Dear Christine, Calm in Clawson

  • Posted on July 6, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Dear Christine,

I’ve had anxieties and phobias all my life, I don’t like to drive a car, but I still do, like an old lady,  I absolutely hate being a passenger, feeling sure the driver will have an accident. I get horrible anxiety waiting in line to buy groceries. I haven’t been able to fly without serious sedation and don’t like being at parties where there are people I don’t know. Oh, and I carry hand sanitizer everywhere I go.

I’m 56 years old and I’ve just learned to live with it since I was about 16.  In the past couple months I’ve slowly realized that I no longer have these fears. I’m not sure when it happened exactly but I’m fine now. I’ve never taken meds either. Have you ever heard of someone who was spontaneously cured from anxiety and phobias?

I’m praying it’s permanent.

Signed Calm in Clawson

Dear Calm,

I’m so happy for you to have your anxieties and phobias disappear!  As an adult, that is not a common occurrence, but with children, they often overcome anxieties and phobias as they grow, learn and understand more of how the world works.

Harvard Health newsletter has some helpful information about phobias.  A common treatment for phobias is called “exposure” where you are exposed to the fear for a short amount of time in a manageable circumstance.  The repeated exposures and learning that whatever you feared might occur doesn’t, melts away the fear.  Energy Psychology uses some treatments of focusing on the fear, while focusing your attention and intention on calmness, and then tapping/stimulating the accupressure points (of accupuncture) of Chi to release the “stuck” emotion.  These techniques work beautifully with phobias, but will only reduce anxiety in an on going dangerous situation.  A phobia is really a fear beyond what would be concern for safety (heights, long bridges, snakes).  When you are concerned about a real danger, even if it is slight, it is not a phobia, but a natural, human response.  Exposure Therapy and Energy Psychology can ameliorate those concerns and sometimes take away the anxiety and fear.
It is likely that over your life, your mind has experienced repeated exposures to standing in the grocery check out line or being around people.  You may not have gone to a therapist for these exposures but life happens.  Somehow we get through.  And it sounds like your mind realized that these experiences are not pleasant, but not as life threatening as they once seemed.

“Psychology Today” has an interesting first person essay of a psychologist who had her phobias disappear.  What she finally realized is that focusing on her fears increased the intensity of the fear.  It created more fear of becoming afraid.  When she faced the fear, it shrank.  And then it was gone.

Enjoy feeling fear free!  The mind is an amazingly complex thing and mind over matter, even unconsciously done, works for sure!

Christine C Cantrell, PhD

Fully Licensed Psychologist

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888Click here to email Christine.

Comments are closed.