Spiders, heights, snakes, and public speaking – these are all examples of events that can trigger a little bit of fear in almost everyone. After all, spiders are creepy, heights are dangerous, snakes bite, and public speaking means putting yourself out there in front of others. It’s hard not to feel at least a little bit nervous in these situations.
But for some people, that level of nervousness is overwhelming, and in some cases overwhelming to such a significant degree that it cause someone to significantly alter their life. If that happens, you may have a phobia: significant fear that is greater than what “should be” experienced when coming face to face with a stimulus (thing or event that triggers fear).
How to Tell if You Have a Phobia
Some degree of anxiety in some situations is normal – or at the very least, not “frightening” enough to warrant therapy. For example, if you simply experience a small amount of anxiety when you see a House Centipede, but you can still walk over to it, smack it with a newspaper, and throw it away, then you may have a bit of a phobia but not enough to warrant any type of treatment.
But for some, that fear controls their life:
- Their fear is so strong they experience severe panic attacks or fainting when they come across the stimulus.
- Their fear alters their behaviors, such as not going to work because a spider was near your car.
- Their fear is caused by something they encounter often enough to hurt their quality of life.
When your phobia is more than just a mild inconvenience, it may be time to consider therapy, which provides proven effective ways at controlling the extent of your phobia and the way it controls your life.
Phobia Treatment in Long Island
Phobias do not often go away on their own. That is because the more you try to avoid the stimulus, the more anxiety you experience in the future. Phobias need to be treated, and the best way to treat them is with a trained anxiety therapist.
As Long Island psychologists, we have worked with many patients struggling with many different types of phobias. In our experience, phobias are absolutely treatable, but in order to treat them you have to be ready to commit to addressing the fear. Through regular, systematic treatments, you can learn to control your anxiety when faced with the stimulus, and learn to feel more comfortable when faced with your fear.
If you believe you may be struggling with a phobia, or any type of anxiety, please feel free and give us a call today at (516) 732-0273.
We have two convenient offices in Garden City and Rockville Centre, in Nassau County, Long Island, NY. To learn more, please explore the site or visit our contact page.