Treatment for phobias
Phobias belong to the complex clinical spectrum of anxiety disorders and are relatively widespread in the population.
The term “phobia” can be derived from the Greek word “phobos”, which translates as “fear” or “dread”. Particularly well-known examples of phobias include animal phobias, such as arachnophobia (fear of spiders) or ophidiophobia (snakes), and phobias of certain situations, such as of flying or dentists.
In addition to these so-called specific phobias, there are also a number of other types of phobias, such as social phobias and agoraphobia.
The main types of phobias:
-Agoraphobia, with or without a panic disorder
What is a phobia exactly?
A phobia is a highly exaggerated or unreasonably great fear of certain objects or certain situations. The fear is so great that it can no longer be controlled, interferes with normal life and can cause panic disorders.
The characteristic feature of all phobias is the complete avoidance of the fear-inducing object or situation. In the worst possible case, this avoidance behavior can lead to total social isolation and the inability to work because they no longer dare to leave the house.
What are the symptoms of a phobia?
- People who suffer from a phobia usually know that their exaggerated fear is, objectively speaking, unfounded. Most of us who find a visit to the dentist, an injection, the sight of a spider, etc. unpleasant can still overcome the fear. However, it’s impossible for those with a phobia to tolerate such a scenario. If escape from or avoidance of the fear-inducing stimulus is not possible, an immediate and uncontrollable fear reaction develops, which can grow into a panic attack.
- Together with fear or panic, there are usually also physical symptoms for which no biological causes can usually be found. These symptoms can even occur as a result of the person just thinking or seeing a picture of the fear-inducing object or corresponding situation. The typical physical characteristics of a phobia include:
- Bouts of sweating
- Racing heart and palpitations
- Gastrointestinal complaints
- Breathing difficulties
- Dry mouth
- The phobia becomes pathological mainly because of the fear of the fear itself. This manifests in increasing changes in behavior so that the fear-inducing situation or object can (supposedly) be avoided as safely as possible. Examples of this are, in the case of a spider phobia, no longer entering basements or not being able to go outside at all. In the case of claustrophobia, this could mean no longer being able to use a car, train, plane, etc. and therefore only going to places within walking distance of the place of residence. These behavioral changes can be so drastic and restrictive that quality of life, but also professional development opportunities, suffer massively.
What are the different types of phobias?
You can develop phobias against almost anything. Therefore, there are an incredible number of different types of phobias. Depending on the type and cause, they all fall into three main categories:
- Specific phobias
- Social phobias
What is agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is the fear of being in a place from which it would be difficult to escape in an emergency. Open public places (such as a pedestrian zone or a crowd), a theater, a cinema, buses and trains, bridges, tunnels or even shopping malls can be a stimulus for agoraphobia.
What are social phobias?
A social phobia is a pathological fear of being negatively evaluated by other people. The panic of not living up to the expectations of others, of being rejected or even of embarrassing oneself, leads to the person affected withdrawing strongly and strictly avoiding having to be the center of attention in any way. This leads to social contact with other people being avoided as far as possible. Going out, celebrating, eating together, but also working together become torture. In extreme cases, this can lead to total social isolation.
What are specific phobias?
Specific phobias are also called isolated phobias and are the most common type of phobia. About ten percent of the population is affected. Unlike social phobias or agoraphobia, people who suffer from an isolated phobia are afraid of very specific objects or situations. These can be animals (such as dogs, snakes or spiders), places (that could be at a great height or very crowded), or situations (such as flying, going to the dentist or receiving an injection, etc). The range of specific phobias is very wide.
In total, there are five different categories of specific phobias:
- animals (spiders, dogs, insects…)
- the natural environment (heights, thunder, the dark…)
- blood, injury or medical issues (injections, broken bones, falls…)
- specific situations (flying, going to the dentist…)
- others (fear of choking, drowning, loud noises…)
Causes: How do phobias develop?
Phobias usually don’t have just one cause, but develop from the complex interaction of various factors. The following can play a role:
A certain propensity to anxiety can be inherited. This can mean that phobias occur more frequently in some families. However, this does not mean that the individual has to suffer from a phobia themselves.
Children learn from example. If parents behave excessively anxiously in certain situations, this signals danger to the child and the child usually adopts such behavior intuitively.
Experiences and lessons learnt
Negative or even traumatic experiences, especially in early childhood, can trigger phobias. For example, someone who was bitten by a dog as a small child may develop a phobia of dogs.
Neuroscientists have discovered that patients with anxiety also have abnormal hyperactivation patterns in the danger response of their brain. This is caused by a disturbed balance of neurotransmitters.
Phobias: Common associated and secondary conditions
Phobias rarely occur in isolation. They are often accompanied by other mental illnesses. The following mental illnesses are particularly frequently observed in patients with phobias:
How are phobias treated?
Phobias are thus very complex mental illnesses in terms of the causes, their various forms and manifestations, but also the associated illnesses and effects on everyday life and quality of life.
For the treatment of phobias, conventional medicine mainly prescribes psychotherapy and the use of medication.
We do things differently!
We have developed the CALDA Specific Phobia Program, a highly effective and intensive week-long program for the treatment of the most common isolated phobias.
Our promise: You will be freed from your fears in just one week!
CALDA Concept: This is how we can help you!
As a client of the CALDA Clinic, you will receive one-on-one therapy, specially tailored to your needs, in accordance with the CALDA Concept.
This is a customized and highly effective precision therapy that is holistically oriented. Scientifically sound methods from classical medicine are combined here with particularly tried and tested healing methods from complementary medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and orthomolecular medicine.
Benefits for you: Treatment with the CALDA Concept works very effectively on different levels of the organism and is extremely solution-oriented. As a result, quite astonishing results can be achieved within a short time – and usually without the use of psychotropic drugs!
The CALDA Concept
Our guiding principle and our promise to you:
We treat the causes, not the symptoms!
Whenever possible, we work without psychotropic drugs!
We dedicate our time and our entire know-how exclusively to one single client.
The CALDA Concept: The basis of every therapy is the correct diagnosis
The basis of every treatment in accordance with the CALDA Concept is a comprehensive and extremely detailed diagnosis. Only in this way can the underlying causes and disease correlations, which otherwise unfortunately often remain hidden, be meticulously uncovered and specifically treated.
Our expertise for your health!
You can read about all the advantages, features and procedures involved in the CALDA Concept here.
For the fast and highly effective treatment of specific phobias, we recommend that you take part in our one-week CALDA Specific Phobia Program. For the treatment of all other phobias, the CALDA Full Program.