Most people have some kind of fears, sometimes bigger ones, sometimes smaller ones. It is common for most of us to feel uncomfortable about certain things, maybe heights, spiders or having to speak in public. Usually we manage to get on with things, despite feeling a bit nervous about them.
So what distinguishes a fear from a phobia? First of all it is the extend to which we are affected, the intensity of it. The reaction to a stimulus is excessive and might be irrational. If somebody has a particular phobia they might experience dread or even panic.
While some phobias might be just irritating to the sufferer, others can have a disabling effect and interfere with everyday life, with relationships, work or school.
The causes of a phobia could be a traumatic event in the past, for example if somebody got stuck in a lift as a child they might develop acute claustrophobia. Or if you were bitten by a dog you might well be terrified of dogs.
There seems to be a genetic disposition to phobias as well. If there is a family history of anxiety disorder, the risk of developing a phobia may be increased.
So what are the most common phobias that are seen in homeopathic practice?
Fear of heights – people avoid bridges, mountains, can’t bear to be in a high building and may experience dizziness or sweating, feel they might pass out.
Claustrophobia – very afraid in enclosed spaces, even trains or cars
Fear of certain animals like spiders, dogs, mice
Fear of germs
Fear of flying
Fear of dental procedures
Social phobias, makes any social interactions very difficult, even simple things like making a phone call or asking anything from a shop assistant
Agoraphobia – fear not only of being in open spaces but also of being in a crowd (where they cannot leave if they want to), or just being away from home and not sure if they can get back to its safety. People often chose to just stay at home, thus missing out on life to a great extend. Somebody with a chronic health problem may also experience this, fearing that they wouldn’t have access to help if there should be a medical emergency.
Performance anxiety – there may be severe physical symptoms if the person has to speak in public, for instance.
In true phobias, a common reaction is a panic attack. Symptoms can include
– feeling faint
– shortness of breath
– dry mouth
– tightness in chest
How can homeopathy help with fears and phobias?
In a homeopathic consultation we look at every aspect of the person, physical, mental and emotional. Together we are trying to find the root of the problem. In the end, a homeopathic medicine, or remedy, is selected which matches the symptoms as well as the personal make-up of the patient. Through the course of treatment fears and phobias should gradually lessen, until they are entirely manageable.
With homeopathy, there is always hope!
A first aid measure:
If you feel panic rising you can do the following:
Put one pill of Aconite 30 or 200 into a glass of water, stir it (it’ll dissolve fairly quickly) and take a mouthful every few minutes until you feel calmer.