“My phobia of closed spaces stops me from using the elevator at work. While this isn’t a big deal for some people, it has become a huge and daily ordeal for me.”
There’re many people who suffer from an irrational fear – of heights, of spiders, of an inanimate object used in our daily lives. This fear cannot be explained, it’s just there.
When Does Fear Become A Phobia?
It’s perfectly normal to fear particular objects, animals or situations in fact it’s even healthy. However, a fear that lasts for more than six months turns into a phobia. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 10 million adults suffer from some sort of phobia in the United States. This exaggerated and irrational fear often becomes so all-consuming that daily life can be affected, for the worse.
The good news: Phobias can be treated.
Our Brain and Its Connection with Phobia
Research done on this subject found the amygdale – a small, almond shaped part in the middle of our brain’s temporal lobes is the player responsible. To be exact, phobias take root after any malfunction to the amygdale.
The Biology of Fear
All known phobias and anxiety disorders are lumped in the same class and known as post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder. Anxiety disorders on the other hand are purely based on fear.
What little is known about origin of fear in brain recesses and neuro-circuitry comes from experiments and research done on animals, hence there isn’t knowing what happens in the human brain during a panic or anxiety attack.
Most people who report suffering from a phobia don’t actually recall having a trauma or negative interaction, associated with their phobia. Similarly, in many cases the patients never even come in contact with their phobic stimulus.
Phobia and Genetics
As mentioned above, the amygdale has an important role to play when it comes to phobias. Primarily the storage place for our emotional memories, scientists and researchers have reason to believe there’s a connection between the pathophysiological mechanisms in disorders and dysregulation of neurotransmitters.
While a great deal of work has been done to understand our brain’s neural response to fear, behavioral therapies are making way as viable and effective forms of treatment. Get a free consultation from certified hypnotist Rekha Shrivastava today and learn how hypnosis can help with your phobia. phobias and fears,