Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Thousand Different Ways to Cure a Phobia: Part II The Treatment

There is a phobia for almost everything. Do you have a mild case of Syngenesophobia-(Fear of relatives ) before the annual family reunion? How does one admit to Sesquipedalophobia- (Fear of long words) without feeling anxious? I imagine not too many Clay Aiken fans run the risk of having theatrophobia (fear of theatres) or cyberphobia (fear of computers), but it occurs to me that there might be a case made for the addition of ticketmasterphobia to the long list of anxiety inducing situations.

Whatever the phobia, there is always hope for cure. As a child you might have had clinophobia (fear of going to bed) because of bogyphobia (fear of the bogeyman), achluophobia (fear of darkness), and ablutophobia (fear of bathing). Today chances are good that most of you go to bed without checking your closet or looking under your bed, that you don't go ballistic if the lights go out, and you can get a good scrub down once in a blue moon.

Confronting the Feared Situation
Instead of avoiding the feared object or situation (snakes:Ophidiophobia), the fear *might* need to be confronted while managing the level of anxiety. F’dawg and I will altruistically assist Mr. Aiken, rather than selfishly focus on ourselves. (Translation: We aren’t ready to look at those legless lizards… yet.) Yes, we shall attempt to help Clay work through his fear of CATS.

There are several terms to accurately define a cat phobia...... ........Felinophobia, Ailurophobia, Elurophobia, Galeophobia, and Gatophobia. We will call it whatever is easiest to spell or remember. That would be ‘Cat-itis’. (Is too a word!)

Because it is very difficult to start in the middle of a feared situation, we will use the approach of a graded exposure.

Step 1. Identifying the problem: Analyse your reactions to determine if you actually *have* an object that triggers a true phobic response. Is it a new situation or is there a history of reaction?

Step 2. Reach the stage where you can acknowledge your fear to another and are ready to seek help.

Step 3. Have a certified (as opposed to ‘certifiable’) therapist evaluate your degree of phobic response.

Step 4. Read about cats. Even if the context differs, exposure to the term can reduce anxiety levels.

Step 5. Try to create positive con.nec.tions to ease the cat-itis.

Step 6. Link the object with something entertaining in your life.

Step 7. Determine comfort level in talking about cats. Use visualization techniques. Okay, maybe not *that* one.

Step 8. Look at/touch a photograph of a cat.

Step 9. Look at/touch/wear a toy stuffed cat..

Step 10. Observe a real cat in a non-threatening environment..

Step 11. Confront fear and associate cats with pleasant experiences, preferably integrated into your life..

Step 12. Eventually you will be able to touch the once-feared object. The initial attempt may still prove stressful. Helpful friends may ‘arrange’ for this final step to happen unexpectedly.

In summary, try to view each time you challenge the feared situation as an opportunity to learn to overcome your anxiety. Frightening thoughts are replaced by rational thoughts....sometimes the object that you once avoided can become an integral and welcome addition to your life!.

Clay is busy finishing details on that new CD, “A Thousand Different Ways To Say ‘SOON‘!” so he was unable to add more than those few words as testament to our effective treatment. We hope that you, our faithful readers, will feel free to leave *your* comments below.

What?

Nothing to say?

Whatzamatta? Cat got your tongue?

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5 comments:

CB said...

A few people CLAIM that I have a fear of crossing bridges but that didn't seem to stop me when we went to the NAT in RI and I had to cross the same big ass bridge twice.

The fact that we were lost had nothing to do with it.

Idle-wandering said...

Hilarious. Fountaindawgie, you have outdone yourself with your photoshops, and beauzzartz, equally funny at setting the stage, so to speak. I was a bit distracted by THREE blogs from the guy just as you were posting this. What would a therapist make of that, I wonder??

Chardonnay said...

So, I start reading this and I'm thinking "OK... I'm really gonna learn something here about how to deal with my fear of driving!"... And then I realized who's blog it was!

*Photoshops raccoons, skunks and opossums over the kitty pics... and hugs kitty*

But seriously funny f'dawg!

Gilbert Chapman said...

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Gilbert Chapman said...

Anxiety disorders, in addition to generalized anxiety, include phobias, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. For millions of sufferers anxiety disorders are disruptive, debilitating and often the reason for loss of job and serious problems in family relationships. http://www.xanax-effects.com/