Fear is a natural reaction that is biologically programmed into each human being. At times our fears are normal reactions to frightening situations, such as a startling noise, a frightening event or a dangerous situation. Human beings developed fear reactions, including the “fight or flight” response, as a way to stay safe and avoid danger. When a natural fear becomes distorted or “stuck” it may have become a phobia. During these times, the natural survival reaction which have served us historically to keep us safe, become activated by non-life threatening situations: (flying, escalators, heights, bugs, public speaking.)
Although an individual may understand “in their heads” that the situation facing them is not a life threatening danger, their body may continue to react with the full “fight or flight” panic response. Thus a person may find themselves reacting to an everyday situation with an intense level of physical and emotional stress: (avoiding the situation entirely, finding oneself feeling terror and/or experiencing physiological reactions such as sweating, pounding heart or increased blood pressure.) Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder, and can be treated with counseling, learning behavioral ways of coping, and sometimes medication It is not uncommon for a person who struggles with phobia(s) to also have other symptoms of anxiety, such as anxiety attacks, excessive worry or fearfulness. Counseling can help with these anxiety reactions.
The following CPC counselors work with phobias: