ACTION ON FEAR An advice sheet for tackling phobias What are phobias?

Living with phobias Seeking help

Coping with phobias

Conquering phobias

Real stories – survivors of fear

AAblutophobia- Fear of washing or bathing. Achluophobia- Fear of darkness. Acousticophobia- Fear of noise. Acrophobia- Fear of heights. Aeroacrophobia- Fear of open high places. Agateophobia- Fear of insanity. Agliophobia- Fear of pain. Agoraphobia- Fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places like markets. Agyrophobia- Fear of streets or crossing the street. Ailurophobia- Fear of cats. Alektorophobia- Fear of chickens. Alliumphobia- Fear of garlic. Amathophobia- Fear of dust. Amaxophobia- Fear of riding in a car. Androphobia- Fear of men. Anthrophobia- Fear of flowers. Apiphobia- Fear of bees. Arachibutyrophobia- Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth. Arachnophobia- Fear of spiders. Aurophobia- Fear of gold. Autophobia- Fear of being alone or of oneself.

DDemophobia- Fear of crowds. Dendrophobia- Fear of trees. Dentophobia- Fear of dentists. Dextrophobia- Fear of objects at the right side of the body. Doraphobia- Fear of fur or skins of animals. Dromophobia- Fear of crossing streets.

EElurophobia- Fear of cats. Emetophobia- Fear of vomiting. Enetophobia- Fear of pins. Entomophobia- Fear of insects. Eosophobia- Fear of dawn or daylight. Ephebiphobia- Fear of teenagers. Epistaxiophobia- Fear of nosebleeds. Equinophobia- Fear of horses.

FFelinophobia- Fear of cats. Frigophobia- Fear of cold or cold things.

BBallistophobia- Fear of missiles or bullets. Batrachophobia- Fear of amphibians, such as frogs, newts, salamanders, etc. Bibliophobia- Fear of books. Blennophobia- Fear of slime. Brontophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning. Bufonophobia- Fear of toads.

GGamophobia- Fear of marriage. Geliophobia- Fear of laughter. Geniophobia- Fear of chins. Genuphobia- Fear of knees. Gephyrophobia- Fear of crossing bridges. Gerontophobia- Fear of old people or of growing old. Glossophobia- Fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak. Gymnophobia- Fear of nudity.

CCaligynephobia- Fear of beautiful women. Carcinophobia- Fear of cancer. Catoptrophobia- Fear of mirrors. Ceraunophobia or Keraunophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning. Chaetophobia- Fear of hair. Chionophobia- Fear of snow. Chorophobia- Fear of dancing. Chronomentrophobia- Fear of clocks. Claustrophobia- Fear of confined spaces. Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns. Cryophobia- Fear of extreme cold, ice or frost. Crystallophobia- Fear of crystals or glass. Cyberphobia- Fear of computers or working on a computer.

HHeliophobia- Fear of the sun. Hellenologophobia- Fear of Greek terms or complex scientific terminology. Hematophobia- Fear of blood. Herpetophobia- Fear of reptiles or creepy, crawly things. Hippophobia- Fear of horses. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia- Fear of long words. Hydrophobia- Fear of water or of rabies.

IIchthyophobia- Fear of fish. Iophobia- Fear of poison.

KKinetophobia- Fear of movement or motion. Kleptophobia- Fear of stealing. Koinoniphobia- Fear of rooms. Koniophobia- Fear of dust. Kymophobia- Fear of waves.

Pteronophobia- Fear of being tickled by feathers. Pupaphobia - Fear of puppets. Pyrophobia- Fear of fire.

RRanidaphobia- Fear of frogs.

LLachanophobia- Fear of vegetables. Leukophobia- Fear of the colour white. Linonophobia- Fear of string. Logizomechanophobia- Fear of computers. Logophobia- Fear of words. Lutraphobia- Fear of otters.

SScoleciphobia- Fear of worms. Scolionophobia- Fear of school. Selachophobia- Fear of sharks. Somniphobia- Fear of sleep. Spheksophobia- Fear of wasps. Suriphobia- Fear of mice.

MMechanophobia- Fear of machines. Melissophobia- Fear of bees. Melanophobia- Fear of the colour black. Mycophobia- Fear or aversion to mushrooms. Mycrophobia- Fear of small things.

NNebulaphobia- Fear of fog. Necrophobia- Fear of death or dead things. Nephophobia- Fear of clouds. Noctiphobia- Fear of the night.

TTachophobia- Fear of speed. Technophobia- Fear of technology. Thalassophobia- Fear of the sea. Thermophobia- Fear of heat. Trichopathophobia- Fear of hair. Triskaidekaphobia- Fear of the number 13. Trypanophobia- Fear of injections.

WWiccaphobia: Fear of witches and witchcraft. OOctophobia - Fear of the figure 8. Ombrophobia- Fear of rain or of being rained on. Ophidiophobia- Fear of snakes.

PPanophobia- Fear of everything. Papyrophobia- Fear of paper. Pedophobia- Fear of children. Phasmophobia- Fear of ghosts. Philemaphobia- Fear of kissing. Photophobia- Fear of light. Pogonophobia- Fear of beards.

XXanthophobia- Fear of the colour yellow or the word yellow. Xenoglossophobia- Fear of foreign languages. Xenophobia- Fear of strangers or foreigners. Xerophobia- Fear of dryness. Xylophobia- 1) Fear of wooden objects. 2) Forests.

ZZoophobia- Fear of animals.

Views About Fear!
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." F D Roosevelt - First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933 "What are fears but voices airy? Whispering harm where harm is not. And deluding the unwary Till the fatal bolt is shot!" Wordsworth "Fear is a tyrant and a despot, more terrible than the rack, more potent than the snake." Edgar Wallace - The Clue of the Twisted Candle (1916) "All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears - of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words "Some Assembly Required." Dave Barry "Am I afraid of high notes? Of course I am afraid. What sane man is not?" Luciano Pavarotti "Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is." German Proverb "I must not fear. Fear is the mindkiller. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." Frank Herbert, Dune (Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear) "A man who has been in danger, When he comes out of it forgets his fears, And sometimes he forgets his promises." Euripides - Iphigenia in Tauris (414-12 BC) "What we fear comes to pass more speedily than what we hope." Publilius Syrus - Moral Sayings (1st C B.C.) "Solitude scares me. It makes me think about love, death, and war. I need distraction from anxious, black thoughts." Brigitte Bardot Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it." Lt. John B. Putnam Jr. (1921-1944)

Don’t like spiders or snakes? There’s help.
Sheryl Uberlaker Canadian Press 28.07.05 Sssssnake. Even hearing the word once made Louise's gut coil in fear. As far back as she can remember, Louise had a morbid fear of snakes, to the point that as a child she wouldn't go in the backyard one entire summer because a harmless garter snake had been seen swishing through the grass. "Even though my brother ended up killing it, I still would only go out through the front door," recalls the single mother of three in her late 30s, who asked that her real name not be used. She is not sure what triggered her terror of the belly-crawling reptiles, called ophidiophobia, but suspects she may have been spooked by a large snake as a little girl growing up in South America, or perhaps her parents reacted with distaste or even terror to the serpents. "There were always large snakes about. There were pythons and anacondas." But when her family moved to Southern Ontario, her aversion to the slitherers travelled with her. A garden hose moving in the grass, anything long and skinny that even remotely resembled a snake's undulating movement would set her heart pounding and leave her sweating and gasping for breath in a full-blown panic attack.

It was an incident at work two years ago that finally convinced her she had to get help. "A friend at work, we used to play games and tease each other. He knew I was fearful of snakes and as a joke he put up this screen saver of just snakes. They were coral snakes all moving about, and I came into the room . . . and I screamed and ran out of the room and wouldn't speak to him for days on end. "That was too much. I thought, 'I don't want anybody to do that to me again.' I was really angry and it brought to light that I really needed to do something." Phobias go way beyond simple fear, says Randi McCabe, associate director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton. Dr. McCabe, who treated Louise, says more than 10 per cent of the population suffers from some kind of phobia, and those involving animals or insects are among the most prevalent. "Animal fears are very common in the general population . . . but for most people the fear doesn't really interfere with their life," said Dr. McCabe, who has written a book, Overcoming Animal and Insect Phobias (New Harbinger Publications), with fellow psychologist Martin Anthony. "So for a fear to be a phobia, it has to cause the person a lot of distress or impairment in their life." "It's an irrational fear," Dr. McCabe said. "The person knows their fear is way out of proportion to the actual stimulus, but they can't control it."

The seeds of phobia often develop early in life. A child might be frightened by a large dog, for instance, and develop a lifelong canine phobia, known as cynophobia. Sometimes, children become phobic about an animal or insect because adults around them have shown fright. There is also evidence to suggest a genetic component. Anxiety disorders and phobias tend to run in families. Psychologist John Walker, director of the anxiety disorders program at Winnipeg's St. Boniface Hospital, says he works with schools to identify children with anxiety disorders, including animal and insect phobias. Treatment involves gradually exposing the children or adults to the dreaded animal or insect over time in a bid to desensitize them and chip away at their apprehension. "The most powerful approach for these phobias is to practise facing what you fear and spend time with them," Dr. Walker said. Working with Dr. McCabe, Louise followed a step-by-step program that began with just looking at rubber snakes. She then moved to viewing pictures of snakes in a children's book. "Every day my homework was just to

look at the snakes and be more comfortable with looking at the snakes in the book and touching the pictures and working my way up from touching the tail to the head," she recalled. "It was desensitizing me." Over successive sessions, she was able to hold rubber snakes, and even took them home or kept them in her purse as part of continuously increasing exposure - and downgrading her discomfort. When she was able to enter a reptile store and not only look at bull-nosed and Burmese pythons but also touch them, Louise knew she had conquered the phobia. Her therapy culminated in a journey many people would probably find traumatic, even without a crippling fear of the reptiles. She and Dr. McCabe travelled to the snake pits of Manitoba, where hundreds of red-sided garters roil in a seething, undulating mass during mating season. "It was amazing to be in there to watch these snakes move, amazing that I was that close to that many snakes and not sweating and not wanting to run or not crying. It was fantastic."

PHOBIAS Simple phobias, agoraphobia & social phobia
What are phobias? A phobia is an excessive or unreasonable fear of an object, place or situation. Simple phobias are fears of specific things such as insects, infections, flying. Agoraphobia is a fear of being in places where one feels "trapped" or unable to get help, such as in crowds, on a bus, or standing in a queue. A social phobia is a marked fear of social or performance situations. Phobias are extremely common. Sometimes they start in childhood for no apparent reason; sometimes they emerge after a traumatic event; and sometimes the develop from an attempt to make sense of an unexpected and intense anxiety or panic (e.g. "I feel fearful, therefore I must be afraid of something"). When the phobic person actually encounters, or even anticipates being in the presence of the feared object or situation, s/he experiences immediate anxiety. The physical symptoms of anxiety may include a racing heart, shortness of breath, sweating, chest or abdominal discomfort, trembling, etc. and the emotional component involves an intense fear - of losing control, embarrassing oneself, or passing out. Commonly people try to escape, and then to avoid the feared situation wherever possible. This may be fairly easy if the feared object is rarely encountered (e.g. fear of snakes) and avoidance will not therefore restrict the person's life very much. At other times (e.g. agoraphobia, social phobia) avoiding the feared situation limits their life severely. Escape and avoidance also make the feared object/situation more frightening. With some phobias the person may have specific thoughts which attribute some threat to the feared situation. This is particularly true for social phobia where there is often a fear of being negatively evaluated by others, and for agoraphobia when there may be a fear of collapsing and dying with no one around to help, or of having a panic attack and making a fool of oneself in front of other people. With some phobias there may be accompanying frightening thoughts (this plane might crash; I'm trapped; I must get out). However with other phobias it is more difficult to identify any specific thoughts which could be associated with the anxiety (e.g. it is unlikely that a spider phobic is afraid of making a fool of themselves in front of the spider). With these phobias the cause seems to be explained more as a conditioned (learned) anxiety response which has become associated with the feared object. How to cope There are several counselling approaches to helping a phobic person. However, it may only be necessary to do anything about your phobia if it is severe or is interfering with your life and distressing you. The approach described here is based on cognitive behavioural therapy. There are two components in treating a phobia effectively: firstly, confronting the feared situation, and secondly, dealing with any frightening thoughts that are associated with the anxiety. Confronting the feared situation It is important to stop avoiding the feared situation; rather it needs confronting whilst managing the level of anxiety. Because it can be very difficult to start in the midst of the feared situation, the usual approach is by a graded exposure. This means drawing up a hierarchy of threatening situations and confronting the least feared situation first before moving on to the more threatening ones. For example, somebody with a phobia of spiders might use the following hierarchy: Reading about spiders Looking at and then touching a photograph of a spider

Looking at/touching a plastic model of a spider Looking at/touching a jar with a small spider in it Picking the spider out of the jar Picking up a large spider. To help manage the anxiety experienced during the exposure exercises, relaxation and breathing exercises can be used (see leaflet on relaxation). It is important to stay in the situation until the anxiety has gone and not to "escape" when the anxiety is high (to do so would only reinforce the anxiety). This might take up to 20-30 minutes, but the anxiety will diminish and eventually disappear if you stay in the situation; you then start to learn that you can survive and even feel relaxed in this situation. Dealing with frightening thoughts If you can identify any threatening thoughts associated with your phobia, it is very helpful to try to write them down and "challenge" them. For example: Frightening thoughts This plane will crash I'll make a fool of myself I'll collapse and die

Rational thoughts I've flown many times before and nothing has happened. This is the safest way to travel statistically. I've done this before and managed to cope - there is no reason why I cannot do so this time. I have felt like this before and nothing terrible happened to me - this is just anxiety - it won't harm me.

If the fear is of having a panic attack, read the leaflet on "Anxiety and Panic". Anxiety is normal and it won't harm you - the worst it can do is to feel very unpleasant. View each time you confront the feared situation as an opportunity to learn to overcome your anxiety in this way, rather than something to dread. When the anxiety has gone, remind yourself that you have survived, and have not gone mad, lost control or died! If your fears are about making a fool of yourself and being judged negatively, remind yourself of your positive qualities, and of the times in the past you have coped with similar situations, got on well with people, or have had positive comments from others. You may well be much more critical of your own imagined failings than those of others; similarly, others are likely to be unaware of, or uninterested in your failings. Anyway, it is not possible to get on with or be approved of by everyone! When and where to seek further help If your phobias are interfering with your ability to lead a full, normal life and you don't make any progress in challenging them yourself If you are experiencing a lot of anxiety or distress, and you seem to be feeling like this often If you are avoiding situations that matter If you suffer from overwhelming blushing/trembling/sweating in social situations or feel that you lack social skills

The ups and downs of phobias
They can ruin your life and restrict your opportunities. Hugh Wilson on hang-ups and how to cope with them
The Guardian Monday April 4, 2005 Amanda is scared of lifts. It's not that she can't take them at all, but she doesn't like to. Unfortunately, her office is on the 10th floor. "I get a bit panicky in lifts," she explains. "I start to feel dizzy and have to take long, deep breaths to calm myself down. My colleagues and my boss don't know about it, so when I'm with them, or when I'm late or just don't have the energy to use the stairs, I take the lift and suffer it." Amanda considers her problem to be "silly" and refuses to admit it to her boss. But her phobia has clear implications for her career. She keeps an eye out for opportunities for advancement, but won't consider another job above the fourth floor. In the meantime, she has learnt to live with the fleeting moments of fear, and to combine meetings out of the office and with colleagues on other floors so that several can be accomplished in one trip. For office workers, what can seem at other times like quirky idiosyncrasies can make the ordinary working day an eighthour struggle to stay in control. According to experts, more and more of us are suffering from phobias and irrational fears, a situation that has been made worse by the real or imagined terrorist threat. Unfortunately, many of the most common phobias are ones that we are likely

to encounter at work, like fear of driving, public speaking, socialising and enclosed spaces. Unsurprisingly, fears of elevators, heights and flying have increased since the attacks on the Twin Towers. In fact, according to the National Phobics Society, one in four people in the UK are suffering from an anxiety disorder at any given time. "People are more likely to experience highanxiety states or panic attacks when their general stress levels are higher," says therapist Roger Elliott, managing director of self-help company Uncommon Knowledge. Unfortunately, stress levels in British offices have never been higher. "Phobias at their worst (that is when they are being triggered regularly) are crippling. Fear will pretty much take over your volition as you are 'hardwired' to avoid fearful situations. Public speaking phobia can dominate someone's life if there is even a possibility that they will be required to do some at work. Social phobia as well is a terrible condition and can quickly lead to depression as the person restricts their life experiences." Specific phobias, like the fear of lifts or heights, can be a nuisance. Social phobias can be devastating, especially for someone trying to forge a successful career. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the most common social phobia is the fear of speaking in public. Many people have a generalised form of social phobia, in which they fear and avoid interpersonal interactions. This makes it difficult for them to go to work at all. But American employees with phobias have somewhere to turn. While phobias rarely register with British employers, in America, where it is estimated that up to 6 million workers suffer from phobias that they are likely to face at work, sufferers

are given some protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act. In theory, people with severe phobias can expect employers to make reasonable accommodations to their condition, and in practice, many more companies are taking employee phobias seriously since the US terrorist attacks. What those accommodations amount to is still left to individual companies, but can include letting workers take the train rather than fly, work from home or avoid the tree-climbing exercise on teambuilding outward bound days. In the UK, severe phobias - those that affect day-today life and last for longer than a year also come under disability legislation, and industrial tribunals can force companies to make reasonable accommodation for phobic employees. The problem, says Sue Pratt, a spokeswoman for the Disability Rights Commission, is that few phobic employees in the UK feel comfortable admitting they have a problem. "Part of it is because they fear they will not be taken seriously," she says, "but a lot of it comes down to how comfortable employees feel talking to their line managers about such problems. If you talk to mental health charities, they will say that with any mental health issue,

employees worry about being labelled and treated differently. They may worry it will hold back their careers. This creates a vicious circle, because if people don't talk about it, companies don't get used to the idea of dealing with it." Similarly, many sufferers never seek treatment for their fears, preferring instead to simply avoid situations where they may occur. For workers wanting to climb the corporate ladder, however, public speaking, meeting new people and even flying can be unavoidable. Severe phobias may require professional help, and there's plenty out there. But milder anxiety disorders often respond well to self-help treatments. The mental health charity Mind suggests that self-exposure therapy (confronting your fears in small steps), relaxation techniques and visualisation can all be helpful. More information can be found on their website. In addition, says Sue Pratt, modern technology can forge a compromise between companies and their phobic employees. "Email working, video conferencing and working from home are all becoming well-established," she says. "For a lot of common phobias, new technology can provide an answer."

Overcoming Anxiety and Fear of Flying, Death, Failure and Other Fears, Anxieties and Phobias
Author of “The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well Being” shares the secret of anxiety management.
Sedona, Arizona (PRWEB) August 17, 2005

Do you have a fear of flying, death, or failure? Are you afraid of the dark, heights, or public speaking? Does commitment phobia make you so anxious that that it impacts your inner peace, joy and love? Hale Dwoskin, the author of The New York Times bestseller “The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well Being,” shares the secret of anxiety management. Dwoskin says, “One of the topics we explore in The Sedona Method is that anything that we are afraid of happening, we actually have a subconscious desire for or expectation of happening.” Based on this premise, you may find the following exploration helpful for releasing your reactions to what is going on in the world, and for releasing your fears in general. Make yourself comfortable and focus inwardly. Begin by bringing to mind something about which you feel afraid or anxious—you may want to start with something small—in order to see exactly what it is that you fear is going to happen. Give yourself a moment to notice whether there is a strong feeling of fear at the moment, or a very light hint of fear. It doesn’t matter which it is: simply observe and welcome it. Now, ask yourself: Could you let go of wanting this to happen? Or could you let go of expecting this to happen? The question may have made you laugh. Try asking the question again, and notice what else you discover. In fact, you may already be able to discern a difference. So, focus on that same thing you’re afraid of, or on something else, and then go through a series of questions for releasing fear in this simple way.

What is it that you’re afraid will happen? What is it you do not want to have happen? Now, could you let go of wanting that to happen? Or could you let go of expecting this to happen? Once you’ve gotten over the shock of the fact that you somehow want a negative thing to happen, it’s often very easy to let go of the fear in this way because, consciously, it’s not truly what you want. If you get stuck on any particular fear and are having a hard time letting it go, simply welcome the feeling as best you can and then let go of wanting to change it. Then go back to experimenting with this shortcut. Again, focus on something that you fear. It could be the same thing or it could be something else. Notice exactly what it is that you’re afraid will happen. If you’re afraid of heights, for instance, underneath it there might really be a fear of falling. Could you let go of wanting that to happen? Or could you let go of expecting this to happen? Focus again on that same fear, or on something else that you do not want to have happen, on something that you worry about, or on something that makes you nervous. Maybe you have a fear of public speaking. This could include the fear of failure, or of seeming like a fool in front of a roomful of people. Whatever underlying fear you feel: Could you let go of wanting that to happen? Or could you let go of expecting this to happen? Check how you feel inside. Wasn’t it easy to let go in that way? This process will help you clear out the hidden recesses of your subconscious mind. After you release something that you’ve subconsciously wanted to happen, you’ll see a tremendous difference in your life in many areas, including how you feel. Have fun experimenting with this shortcut on your own. Add this little trick to your toolbox of Sedona Method applications and enjoy the results. It’s great for those occasions when fearful thoughts arise in your consciousness, but you don’t have enough time to do an indepth process. Whenever you become aware of yourself thinking about an unwanted outcome, simply let go of wanting it to happen by asking

yourself the question: Could you let go of wanting or expecting that to happen? As you use this Method, you will find over time that the very situations and experiences that you used to find the most exhausting or disturbing will become less and less so, until you may even forget that you used to have those kinds of experiences. Hale Dwoskin is the CEO and Director of Training of Sedona Training Associates, an organization headquartered in Sedona, Arizona. He is an international speaker and featured faculty member at Esalen and the Omega Institute. For over a quarter of a century, he has regularly been teaching the Sedona Method to individuals and at corporations throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, and leading facilitator trainings and advanced retreats since the early 1990's. In addition to being the author of “The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well Being,” Dwoskin is also the co-author of the five-book series “Happiness Is Free and It's Easier than You Think.” Sedona Training Associates currently offers seminars throughout the US, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Eastern and Western Europe, and Japan. It also publishes audio programs that are distributed worldwide.