Have found 'root' of my phobia, now how do I cure it?
May 24, 2011 4:02 AM Subscribe
I have found the root of (what is becoming a debilitating) phobia, now what do I do to get rid of phobia completely?
posted by Faintdreams to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have an intense phobia of a particular animal. I won't say in this open forum what it is, but it is something common and something nearly everyone encounters quite often.
I have vivid memories of NOT being afraid of this animal up until about the age of seven, and then I have no memories until around ten or eleven because I suffered a childhood disease that had me in a coma for an extended period.
So, I have traced the root of the phobia back to a particular scene in a particular children's book. I am positive this is the 'root' of the phobia, but now that I know that, what can I do to combat it?
I've tried psychotherapy, I've tried anti anxiety drugs (which are difficult to use, because of unknown exposure to thing I am phobic about), and they have horrible side effects. I've tried the counselling and the 'flooding' method for counteracting my phobia and that didn't work either.
I've also tried the NLP 'Visualise the thing and then reduce it in size and make it black and white and then smaller and smaller until it is inconsequential" routine. That seemed to cure my phobic night terrors, but not the actual phobia.
I cannot talk about the thing, seeing a picture of it/them, causes flight or flight, actual exposure can lead to full on panic attack shock - with the horrible accompanying adrenaline come down - and I really just want it all to stop.
In nearly all other respects I and others consider me a well balanced adult. I normally face my fears when safe to do so, and I don't squick easily. I would really appreciate some concrete advice on how to stop being afraid of this thing - forever.
I dont expect to ever be all "oh look it's *animal* yay", but I'd like to not have mild panic attacks at the mere glimpse of one on tv, and full blown screaming 'peel me off the cealing' attacks when actually exposed to one.
Also I'd like to point out that I've heard all the 'just man up' or 'just talk yourself out of it' solutions, and I want concrete, constructive advice. My phobia is real, and having an increasing effect on my life. It is not some 'silly irrational fear', or 'strong dislike'. I know my reaction to the phobic thing is disproportionate, I just don't' know how to stop having the disproportionate fear reaction.
Oh the animal itself is not dangerous, and I've tried to learn more about them to demystify them, but doing so often involves large pictures of them which I can't face because of the phobia!
Thanks for your time :D