Understanding, overcoming, overcoming, fighting fears
Anxiety is a human primal instinct of great benefit. After all, fear shows us dangers. And only those who are aware of a danger can protect themselves sufficiently. Under certain circumstances, fear is therefore life-saving (see also fear as a protective mechanism).
During an anxiety emotion, the organism mobilizes energy reserves so that affected people can take appropriate measures. These include, for example, the flight or the fight. However, in today’s world we rarely encounter legitimate dangers that may (or may) trigger general anxiety or an anxiety attack. The type of fears has changed increasingly. In addition, fears sometimes become noticeable even when, objectively speaking, there is no reason for such a reaction. Nevertheless, sufferers suffer from their sometimes really massive anxiety, which can have far-reaching psychological and physical effects (see also: “Am I mentally ill?”). Therefore, treatment is sometimes necessary even if the person’s health and life are not at risk.
What are the fears and with which basic strategies you can get rid of them, you will find out below.
Fear, panic, phobia:
What does all this mean??
► 1. scared
Fears can relate to specific situations or be rather unconcrete. For example, fear of the dentist (fear of the dentist, “dental phobia“, “dentophobia”) belongs to a concrete fear. It can complicate everyday life, depending on its characteristics. Because it only affects a small area of life, it is quite possible that those affected otherwise have a self-confident personality.
In case of unconcrete fears, it is usually difficult for those affected to clearly express, assign and combat their emotions. The feelings are rather diffuse, so that affected people are more anxious to go through life and to deal with the most different challenges. However, unconcrete fears do not mean that they take up much of life and severely restrict it. People who are struggling with such emotions can still find solutions to their problem and, for example, be able to calm themselves without relying on medication, chemical sedatives or herbal sedatives for anxiety, or .
Anxiety feelings do not always arise without reason. Sometimes they are justified and protect those affected from danger. In this case, fear can be understood as a reaction that follows a danger.
► 2. panic
Fears do not necessarily limit the everyday life of the person concerned. However, if they occur more often and reduce the ability to act, one can pathological fear stuck behind the symptoms. A anxiety disorder is manifested among other things by panic and panic attacks (see panic / panic disorder). At a panic attack It is an anxiety attack that occurs in specific situations and leads to strong physical symptoms. This makes panic a morbid type of anxiety that should be treated. Otherwise, a vicious circle can arise because sufferers in addition to the underlying anxiety often still the Fear of another attack develop (see expectation fears). In the end, panic is characterized by severe physical symptoms leading to inability to control. Here is the Psychosomatics of appropriate disorders and diseases clear.
► 3. phobia
Another type of fear is phobia. A phobia is a very strong fear of actually harmless objects and situations. Particularly well-known is the arachnophobia (Arachnophobie). Affected persons are less concerned about the specific object or the situation itself, and rather of the consequences that are associated with it. Spider phobics may be afraid of a spider bite, while people with dog phobia to be afraid that a dog could mangle them. Another characteristic of a phobia is usually the knowledge of those affected by the actual reasonlessness of their fear. Nevertheless, they fail to successfully fight and shake off the phobia. A phobia can take on a large scale as soon as phobics adapt their everyday life and try to avoid the corresponding object or situation (see avoidance / avoidance behavior).
► 4. Fear
At a apprehension Affected individuals accurately portray certain situations and are convinced that the object enters their fear. Such a fear can be harmless, after all, it makes every man every now and then noticeable. However, as soon as the affected person regularly empathizes with their fear, physical and mental illness may occur anxiety symptoms on. A fear can be a thought that passes quickly. But she is also capable of controlling and limiting one’s life.
Ultimately, fear, phobia, fear and panic can not be clearly differentiated. Phobias and panic attacks are subforms of fear. Depending on their severity, they may indicate an anxiety disorder. Fears are also fears of varying intensity. Not behind any fear is immediately a strong fear. However, if those affected perceive that their thoughts revolve around the object of their apprehension time and time again, then a pathological fear can be behind it.
Understanding and Overcoming Fears: What are normal fears??
As long as a fear does not restrict everyday life and induces or avoids certain actions (see procrastinating), anxiety tends to fall within the normal range. In such a case, it can be annoying in some situations, but it can does not control the life of the person concerned, who otherwise moves freely and is not confronted daily with his anxiety.
But as fears become more prevalent and dominate everyday life, the freedom of action and the emotional world, there is no longer talk of “normality”. Instead, sufferers should think about a therapy, so they can go back soon free of anxiety disorders through life. Most psychologists and psychotherapists agree that almost every anxiety disorder is treatable.
Whether a fear is in need of therapy, then decides less the type of fear, but rather the present level of anxiety. Even with very abstract or “unnecessary” fears, there is therefore no immediate need for action per se. However, if the fear nevertheless puts a strain on the person affected, then nothing speaks against a suitable therapy for relieving the feelings of anxiety (see also: anxiety management, cognitive restructuring / behavioral therapy).
Examples of fears
1. anxiety in the context of certain situations
Fears that only occur in specific situations fall into the category of situational fears. They do not make themselves felt anytime, but only when those affected are confronted with a situation they are afraid of. These include, for example, social anxiety, but also all phobias or the fear of visiting a doctor.
Situational anxiety can have more or less impact. For example, the fear of snakes in this country is less relevant because we rarely see snakes in Germany. The situation is different with the fear of the doctor. This can lead to negative health consequences if people do not seek treatment for diseases or avoid preventive medical examinations. The fear of doctors is usually triggered by bad experiences in a corresponding clinic or practice. False diagnoses and painful treatments can help them, especially if these perceptions solidify as early as infancy.
1.2. Social anxiety:
One of the common situational fears is the social anxiety (also: social anxiety disorder, social phobia). Behind the social fear is ultimately the Fear of negative reviews by others. In social situations, those affected try not to attract attention, to be clumsy or to give others the opportunity to judge them negatively. Often people suffer from social anxiety tension feelings and the supposed perception of being constantly observed.
After all, social anxiety often causes people to withdraw and avoid social contact more and more. Because social situations can often not be completely avoided in everyday life, the pressure for people with social anxiety is very high. Professional commitments, travel, family events, celebrations or restaurant visits trigger strong stress reactions and are gradually removed from everyday life over time. Ultimately, social anxiety is situational fear. It usually occurs when actions are performed in the presence of others who could criticize this action (see also: Recognizing social phobia).
2. Generalized fears
At a generalized anxiety disorder There is a constant feeling of anxiety and tension (see generalized anxiety disorders). Concerned people increasingly worry about different areas, which are usually linked to everyday events and problems. People with generalized fears can take care of themselves or relatives and friends. Finally, generalized fears are characterized by the fact that they do not only occur in certain situations. This distinguishes them from situational fears. Instead, fear refers to many aspects of life and is expressed through unrealistic and exaggerated fears.
The future is always uncertain and can hide both pleasure and disappointment. People with afraid of the future but focus mainly on the negative side. Sometimes they are convinced that something bad will happen to them at some point, so that they concentrate on this thought until appropriate anxiety, such as a physical tension.
Fears about the future can refer to different areas. Who suffers from fear of the future, does not have per se one generalized anxiety disorder respectively. However, fears of the future in people with a generalized anxiety disorder are not uncommon. Otherwise, fears of the future can also spread as an independent fear. Again, if you take care of the next few years, you do not have to deal with a pathological fear right away. Only when the thoughts become prevalent and focus on negative things again and again (see negative thoughts), there may be a need for action.
3. Specific fears
Phobias in particular focus very specifically on specific objects or situations. The appearance of fear has clear limits. As long as people with phobias are not confronted with their phobia, they usually do not suffer from the corresponding anxiety. However, a phobia can also take on a large scale. In such a case, phobics consciously try to avoid situations in which their fear may arise; see, e.g. Paruresis in men at the urinal. In addition, sufferers may have multiple phobias.
A arachnophobia is widespread. At the sight of the animal, some people panic. If the spider phobia is severe, it is possible that those affected avoid all situations in which they might encounter a spider.
4. Fears in the context of specific environments
Sometimes the symptoms only occur in specific environments. At this point, there is no clear distinction to situational fears. Fears in the context of certain environments are often situational. Ultimately, they express themselves when those affected are in an environment they are afraid of.
4.1. Agoraphobia and claustrophobia
- People with agoraphobiafear, among other things, of situations in which they are exposed to wide squares or crowds of people (see Agoraphobia).
- In the claustrophobia however, there is a fear of tight spaces. Claustrophobia is closely linked to the Fear of suffocation or the Fear of narrowing.
At times, fears only relate to certain environments such as tunnels, underpasses, elevators (© Heiko Küverling / Fotolia)
Overcoming fears with therapies
Who suffers from a fear, this is not helpless exposed. Especially in the context of psychological treatment, there are various professional options that can help overcome existing fears. A stay in a clinic is not necessary for this.
▲ 1. Confrontational Therapy
In the exposure therapy People are confronted with their corresponding anxiety. The goal is to make them aware of their ability to act during the process, and in this way gradually overcome their fears. The confrontation therapy can take place first in thoughts and then in real circumstances or in real life. In addition, it is possible either to approach fear one step at a time (habituation) or to confront her immediately (flooding).
Confrontational therapy forces the patient to abandon the usual avoidance tactics to overcome his fears. He should learn that he is able to endure the psychological symptoms, constraints and the physical reactions that occur. At the same time, self-confidence builds up and, by observing one’s own thoughts during the confrontation, sufferers can find out how to increase and resolve their anxiety.
A Confrontational therapy can fight fears, but also carries risks. If it is stopped, on the one hand, the patient’s self-confidence can suffer greatly, on the other hand, the symptoms often worsen. It should not be used if the relationship between doctor and patient is not sufficiently familiar. In addition, for very severe symptoms, it is advisable not to seek a confrontation alone, but to put it in the hands of a therapist. For people with panic disorder a confrontation is less suitable (see panic disorder treatment).
Overcoming fears – Often, only the courageous leap forward, with courage and, if necessary, a suitable therapy, helps to prevent a “crash”. For anxiety disorders are very often and very quickly associated with social withdrawal, isolation, avoidance behavior, depression and suicidality (© snyGGG / Fotolia)
▲ 2. Coping with psychotherapy fears
To fight fears, help both cognitive as well as behavioral Approaches continue. After all, anxiety is a physical reaction that comes through thoughts. This fears fall partially in the field of psychosomatic.
In cognitive psychotherapy, patients should get to know the connection between their thoughts and their feelings. In addition, many therapists also work with various mind control methods, such as the thought-stop method. The aim is to interrupt the thoughts of fear and so to avoid the threatening consequences, such as an increase in symptoms to a panic attack, and to defeat the fear. Therapists often give their patients tips that help them in their everyday lives.
Cope with anxiety with psychotherapy | Conversation therapies, behavioral therapies and confrontation exercises are a good and proven strategy to fight fears (© Picture-Factory / Fotolia)
Fights fight with drugs?
▲ 1. Antidepressants
With antidepressants doctors want to treat not only depression, but also fears and constraints. Overall, they have an anxiety- and tension-dissolving and mood-enhancing effect (see also our antidepressant list). Unfortunately, they do not improve symptoms until at least 2 to 3 weeks, i. they are not suitable to fight short-term symptoms of his fears. However, the treatment makes sense if the present anxiety disorder has also developed a depressive symptomatology (severe depression or even mild forms of depressive moods).
▲ 2. Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines have an anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, muscle-relaxing effect, which they also show immediately. This is another reason why benzodiazepines are among the most commonly used drugs in the context of panic disorders. Unfortunately, benzodiazepines have a high risk of dependence. Thus, the drug is not suitable for long-term treatment (see Overview Benzodiazepines).
▲ 3. Beta blocker
With beta-blockers, patients can get rid of the physical symptoms by reducing blood pressure and heart rate, as well as relieving tremors, sweating, and gastrointestinal discomfort. The feeling of fear itself, however, does not affect them. There is no risk of dependence for beta-blockers. Nevertheless, they are unsuitable for a lasting therapy. Some (miss) need them more for exam situations or appearances.
▲ 4. St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort is a natural, herbal remedy that does not lead to addiction. However, for the effect to begin, patients must first take the drug for three weeks. St. John’s wort can intervene in the metabolism of neurotransmitters and hormones and is often used in the treatment of mild to moderate depressive episodes (see high-dose St. John’s wort for depression). For women who use hormonal drugs, St. John’s wort is not suitable.
▲ 5. Valerian
Valerian helps with anxiety, nervousness and sleep disorders (see our article on the subject of sleeping pills). The preparation is not dependent and also overdoses are not yet known. However, after taking a headache sometimes noticeable. The anxiety-reducing effect is enhanced by a combination with hops (see hop effect). Often also further combinations are offered, whereby their combination effect is not always well documented (see valerian / hops / melissa / passionflower / lavender, see also Euvegal Balance 320/160).
Medications help patients fight their fears. However, they start with the symptoms, not the cause. Accordingly, the symptoms return as soon as the respective preparation is discontinued. Therefore, an accompanying psychotherapeutic treatment as anxiety therapy is important. Medications alone can not beat a fear.
Understanding and overcoming fears with hypnosis and globules?
A hypnosis can support the success of anxiety therapy. In a trance, patients are in a state of deep relaxation that initially relieves the stress symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Due to the altered state of consciousness, experienced hypnotherapists are able to bring back forgotten and repressed memories for processing and thus to be able to overcome fears over the long term. There is also an improvement in anxiety through appropriate suggestions possible. However, hypnosis should only be done by professional hypnotherapists. These can also give patients tips for dealing with anxiety in everyday life (see Hypnosis for fear).
homeopathy is considered skeptical from a scientific point of view. So far it was not possible, Globulis to demonstrate an effect that goes beyond the placebo effect. Accordingly, globules are less likely to be used to treat a panic disorder. Patients with a strong belief in the effects of the globules may have a positive effect, otherwise preference should be given to other drugs in order to overcome anxiety. With homeopathy alone you should not be able to get rid of panic disorders.
Comorbidities in case of strong fears
Unfortunately, anxiety disorders are often associated with other diseases. These include, for example, depression, compulsions or addictions (see addiction definition). Finally, panic and anxiety disorders are a serious burden on the patient. Because everyday life is often limited and characterized by negative thoughts and physical symptoms, among other things, depression can develop. On the other hand, addictive addiction is often due to the fact that those affected promise the substances to alleviate their suffering.
When patients want to manage their fears, they should also think about treating other side effects. The family doctor can provide patients with tips on the right advice centers for the corresponding problems. A strong addictive behavior or severe depression may make sense to stay in a clinic.
Understanding and overcoming fears, fighting, coping with them –
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