Phobia Symptoms - what are the common symptoms of Phobias?
- Chris Harrison
9th February 2012
Updated 3rd July 2012
Externally, phobia symptoms are fairly obvious. As are the differences between a phobia and a fear. A phobic response is a far more physical response than that of a fear - in other words phobia symptoms are much more extreme.
If a person has a phobia of snakes and a snake is brought into the room then that person will have to physically distance themselves from the snake as quickly as possible, usually by leaving the room. Someone with a phobia of flying will not be able to get on a plane in the first place. Someone with a fear will usually manage to fly or deal with a snake in the same room but will feel very apprehensive throughout.
Physiologically there are a number of changes that occur when a phobic reaction occurs that could be classed as phobia symptoms. The person's heart rate and breathing rate are likely to increase sharply caused by a surge of adrenaline, and this may take a while to settle back down. The person's awareness is also likely to become very focused, specifically on the cause of their phobia.
The best way to truly differentiate between a fear and a phobia is to work out what the internal process is - phobias invariably are generated by a very similar internal process no matter what the phobia is of.
For instance, someone with a phobia of snakes is not reacting to a snake sat still, they are reacting to an internal representation of what they think that snake may do. In the case of a snake phobia, this internal representation is likely to consist of a moving image in which a snake strikes or something similar. The element of phobias that seems to make them so powerful is that the internal representation always contains a fast moving element.
In many cases, its quite clear how someone could scare themselves with a moving internal representation - spiders, mice, birds, moths - these are all things that could fall, jump or fly onto us and make us jump, but many phobia causes do not have such attributes.
A phobia of the number thirteen for instance. In this case it's not likely that someone is making an internal representation of a giant number thirteen falling on them from a great height, so what is the representation?
Well obviously representations vary from one person to another, but the likelihood is that the representation is something that the person is worried may happen on the 13th of the month or when they come across the number, and that representation will contain movement.
Someone with a fear of flying may make a representation from their seat in the plane of the seats in front of them dropping down or their own viewpoint changing suggesting the plane is diving.
While there are an infinite number of possibilities, there are a lot of common representations for the more common phobias.
How does this help to cure a phobia?
The key with curing a phobia is in firstly identifying that you have a phobia - read the article NLP for phobias to learn how to recognize from your phobia symptoms whether you have a fear or a phobia, and then perform the NLP fast phobia cure.
Are there any products you can buy for curing a Phobia?
There are a few specific products that I recommend for curing phobias. For a general phobia cure you can checkout Richard Bandler's Banishing Phobias CD or for cures for specific phobias checkout Paul McKenna's Overcome your Phobia recordings.
For more information on phobias, phobia symptoms, and how to cure your phobia read the related articles listed below.