Hello, it’s Amber again with your spooky Halloween dose of Hoosier Hypnosis. I hope you are all enjoying the season, even if you aren’t enjoying the cold. Halloween is a time for fears and phobias. While the holiday has many symbolic meanings, in modern times it has come to embody fear. Despite the fun and candy, for those who suffer from fears and phobias, this time of year can be a real fear fest.
Not all phobias are Halloween related of course, but this season is rife with more phobias than one can shake a fist at. For example, some people suffer from Maskaphobia, or fear of masks (yes, that’s the real word for it). Others may suffer from coulrophobia (fear of clowns), chiroptophobia (bats), samhainophobia (fear of Halloween itself).
What is a phobia?
A phobia is an intense, irrational fear. Usually, a phobia is a fear of something that is not really a threat to your well being. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 9 percent of adults have at least one phobia. The number is higher at 14 percent in children between 13 and 18.
Other phobias include the fear of spiders, heights, escalators, or even large or small spaces. According to most professionals, phobias tend to generalize or become more pervasive and intense over time. The more we enable our fear by avoidance or other mechanisms, the worse it gets.
It can even evolve into multiple fears. As a general example, someone with a fear of enclosed spaces avoids driving because the car feels enclosed. The more he avoids the car, the more he becomes afraid of driving as well. Not all phobias evolve this way, but it is possible.
How Fears and Phobias Form
Let’s take a moment to explain how our brain links information. We’ve all had that moment when the radio begins to play an old song from our childhood. The melody begins, the lyrics are sung, and we are taken back to a memorable moment in our lives. If you continue on that train, that memory may remind you of something else. And it goes on and on.
Our brain daisy chains events and ideas together. However, this is not always done in a logical manner, especially in the case of a fear. For example, as embarrassing as it is, when I was around 7 or 8 I was afraid to go to the bathroom alone or at night. It had started with a famous movie, IT. In that movie there are two scenes where children are attacked in the bathroom by a clown.
Logic would dictate that the clown would be the source of my fear. However, I was never afraid of clowns. IT was an alien. And yet I wasn’t afraid of Aliens either. Just going to the bathroom by myself or going at night. The scenes from the movie involved a shower and a sink. Again, you would think the fear would be limited to those two, but if something could come up a sink or shower drain, then why not a toilet?
Even now, if I’ve watched a scary movie later in the evening, I’m reminded of that former fear. It never became a full-blown phobia. But if I had been able to avoid the bathroom it very well could have. My point is, that the way our brains link and process information can be very strange. You can have a fear and not even know what began that fear. This is where hypnosis can help.
Born to Fear?
It is thought by some that we are born with only two fears – falling and loud noises. Which for an infant makes sense. Fear arises out of a sense of self-preservation. However, most of us grow out of these fears. All other fears are learned through experience. Our mind forms fear to protect us, but that does not make all of our fears rational.
If we an learn to fear, we can unlearn that same fear. Especially, if that fear is irrational.
If you are suffering from a phobia, Halloween related or not, it is better to help sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the worse it can get. While there are many ways to fight phobic responses, hypnosis and NLP (neurolinguistic programming) are the gentlest methods currently available. Other therapies involve facing the cause of your phobia in person and can take a very long time.
Through hypnosis, you can face your fear without ever being in the same room as it. You can learn where it stems from or ensure that all the roots are lifted and removed.
You can overcome those patterns of behavior that are hindering you from achieving your goals and desires. If you feel that a phobia or fear is limiting your life contact us for a free consultation at Hoosier Hypnosis.