FEARS AND PHOBIAS: FLYING, STAGE, LIFTS, OPEN SPACES AND SOCIAL
By: Sevket Gul. BSc, NLP-CBT Master Practitioner-Life Coach April.2010 London
From our survival perspective fears serve a useful purpose. Fears is an appraisal of an actual potential danger-harm directed to toward us i.e. a cognitive process. Fear is followed by anxiety- an emotional reaction, an over active alarm system and unpleasant feeling state and physiological reaction. Freud’s definition;
“anxiety serves as signal of danger –internal or external.”
The chain reaction and the inter relationship linked to fears-phobias can be summarised in the following sequence: Fear-Anxiety- Panic Attack- Phobia-Obsession-Compulsion-Depression-Suicide (chronic degree of hopelessness).
Fears and phobias can be classified in to three major categories:
- Based on man-made dangers: being attacked, kidnapped, having an operation
- Based on natural and supernatural dangers: thunder, lightening, ghosts
- Based on psychosocial stress: exams, making other people angry, humiliation-embarrassment, separation from family-parents
a and c are likely to continue into the adulthood.
Fears also can be labelled as:
- Physical fears: Anticipation of bodily damage, passing out, falling or death
- Psychosocial fears: Humiliation, embarrassment, disappointment, rejection, being judged, loneliness, grief.
Many phobias contain elements of fear of both physical and psychosocial harm.
Two main group of phobias in adults:
1. Early childhood intense phobias
Fixation with fear arrested during ones early years. Fears tend to centre on the danger of physical injury, social injury or death.
Kids 2-6 years:
Feared dogs, doctors, storms, deep water and darkness. Enclosed spaces. Children phobias tend to relate to their mothers phobias.
Kids 5-12 years:
Feared ghosts, witches, corpses, mysterious events, being alone in the dark being lost. Attack or danger by animals. Bodily injury, illness, falling, traffic accidents, operations, hurts and pains.
2. Traumatic phobias
Similar to traumatic neuroses, in which an unusual, unpleasant, or injury involving experience sensitizes a person to that particular type of situation.
e.g., Phobia of dogs after a dog bite; Of heights after a fall downstairs; of injections after a severe reaction; of travelling after an accident; of hospitals, doctors, hospital smells after having a very serous operation. Some interpersonal phobias also can develop after some traumatic event.
Type of fears-phobias
Fear of Open Spaces (Agoraphobia)
Fear of High Places (Acrophobia)
Fear of Flying-Airplane Travel
Fear of Lifts-Elevators
Fear of Tunnels
Fear of exams-tests
Fear of Public speaking
Fear of Stage-performance
Visit your GP first.
Individuals suffering from fears-phobias should consult their GPs in the first instance. Chronic fear, anxiety, phobia treatments are successfully achieved through the NLP-CBT interventions. If necessary GPs will make referrals to a specialist.