In this blog post I would like to tackle a common question that gets stirred up quite often. How do phobias come about?? What causes them??
The thing is we are all so different in how we perceive the world and how the world affects us. One event maybe very traumatic for one person, yet for another person that same event wont hold any unpleasant feelings at all. In fact when I think about some of my own phobias I used to have and what caused it, it can be hard to find one single cause in some cases.
I can remember when I was a teenager having a social phobia which was pretty much down to me being bullied very heavily at school. It was this constant bullying and being humiliated that made me shy away from social situations and from interacting with others. It took many, many years of hard work to learn how to interact with people and to hold even a basic conversation. It was these initial traumatic days that had a very big impact on how I related to other people and ultimately how strong my social phobia was. Maybe that is the same for you, maybe something happened in your life that caused you to react in a very powerful way and you developed a phobic response to that event or situation.
Phobias can be handed down from parent to child
An example of this is a parent who is always fearful of being ill, and is always taking medication to cure themselves. The child then picks up the fact that they have to worry excessively about their health and has to take medication every time they get the slightest illness, and over time the phobic response develops and gets stronger unless it is tackled. Really what we are looking at here is from a young age, looking at someone we trust in and look up to passing on bad habits about using excessive fear to protect themselves.
When choosing who’s habits to follow, make sure you pay attention to their behavior and habits. You may end up, involuntarily, developing a phobia about a situation or objection.
Phobias might also be cultural in nature as well
In some countries and cultures fear is used to control and gain dominance. In some tribal cultures with witch doctors fear is used to gain control and to make sure that those in the tribe follow the rules. When used in this context those members of the tribe will be very unlikely to challenge the rules, because they have been brought up to fear the consequences. Superstitions and taboos are a cause of these fears.
Does walking under a ladder really bring bad luck? Or an encounter with a black cat is a curse? How about the one about break the mirror – seven years of bad luck – really!?
Of course, phobia can just be caused by life’s experiences
You might have been subjected to a terrifying ordeal that from that day forth caused you to excessively worry or protect your self from that event ever happening again. Things like natural disasters or terrorist attacks can cause us to develop a strong phobic response. Some people might develop a phobia of being on a boat because they had a traumatic experience on a boat previously, like it crashed, or they were trapped etc. Usually the event that causes the phobia has a strong impact on us, and is generally a very terrifying event to go through. Another example are those people that develop a phobia of driving, might have experienced a very traumatic accident that caused them from that day forth to excessively worry about driving.
As you can see above phobias are really caused by many different things. What about yourself, what caused your phobia?? Did it stem from childhood or was it some other event that caused it??
The thing is phobias can be let go off. When you look at a phobic response it really is just a very strong belief you have about a particular situation. It is only when you begin to take a step outside yourself and view the phobic response from a different view point that you begin to see how crazy the whole process is.
Because phobias are irrational fear of things or situations that, in most cases, is not detriment to your well being. Because you feel, in your mind, that harm will happen to you, you psychologically program yourself to believe it.