Fear & Phobias

SONY DSCWhat is Fear?


Fear is a rational, healthy, and automatic emotional response to a perceived threat which is part of our makeup as human beings. The fear response causes us to extricate ourselves from a potentially dangerous or life-threatening situation, or in the cases where we cannot eliminate the threat through escape, we attempt to defend ourselves against the threat(the “fight” in fight or flight”). Some of the physiological effects associated with fear are increases in perspiration, respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure. Also, you may experience tingling sensations in your extremities.

People develop fear in a variety of areas. The most common fears are fears of enclosed spaces, heights, public speaking, dogs, snakes spiders, flying and failure. A healthy fear of something does not typically affect living life in a normal every day way. As an example, the fear of a presumed aggressive bred of dog may be healthy and rational, but avoiding all dogs at any costs, such that it inhibits your enjoyment of other aspects of your life, may be irrationally based and bordering on a phobia.

How is Fear different from Phobia?

A phobia is when a person perceives a threat in one or more areas (fear of spiders) such that your response to it becomes highly irrational and or adversely affects living life in a balanced way. For example, if a fear of flying keeps you from performing your job duties effectively (if your job requires longs distance travel), or from vacationing in parts of the world where flying is required, it is possible you may have a phobia. Phobias cause an intense and disabling fear, anxiety or panic. Just thinking about flying may cause you distress, panic and anxiety. It is also possible you recognize that your fear is excessive and unreasonable.

North Star Counseling Services is here to help…If you believe you have an irrational fear, phobia, or have been diagnosed with a phobia, or people close to you may have been exhibiting fear or phobic behavior that is inhibiting you or them from experiencing life in the way it was intended, we are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation and together we will develop a suitable program that can redirect your life to gain a healthy perspective and a state of wellbeing once again.


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