What's the best method for overcoming your phobia?

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I have had the phobia of spiders and bugs for quite a while. I don't know when I developed these phobias, but just like anyone else I experienced my fair share of fear episodes.
For instances, whenever I see a spider or a bug I become a paralyzed on the spot and I lose ability to speak. Or sometimes, I do the exact opposite, if I realize that the bug/spider is on my body, I would scream and start jumping around crazily.

Like most people, I know how limiting phobia can be. It often effects our lifestyle and stresses us. For example: Whenever I go camping, I always end up not enjoying the experience as much as everyone else. I would worry about what I eat, where I sit and constantly check if the bugs/spiders are not on my body. Also, I don't get much sleep during the night because I feel like the bugs and spiders might start crawling on my body without my knowing if I fall asleep.

So how can I and how can you overcome this phobia and avoid the anxiety, stress and fear that it brings us? According tot eh arcticle posted on helpguide.org, the best way to overcome a phobia is to face your fears, one step at a time. Exposing yourself gradually and repeatedly to what you fear is the most effective when it comes treating phobias, because you learn to ride out your anxiety and fear until inevitably passes away. However, exposure must take in a safe and controlled way. Also overcoming your phobia takes time, planning, patience and of course practice.

Here is an sample ladder example of dog phobia treatment:
Facing a fear of dogs: A sample fear ladder
Step 1: Look at pictures of dogs.
Step 2: Watch a video with dogs in it.
Step 3: Look at a dog through a window.
Step 4: Stand across the street from a dog on a leash.
Step 5: Stand 10 feet away from a dog on a leash.
Step 6: Stand 5 feet away from a dog on a leash.
Step 7: Stand beside a dog on a leash.
Step 8: Pet a small dog that someone is holding.
Step 9: Pet a larger dog on a leash.
Step 10: Pet a larger dog off leash.

Make a list, Build your fear ladder, Make your way up the ladder and Practice!

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Have you tried it yet?

I definitely believe facing your fears is the only way to really get over them! I share that fear you have over bugs and spiders. While I support exposure therapy for things like social anxiety, I don't think I could do it for the spider phobia! It's intense.

I'm wondering if you tried it, too.

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This page contains a single entry by oyunt001 published on November 14, 2011 11:14 AM.

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