Phobias are not to be underestimated! People live their lives avoiding that feeling. Rather walk ten miles, than go over a bridge? Avoid any place a little critter with eight legs might live? You might have missed out on holidays as you won’t fly…
So whats the feeling being avoided? It may feel like this… Stomach seems to turn, at initial realisation or first sight of whatever fears you. Your whole body becomes clammy, heart rate and breathing increases. You can both hear and feel your heart pounding, body feels tense, your mouth goes dry and you feel lightheaded. So, what was it causing you to feel such distress? People have phobias about all sorts of things. The idea is that you don’t become completely desensitised to things like heights, spiders, dogs, cats, birds, bridges, plains, etc as all of these things can be dangerous so we don’t want you to become a dare devil. What you need is a healthy respect for whatever it is creating this debilitating response. So you can live a life that isn’t full of avoidance and fear. People with phobias often comment on how irrational it is and how they would rather be face to face with something else usually far more dangerous?!? However, the fear of the phobic response is real and to be avoided at all costs. People miss out on so much and often don’t realise how much time and energy is put into avoiding the thing at the root of their phobia until they’re no longer phobic.
I’m sure that you do know that despite how real the response is the fear is irrational. The cognitions that drive the phobic response once changed free you of the irrational response, freeing you of the debilitating response. I can help you to have that healthy respect you crave, so you can go on holiday, do the gardening and cross that bridge when you need to.