I Have Terrible Phobias: Can You Help?

 I Have Terrible Phobias: Can You Help?

Your fears can let you know about problems in your life. Or, if you’re living with debilitating phobias, fears could become the biggest problem in your life.

Phobias can come from many sources, but have in common an intense fear or aversion not based in rational thinking. Trying to avoid phobia triggers can make it difficult to lead a full life. And, spending so much time in fear causes you an unhealthy amount of stress, leading to health problems and reduced quality of life, as well.

You don’t have to learn to live with phobias. Instead, seek treatment with Dr. Ronald P. Winfield and the psychiatry team at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates. Based in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, we can help you find freedom from fear, anxiety, and phobias. Here’s what you need to know about phobia treatment. 

Phobia: When fears strike

What exactly is a phobia? Some phobias, like fear of spiders, fear of germs, or fear of heights, are very common. However, you can develop a phobia around just about any potential trigger.

Some people’s experience of phobia involves a social component. You may feel triggered by crowds, or by other people’s behaviors, such as yelling or sneezing without covering the mouth. Phobias can also strike when you’re totally alone.

Identifying and understanding your phobias is often the first part of addressing the problem. Your phobia may be related to an underlying mental health issue, such as an anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that may need to be treated in order to give you symptom relief.

In many cases, though, understanding the cause behind phobias is less important than seeing how deeply your phobias damage your quality of life, and seeking to change that. That’s where psychiatric care can help.

Getting help with phobias

Living with phobias can feel like swimming in a pool that keeps getting smaller and smaller. Trying to avoid phobia triggers just makes you more limited. So, how can you improve your life?

When you seek treatment for phobias at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, your provider proceeds with compassion and understanding. We aren’t here to shame you for your fears, but to help you overcome them.

One of the ways that science shows phobias can best be overcome is through exposure therapy. That doesn’t mean exposing yourself to phobia triggers constantly, or without support, though. 

In exposure therapy, you work with your provider to reduce your reactivity to your phobia triggers. You start small, and work up to more intense exposure as you experience successes managing your phobia.

You may also benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to help you think about how you respond to thoughts, feelings, and triggers. And, for some patients, medication can temporarily relieve associated symptoms of panic or anxiety, getting you over hurdles in your path.

You don’t have to shrink forever if you live with phobias. You can take back charge of your life from your fears. And, you don’t have to, and shouldn’t, go it alone. When you partner with an experienced mental health care provider like Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, you receive the benefits of personalized, knowledgeable support.

For help with recovering from phobias of all kinds, contact Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates. Schedule your appointment over the phone or online today.

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