastated and never wanted to talk about love, commitment, and marriage again.

Three years have passed and he still doesn’t believe in commitment.

We have no perfect solution for this but one should just give another chance when it’s worth it.

There is time

Modern men and women don’t want to think of marriage and commitment because it’s too early for them. They want to focus on their career and make the most of it. Marriage can wait! We try to set time for commitment which never works. Therefore, don’t wait for the perfect time or the perfect person (We know you have made a list of the qualities) and just go for it when you feel is the right time. Because to be honest, there will never be more time.

I love my freedom

This may not be the sole reason for being commitment-phobic but is always there in our subconscious mind. Nobody likes to be questioned about their whereabouts and when it comes to constant nagging and regular fights with the partner, we are better off on our own. There is only a simple solution. We should learn to compromise and that’s where all relationships get stronger.

The fear of commitment ultimately boils down to the same cycle. We fall for someone, get hurt and then fear to get closer with someone else.  Moral of the story is, you have to get through it once again to let go of the fear. So, don’t be a pessimist and be open to situations that life throws in.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

How to Overcome the Fear of Dolls?

Fear of Dolls (Pediophobia)

Fear of dolls (Pediophobia) is a fairly regular kind of phobia. It is a nervousness disorder connected with a range of dolls from conventional/porcelain dolls to dolls that talk and move. Pediophobia is measured as a limb of Automatonophobia or a fear of humanoid facts.

Phobias generally occur from exterior events (traumatic events) or predispositions such as heredity. These phobias can then be triggered at present by an event which is attached to the past, such as from the person’s babyhood. This arrangement of heredity, past events, and general brain chemistry can all play a significant role in the cause of this fear.

This arrangement of heredity, past events and general brain chemistry can all play a significant role in the cause of this fear.

Some Interesting Facts of Pediophobia or Fear of Dolls are:

  • Pediophobia is the irrational, unnecessary, and continual fear or agonizes of dolls. It is a specific phobia belonging to the class of Automatonophobia.
  • Pediophobia is a disorder where the human being is afraid of all humanoid or human-alike but not-quite things including mannequins, marionettes, ventriloquist’s dummies, Animatrix, robotic figures, wax figures, etc.
  • The word Pediophobia derived from ‘Paidion’ which stands for ‘little child’ in Greek and the word ‘Phobos’ stands for fear or deep dread. Many adult victims of Pediophobia identify to fear little kids.
  • Several Pediophobes are scared of all kinds of dolls while others are recognized to be afraid of only specific kinds of dolls like the talking/walking dolls, stuffed dolls, and Chinese porcelain dolls, etc.
  • Frequent targets include fear of dolls that talk or move and outdated Chinese porcelain dolls.
Fear of dolls (pediophobia) could be caused by incidents that happened in past or because of movies with horror genre.
Image by Olga1205 from Pixabay

Causes of Fear of Dolls

  • Pediophobia (Fear of dolls) is also probably triggered by a deeply traumatic or negative incident of childhood that is slightly associated with dolls. The young mind subsequently forever associates dolls with the shock and recalls the downbeat feelings come across then.
  • Dolls linked with witchcraft bring misfortune to an individual, was a common myth in the past. To an individual body, already suffering from anxiety disorders or nervousness, all dolls symbolize as evil.
  • Dolls have permanent staring eyes with soulless pools devoid of any passion akin to those of a stiff; can make younger children afraid of them.
  • Dolls exposed in a depressing light is exploding. A lot of horror movies and novels have portrayed dolls as villainous or evil characters that come to life to cause harm to humans. This can persuade fear in childish or overly-nervous minds.
  • Naughty older siblings or friends can also unintentionally infuse fear of dolls in the minds of younger brood by telling them stories of dolls coming to life at night.

Symptoms of Pediophobia

No matter the cause of fear of dolls phobia consequences powerful emotional disturbance and disorder in the mind of the victim. A number of people might come across a full-blown dreadful attack upon viewing a doll. The subsequent psychological and physical symptoms may be present in the phobic:

  • Dried up mouth.
  • The Feeling of choking to the demise
  • Shivering and trembling
  • Rapid breathing
  • Eminent heartbeat
  • Freezing on the mark
  • Crying, trying and screaming to flee etc.

A number of phobics carry out a full-blown nervousness assault in the presence of dolls including store mannequins. This can be quite discomforting as well as devastating enough to affect the usual functioning of any human being.

How to Overcome Pediophobia

Desensitization and hypnosis therapies are the two most well-liked conduct of overcoming the fear of dolls or Pediophobia.

Desensitization or steady exposure therapy consists of slowly revealing the phobic to dolls. The treatment includes looking at photographs of dolls, watching movies and reading books about dolls, etc. (until the phobics are able to stay calm in the existence of dolls without having an unease attack). This treatment is usually completed in the presence of a therapist or can be done at home too with the assistance of close people.

Hypnosis or cognitive behavior therapy also tends to reprogram the pediophobic to help him/her diminish fearful feelings about dolls, transforming them into positive notes.

Moreover, there are many treatments and solution for this phobia. In severe cases consulting with the physician is necessary, but in lighter cases, people can ‘’cure’’ themselves using some basic steps listed as follows:

  • Behavior therapy and anti-anxiety medicine
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Relaxation strategies – controlled breathing and visualization
  • Utilization of Meditation-Meditations can treat anxiety; however, there are no studies which help the effectiveness of medication within the treatment of meticulous phobias.

Pediophobia or fear of dolls is not something incredible connected only to kids or children. This is a severe difficulty for many people, out of whom some people admire it, but probably many of them normally hide this fact. Although this was a massive crisis in the past, today there are many customs to beat this fear. Trying above stated steps, people can overcome this fear usually. However, they should visit a doctor for better counseling.

Conclusion

If anyone really wants to stop fearing the dolls, try to face dolls alone. Many people try to sleep with their dolls which gradually decrease the fear, this is indeed a good practice, but after some time people must feel normal and act easy. Sleeping with dolls is a very useful process; pediophobic patients should sleep in bed keeping dolls with them and act normal with it as a toy, this feeling gradually build up a strong mindset in their psyche which later on helps them overcome the fear or dread.

How to Overcome Fear of the Dark?

Fear of the Dark
(Achluophobia/Nyctophobia)

What is Fear of the Dark?

Fear of darkness (Achluophobia/Nyctophobia), is a common phobia among children, but adults can also have this phobia. It is not far from the dark itself but fear from some danger (monsters, animals or etc.) that could come out the dark. Although people think that it is related only to children up to 12 years old, many adults also have the same problem.

This phobia is the fourth most common phobia in the US after fear of public speaking, fear of death and fear of spiders. In 2018 11% of the population had this phobia problem, and they were mostly adults! Fear of the dark is even more related to children, so roughly 73% of them have this phobia.

Some interesting facts about Fear of Darkness or Achluophobia or Nyctophobia are:

  • People rely on the sense of sight when there is light, and on the sense of hearing when there is no light
  • Higher day temperatures and lower temperatures during the night are responsible for more sounds, because, house or building is expanding and contracts
  • In most countries, children sleep with their parents thus they have a lower risk to develop fear of the dark
  • The start of this problem is when children are waking up their parents because of this fear only then its accepted as a phobia
  • Young children cannot make a difference between truth and reality and they are expecting some “magical’’ solution for this problem
  • They also cannot make a difference between jokes, teasing and etc.

Symptoms of Fear of the Dark:

Symptoms of Fear of darkness (Achluophobia/Nyctophobia) are very easy to notify. A person who is having fear of the dark often sleep with lights turned on, they are nervous before entering in a dark room or before night and they usually avoid going out at night or even in dark rooms. Health symptoms are: increased heart rate, increase blood pressure, sweating and shaking. If Achluophobia is severe, a person can avoid going into dark places or even go out at night. They can be extremely angry and defensive if someone is forcing them to confront their fear or if someone is mocking them. In some cases, they can even attack possible threat because they believe they are fighting for their life. It is extremely important not to force those people on anything that is associated with dark.

Fear of darkness is often related to being afraid to go out in dark and avoiding going into the night time.
Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay.

7 Steps on Overcoming the Fear of the Dark

There are many treatments and solution for fear of darkness (Achluophobia/Nyctophobia). In severe cases going to the physician is necessary, but in lighter cases, people can “cure” themselves using some basic steps. They are:

  1. The first step is the most important. Before going into the bed, you should turn off any electronic devices that you could possibly hear while you are in bed. Avoid drinking coffee or some other potion with caffeine in it, and avoid watching late movies or shows (where is a lot of violence, blood or anything that is stressful). Before going into bed, just sit for 10 minutes and try to relay. Try telling the facts that there is nothing that can hurt you, and how many people are sleeping or working in dark places without fear. Also try finding something that calms you down, the gentle music of some potion.
  2. Gradually start shutting down the lights. You do not need to turn off all the light in the house. You can start dimming them first or leave one light in another room or nightlight. Try convincing yourself that sleeping in a dark room is much healthier than sleeping in the light rooms. Because you have a longer and deeper sleep, your body is relaxed and resting much better and much faster. Also, give yourself some goal, like in a few weeks I want to sleep when the lights turned off, and start working on that goal.
  3. You probably think that something is in your closet or under the bed. Try and confront those fears, get up, and check under the bed or wherever you think there is something. If you woke up in the night do the same, because you will sleep longer after you confront your fears.
  4. Leave a bit of light turned on. Don’t think that you are the only person who is sleeping with their light turned on. Many people are sleeping in the same way. Usually, it is better to leave some nightlight or some lamp in the corner of your room, it will give you a higher sense of peace and it will be easier if you must use a bathroom during the night.
  5. Make your room a much happier place. Don’t put any furniture on huge stacks of clothes, because you may think that something is under them. Hang out some interesting pictures on the wall, some you think they are relaxing and makes you happy. Use bright colors, avoid red and black furniture or carpets. If you make your room much more pleasant place, you will want to spend more time there.
  6. If you really want to stop fearing the dark, try to sleep alone. Many of you want to sleep with their parents, siblings or pets. This is good in the beginning, but after some time you must start sleeping alone. Pets are very useful in this process. Allow them to sleep in your bed (at your feet) or is a separate bed in your room. After some period try to put them in another room so you can sleep alone.
  7. At the end talk to yourself. Accept that you have this phobia and don’t be ashamed. Tell other people about your problem, maybe some can help you. And always think about your house and your bed as a safe and happy place.

Phobia of darkness (Achluophobia/Nyctophobia)  isn’t something that is related only to kids. It is a serious problem for many people, maybe you already know some person, but probably many of them are hiding this fact. Although this was a huge problem in the past, today there are many ways to beat this fear. Try these steps, if they don’t work for you, you must visit a doctor. Almost every treatment is 100% successful.

How to overcome the Fear of Death?

What is Fear of Death?

Living in this complicated world where the value of materialistic things is more than the value of true feelings is becoming a challenge. With the changing of times, more and more people are becoming victims of new types of physical and psychological diseases. The sad fact is that the people who suffer from any psychological disease are generally reluctant to the idea of acknowledging that they have a problem. The solution to this problem can be love and care so that a person who is suffering from any psychological disease may feel that he can talk about anything.

Though there are various types of psychological diseases that are gripping people, we are focused on discussing the most common fear among people, i.e. the fear of death.

Fear of death can simply be divided into two categories. The first category covers the actual act of dying. People who suffer from it often perceive it to be a painful and hideous experience and thus they fear it. On the other hand, some people fear being dead and hence they think a lot about what would happen if they die. In most cases, this fear does not impact the day to day lives of the people. But when it starts interrupting your own life’s schedule or the schedule of someone you know, it can be a cause of worry.

What is fear of death called technically?

The technical term used to explain the fear of death is Thanatophobia. It’s taken from the Greek word “Thanatos” which means death and “Phobos” simply means fear. When it’s at its peak it can stop you from leading a normal life as you won’t be able to do anything but think of and fear your own death.

Candle as an art representation of Death (thanatophobia)
Credits: webandi on pixabay.com

How to recognize you are suffering from it?

Though the people who suffer from Thanatophobia admit that they always think of death in the back of their mind, there are still some situations that can help you recognize whether you suffer from it or not. Have a look and be your own judge: You are suffering from Thanatophobia if:

  • Getting panic attacks by thinking of death too often
  • Feeling a lot of anxiety in a bit dangerous situations like when you forgot to switch off the gas for a minute or two
  • Avoiding simple things like driving at night due to fear of dying in an accident
  • Keeping visiting your doctor and have full body checkups more often than recommended
  • Spending a lot of money on keeping yourself young like undergoing intense plastic surgeries
  • Thinking of new methods by which you can die anytime
  • Keep thinking of what will happen to your family or friends if you die tomorrow (Thinking about it once in a few months is fine but if you think of it every day, it’s a clear danger sign)

How to overcome the fear of death?

To overcome the fear of death, you have to:

  • Accept it: Your first step towards curing Thanatophobia should be to accept that you have this problem. Then you should be willing to spend some time and energy on a regular basis to fight it off. Carving out half an hour every day would be more than enough.
  • Distract yourself: Another method of dealing with Thanatophobia is to distract yourself. Whenever you start thinking about death too much, just sidetrack your mind by doing any other task. Read a novel, listen to music, watch a happy movie or even wash laundry. Do anything that’s liked by you and would immediately catch your attention.
  • Pen Down your feelings and forget them: A good option can be to pen down your feelings regarding the death in a diary or journal and forget about it. When you pen down every possible scenario related to death, you won’t feel the need to think about it at least for some time.
  • Read about your condition: You should also try to read up about Thanatophobia so that you can recognize the symptoms at an early stage and seek solutions for it. You can read about it over the internet or in the medical journals or books published by experienced medical professionals or psychologists who have helped people like you.
  • Talk to people with similar conditions: If you have been thinking that you are the only person dealing with Thanatophobia then you are not altogether correct. There are several people dealing with it and most people do not like to discuss it in front of their loved ones. If you also don’t want your loved ones to know about it then you can join internet groups where such experiences and their cures are shared so that you can learn from other people’s experiences.
  • Seek religious assistance: You can talk to your priest about your problem and seek the help of God in removing your fear.
  • Consult with a psychologist: If you are an open-minded person then you can seek the help of a professional psychologist and work with him or her to get rid of Thanatophobia on a permanent basis.

A Real Story:

I know a person who also had Thanatophobia. Let’s name him John for this story. His fear was born when he was in the police force and had to fight off some maniac people who were terrorizing village people. Though he succeeded in saving the lives of more than 3 families, but he was hit with a bullet just an inch from his heart. He developed a Thanatophobia when he was in the hospital and was recovering from his physical injuries.

He, unlike many people, discussed his fear with his family and sought religious and psychological assistance. Though he has not completely gotten over Thanatophobia till now, his progress is good as he had rejoined the police force and still serves the country.

If he can do it, why can’t you? Just pack up the courage to speak about Thanatophobia with your loved ones and let them guide you towards the way to get over it.