Halloween is a season where we deliberately aim to scare ourselves silly. Ghouls and zombies parade around the streets and we revel in tricks and terrors; in fact an article published by Popular Science illustrated a horror house with the most common phobias for their Halloween edition. As the pumpkins start to disappear from our streets, spare a thought for the people among us who spend their entire year battling anxiety and phobias to function.
A phobia is an intense fear of an event or a specific object. They can range from the common – spiders, snakes and sharks – animals that actually could kill us if they wanted to the unusual – cotton wool, buttons and pigeons. Sometimes just the thought that perhaps the object of the phobia could possibly be nearby is enough to trigger intense anxiety in people who have severe phobias.
It’s estimated that over a million people in the UK suffer from a phobia which affects their quality of life. When phobias become severe they can generalise from one thing to other situations. An example of this is fear of flying following a turbulent flight which can turn into flying phobia and then generalise into fear of travelling on the tube.
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, and the mental health charity Mind says it can be difficult to know when to seek treatment for a phobia. “If avoidance of the object, activity or situation that triggers your phobia does interfere with your everyday life, or keeps you from doing things you would otherwise enjoy, it may be time to seek help,” they say.
Because phobias usually occur after traumatic experiences rational approaches to eradicate them can be ineffective. Often phobias can be treated in just one session with hypnotherapy, depending on the willingness of the client to embrace the change, says the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH). There are different types of hypnotherapy and skilled hypnotherapists may combine different forms or use hypnosis in conjunction with other treatments depending on the needs of their client.
If you have a phobia or a fear which is affecting your life, why not try a session with a trained and accredited NCH hypnotherapist? You can use the NCH directory by clicking here to find a therapist near you.