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Treatment for phobias can be highly effective.  Anxiety disorders in general, and specific phobias in particular, are not something that you can just use your willpower or mental strength to overcome, nor can you simply ignore how you feel. Anxiety disorders cause people to feel nervous almost all the time which may cause ordinary interactions and routine activities to be extremely uncomfortable. People suffering like this often tend to avoid putting themselves in these situations altogether and this can develop into a phobia.

Other people may experience occasional feelings of anxiety on that are so frightening that they’re often frozen in fear. Anxiety disorders in general can be extremely disabling, but this is even moreso with specific phobias.  Treatment for phobias can be very effective. What’s important is that the individual, their family or close friends recognize the symptoms of anxiety and get them help.

Phobias are broken into three main groups: 

  1. Specific Phobias – These phobias are the most common and are attached to specific objects that cause the anxiety or fear. This object of fear is in reality quite safe and the sufferer knows this intellectually but nonetheless they are terrified of when they think of having to face either the object or the given situation. They can go into a panic attack or have extreme feelings of anxiety.

Examples of specific phobias are a fear of:

Dogs

Spiders

Driving

Heights

Tunnels

Bridges

Thunderstorms

Flying         

The causes of specific phobias are not really known but it does seem that it runs in families. Women more than men seem to suffer from specific phobias and these fears usually present themselves in during the teens or in adulthood.

  1. Social Phobia – This is extreme anxiety in social situations or public events stemming from being frightened that they may be embarrassed or humiliated and the thought that others might be around is more than they can bear. This phobic reaction to social situations may come from low self-esteem or feelings of inferiority. People who suffer from this phobia may end up leaving school, refuse to go out and get a job and just stop being with or making friends.

Those with social phobia often:

See minor mistakes as catastrophes

Are painfully embarrassed by simply blushing

Are sure that everyone is looking at and judging them

Are terrified to speak in public, date or speak to those in authority

Are afraid when dining out or using a public restroom

Fear speaking on a phone or writing while others look on

It’s not unusual for people who suffer from social phobia to have substance abuse problems and to also suffer from depression.

  1. Agoraphobia – The person suffering from this has an intense fear of finding themselves alone in public places and being unable to escape. They might fear being in a room with a lot of other people, or perhaps an elevator. People who have panic attacks that then become debilitating very often develop agoraphobia just because they’re frightened that they’ll have another panic attack. A person with an extreme case of agoraphobia a person will be terrified to step outside their home and may become home bound.

Effective Treatment for Phobias and Reason for Hope

Because our treatment for depression and anxiety programs rely on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful methods to provide treatment for phobias.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  Even the most severe phobias can be treated. The most effective psychotherapeutic treatment found is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which actually teaches the patient how to monitor their exaggerated thinking, develop new skills and to behave differently in the frightening situations which set off the panic attack or anxiety. With practice their thought patterns change and this leads to a lessening in symptoms.In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN relies on cognitive behavior therapy, which contributes to our effectiveness in the treatment of these disorders.  Unfortunately, less half of all individuals with any mental illness in Tennessee will receive mental health treatment, including those with anxiety disorders.  Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting. It is also important to keep in mind that women and men often experience anxiety differently and therefore the presence of an anxiety disorder may also appear differently based on gender. If you or a loved one is showing signs of an anxiety disorder, including phobias or PTSD, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for anxiety can be highly successful.  People who have completed our program have provide very high consumer satisfaction scores and reviewsCall us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.