Copyright Tom Buckland
Anxieties, panic attacks, phobias and fears all stem from a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is often called the ‘terror centre of the brain’.
When a real or a perceived danger is recognised by the brain, a fight/flight response is set off to help us overcome that danger. But sometimes, instead of the danger being dispersed in the mind, a template of that danger is kept, and anything like the initial situation will reactivate the template.
With phobias, the feeling of the phobic response is an avoidance response from the mind. The mind says ‘this is a danger, so get out of there’. The feelings are produced to warn you, and get you away from that danger. Unfortunately, the unconscious mind can sometimes react like this to things that aren’t really a danger. This is why I have treated clients who have had phobic responses to cotton wool balls, dogs, cats, cars, felt tip pens and ice cream! The fear is real even if the danger is not.
There are 2 kinds of phobias. One is a direct phobia. This is when you know exactly why you feel like you do. For example, if someone had a car crash and then find they have a phobic response when they get near cars. Or someone who has a fear of dogs because they were bitten when they were young.
Indirect phobias are more complex. The person has no idea why they feel the way they do, and there is no real memory of the first time it started. The phobia can also change and develop in other areas of a person’s life, so an original fear of flying develops into a fear of driving as well. Indirect phobias can sometimes take a little longer to cure than direct phobias.
Panic attacks are a extreme form of response, and things like social anxieties which makes a person nervous, blush and sweat when having to meet new people is the same response happening. In fact most anxieties, panic attacks and phobias are very similar in their working process.
Anxieties are a lesser form of panic. The brain is trying to keep us away from a ‘dangerous’ situation (such as having to give a presentation when not feeling confident in doing so) or the anxiety can be more general such as worrying about things in life in general (will I or my children become unwell, will I cope, will I be a good person, will I die young etc) and we may be aware of what makes us feel anxious, or it may be the feeling of worry or anxiety is the only thing we are aware of, and we may not understand what is triggering this feeling.
So if you live in the Southampton area including Winchester etc, and you suffer with anxiety, fear or panics, please call today on 07901522692 and see how therapy can help.
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Anxieties, fear of flying, phobias, Southampton, panic attacks, driving phobias, fear of being sick, general anxiety disorder, claustrophobia, fear of dogs, presentation anxiety, fear of spiders, worrying, Winchester, Andover, Southampton area, fear of snakes, feeling anxious all the time