Phobias are anxiety issues at heart. Rooted in fear, lack of control, and vulnerability, a phobia is an extreme manifestation of anxiety often irrational obsession. A phobia develops out of fear of something. Everyone has fears of their own, which can be overcome with persuasion. A phobia is beyond persuasion. When faced with one’s ultimate phobias, one can become paralyzed in fear. A dark tunnel, flying in a plane, coming upon a spider- it’s more than meeting the boogey man in the closet. Phobias are being thoroughly convinced the boogeyman is real and living with the impending doom of meeting him.
Social Anxiety disorder is a phobia problem. Many social phobias could be classified and lead to a diagnosis of social anxiety disorder. There are issues with being social, being around other people, performing, and interacting, which cause deep and unsettling fears in people. Fears of being judged, being bullied, and being rejected are common. Turning to drugs and alcohol to boost confidence, soothe anxiety, and help relax is common for people with social anxiety disorder.
People who develop agoraphobia like to keep their lives small, compact, and tightly knit. THere’s a great fear of the world outside, even as far as the street corner. For those who live with a fear of open spaces, their lives become incredibly small. Unable to fetch the mail, go to the store, or have an active social life they miss out. Trapped inside the home, some people with agoraphobia can become alcoholic or addicted to drugs in order to feel pleasure, experience joy, or cope with the weight of their phobia.
Contrary to the fear of open spaces and the outside is claustrophobia which is the fear of being inside small, tight spaces. Some feel that claustrophobia is linked to abuse or trauma of some kind in which someone actually was or felt trapped. Others believe claustrophobia might be an anthropological survival mechanism to help people get out of dangerous situations. Claustrophobia is sometimes linked to panic disorder and panic attacks, demonstrating similar symptoms, including feeling the world is caving in.
During the treatment process, many recovering addicts and alcoholics find that there are underlying fears which have been driving them away from life for quite some time. Facing and overcoming fears of any kind is part of the recovery process.
Harmony Fear specializes in the treatment of phobias along with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. FOr a private consultation and more information on our programs, call 1-855-652-9048.