Living with a phobia can be a challenge for those who have to face it in their day-to-day lives. Even if the feared object or situation does not appear regularly in your daily life, you may spend much of your time worrying that it might appear or figuring out how to avoid it . In fact, by definition, a phobia is something that interferes with your life .
Counting friends and family
Telling your friends and family about your phobia can be very emotional for you . You may fear that you will be judged or made fun of. After all, they may have joked about you or someone who has a phobia in the past .
You may also worry that your loved ones will ‘label’ you and treat you as if you are sick . In turn, your friends may treat you in a way that you wish they didn’t or, on the other hand, avoid you.
Although revealing your phobia can be difficult, it is a necessary step in the healing process . At first, you may want to talk to a close friend or two about what’s happening to you. You probably know which friends will understand you the most and which ones the least. Keep in mind that you do not need to tell everyone, it is your choice to choose the ones that do .
If you see a therapist , he or she can guide you through these difficult discussions. In general, it is best to be as honest as possible . If you are trying to minimize the pain that you are experiencing due to a phobia, chances are that your friends also think that it is not that important to you.
Psychological and emotional effects of phobias
Phobias often have a far-reaching effect , causing difficulties in many areas of life. You may wonder if what you feel is normal. Phobias can impact your life emotionally in a number of ways .
- They can cause severe anxiety and the emotional and physical responses that accompany anxiety.
- Phobias can be isolating. Some phobias (especially agoraphobia) can lead you to avoid social situations . Not only has he left you alone, but you have time to wonder why you can’t be like everyone else.
- You may feel ashamed . You may feel ashamed because of the phobia, or because of the decisions you have to make because of it.
- It can make you feel helpless. Like others wonder why you can’t just not be afraid, you may feel lost from being unable to control your phobia. This feeling of helplessness can also make you feel much less in control over your entire life.
Find support resources
Although you will find primary support from your therapist and closest friends or family, you may find that additional support makes it easier to manage. There are online and offline support resources for people with phobias. Many people find it helpful to read first-person accounts of others’ personal struggles with their own phobias. Others look for the latest treatment information to give it to you . Many find that simply talking to someone about what is happening to them serves as the best therapy.
Although many people with phobia experience similar concerns despite the type of phobias they experience, each type of phobia also brings with it specific concerns . It may take a while to find the right support group or support community, but once you do, you’ll be glad you took the time to search and find it. Even if your family and friends ‘understand’ what you are facing, there is something special about being able to talk to other people who are facing some of the same challenges. You will have to think about what type of phobia is affecting you to find the help that really suits you.