Aerophobia is the fear of flying and it affects 25 million Americans. It paralyzes them from seeing loved ones, accepting job opportunities, or seeing the world. Phobias are an intense fear of an object or situation. Phobias fall under the anxiety category and anxiety is the #1 mental health issue in The United States. With aerophobia, people are afraid of being in a tight space, the landing, weather, heights, crowds, turbulence, flying over water, trapped, loss of control, and dying.
The way the mind works is that when we are in danger we feel fear and we receive a signal to get out of danger which is great! Once we are safe that part of the mind can relax and is supposed to shut off. The problem is some people don’t shut that part of the mind off and have a constant fear of a situation or object. Amy was bitten by a spider at age 8. Now every time she sees a spider she is convinced that she will get bitten again and she begins to feel terror, rapid heartbeat, trembles, or goes to extreme measures to avoid the spider.
The mind cannot differentiate between what is imagined and what is real. So people have the power to convince themselves that something could happen. Anxiety is not rational. It is actually an illusion that something could happen that is not happening.
Anxiety is like an umbrella and underneath it are phobias, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorder. People have phobias because they; 1. Had a traumatic experience and are fearful that it will happen again, or 2. Are convinced that what they believe about the fear of the object or thing is real or will come to past.
When Joe was a little boy he went riding with his parents, and he saw a man jumped off of a bridge. Joe is now 35 but is terrified to ride across bridges maybe out of fear that someone will jump off. That event is no longer happening but there is a part of Joe’s subconscious mind that hasn’t gotten the message that the event is over. Is there hope with people with phobias? Absolutely! When selecting a clinician ask if they have training working with phobias? Have they had success with those individuals? What techniques do you use that are different from their peers?
Below are the 10 most common phobias.
- Tight Spaces
- The Dentist
- Bad Weather
- The Hospital
Listed from: Women’s Health Magazine
Sonya Waddell is a Licensed Professional Counselor right outside of Atlanta, Ga. She is the author of “Single Ladies: Living Holy in a Sexy World” which can be purchased on Amazon.