How do you know if you have a fear or a phobia? There is a very clear difference between the two. A fear is a situation that causes you to feel anxious and uncomfortable, but does NOT STOP YOU from experiencing that situation. On the other hand, a phobia causes you to AVOID a situation at any and all cost.
For example, Sharon W. has a fear of elevators. Her heart beats fast and her palms sweat as she enters elevators and while she’s in elevators. Once she steps out of an elevator, her heart beat quickly returns to normal and her sweaty palms dry off. Despite these symptoms of anxiety, Sharon CAN use an elevator even though they produce an anxiety (fear) reaction.
On the other hand, Carl K. is NOT able to get into elevators. He avoids them even if it means walking up 10 flights of stairs. In fact, just THINKING about getting into an elevator causes Carl’s heart to pound and palms to sweat. Carl has a phobia because he AVOIDS elevators at any and all costs.
So, as you can see, a fear causes some level of anxiety, while a phobia causes total avoidance.
Having a fear or phobia won’t kill you. However, they can take away from the quality of your life if the fear or phobia intrudes often enough and causes you limitations. Only you can determine if your fear or phobia is intrusive enough to do something about it. What’s important to know is that whether you have a fear or a phobia, both can be minimized and even totally conquered. It’s just a matter of finding the right approach for you. The Neuro Immersion Method is one avenue to consider if you want to overcome a fear or phobia.
To learn more about fears, phobias and anxiety, please visit the Fear, Phobia Anxiety Blog.