Articles

HD Article

How To End Phobias

"Imagine being confined to your home for an undetermined amount of time. You think it won't be more than a few weeks, but before you know it nearly two years have passed and it just seems more and more improbable that you will ever be able to live a 'normal' life.

Yet there is no one standing at the front door stopping you from leaving. The only things preventing you from walking out your front door to the grocery store down the street are irrational thoughts that trigger the most uncomfortable feelings inside you. Feelings so strong you are forced to return to your home and do whatever you can to relax yourself so the pain goes away.

Now imagine this happening randomly throughout the day. There is nothing logical about it. The feelings come and go as they please and there is no magic pill or surgery to make them go away. Imagine not knowing how much longer you could live like this before giving up. You would probably get depressed and even contemplate suicide.

This was my life for nearly two years. The psychological term is agoraphobia. I heard of this word years before I was ever confined to my home and I remember wondering how it is possible to wake up one morning and not be able to walk out the front door. It didn't make any sense, which is exactly why it is defined as an irrational fear of leaving your home. It's not something that happens overnight. In my case, I believe it was a culmination of a lifetime of events, in addition to my genetics.

To give you an example of how it feels, just imagine something you're afraid of for no logical reason. It's sometimes difficult to determine whether or not something is a fear and sometimes our subconscious won't let us accept it. The most common ones are spiders, snakes, darkness, heights, and enclosed spaces. I'll use spiders in my example. Imagine you wake up one morning, look out your window, and you see hundreds of spiders of all shapes and sizes roaming the streets. You watch the NEWS and a scientist assures everyone that none of them are poisonous, so your life is not in danger.

Now imagine going to the grocery store and not knowing if a tarantula is hiding among the apples, or going to school or work and not knowing whether one will pop out of your knapsack or briefcase when you open it, or just having to look up at ceilings all the time to make sure none jump down on your head.

Of course, you are well aware that if any of these things were to happen to you you wouldn't get hurt or die. In fact, if we replaced tarantulas with cats, puppies, rabbits, or canary birds, you might even enjoy being surprised by one appearing unexpectedly. So what's the difference between a canary bird and a tarantula? To someone with arachnophobia, fear of spiders, the main difference is that her mind has learned to associate danger with spiders. Therefore, the sight of one may trigger her fight-or-flight response to react. In other words, her body gives her the choice to challenge the fear or run away from it. It is when we choose the latter that an irrational fear develops.

I wrote the previous two paragraphs for several reasons: One, to give those of you who are unfamiliar with phobias an idea about what those of us who deal, or have dealt with them on a daily basis, go through. To help you realize that teasing somebody with a phobia by scaring them is almost like stealing insulin from a diabetic.

Two, to tell those of you who have phobias what I went through and how I felt and that despite all that, I am now living life more free than ever before.

Six months ago I couldn't even leave my home without getting anxious. I just recently got back from a two-week vacation, much of which I spent travelling alone in New York City. Since my early years of high school I could never give a public speech with any confidence. Many times I avoided them altogether and was glad to accept the zero. Six months ago I had difficulty ordering at a McDonald's drive-thru.

Today I am taking acting classes; something I had wanted to do since I was a child but never had the confidence. Just recently I performed in my first play. If it wasn't for Dr. Knight I would not have been able to accomplish these feats. Yes, I call them feats because coming from where I came from, these are truly outstanding accomplishments. In the past few months I have done things that I would have paid a billion dollars to be able to do six months ago. I have dealt with many psychologists in the past that have proven to be unhelpful, uncaring, unintelligent, not analytical, and worst of all, con artists trying to take advantage of my problems to make more money.

Fortunately, Dr. Knight does not have any of these characteristics. Within the first fifteen minutes of our first session I was astounded by the way he analyzed me so accurately. He made observations about me that my other cognitive behavioural therapist was unable to make in a year and a half. Obviously, I got rid of him immediately after I started working with Dr. Knight.

This leads me to the last reason for writing the first two paragraphs: rather than boast about how great Dr. Knight is, I'd rather you see what I went through and hear how I felt on a daily basis until I started working with Dr. Knight. I have never written a testimonial before, but I felt I must in this situation. Dr. Knight is the kind of person who will post his clients' testimonials in order to help more people and to hear how his clients' lives have changed because of him. He DOESN'T care about making as much money as he can from his clients and he DOESN'T work with people who aren't willing to put in the effort to help themselves.

He has one goal in mind and that is to fix you as quick as he can. On one occasion he refused to give me any additional sessions until I completed a number of tasks he felt were totally reasonable. Other therapists are glad to sit around and take your money knowing that you aren't making any progress.

Dr. Knight makes sure you do it. But don't get me wrong, he's no drill sergeant. He simply asks you to perform totally reasonable and completely painless tasks so that YOU can get better. That is truly all he cares about.

I did not write this testimonial to sell Dr. Knight. I wrote it to thank him and to help anyone else suffering with something they don't need to be suffering with. In our first session Dr. Knight told me that if I don't feel we have chemistry I should find another therapist immediately. In fact, at the end of every session he always asked me if I wanted to continue with another session.

I just hope that someday Dr. Knight calls me up to tell me that he helped someone who decided to see Dr. Knight because of this testimonial. Then maybe I will feel what Dr. Knight experiences on a daily basis."
J.A.

Bryan Knight writes:

A phobia is an irrational anxiety about a person, place or thing, which:

  • is out of proportion to any actual danger,
  • cannot be reasoned or explained away,
  • appears silly to the sufferer,
  • but cannot be voluntarily controlled, and
  • leads to avoidance of what is feared.

If your life, like that of an estimated 16 million Americans, is restricted because you're too anxious

  • to drive,
  • or to fly in a plane,
  • or to take an elevator,
  • or to lie on a beach,
  • or to wash your hair,
  • or to enter a restaurant,
  • or to use a public toilet,
  • or to undergo surgery,
  • or to pick up a telephone,
  • or to shake hands with a stranger,
  • or to even leave your home,
you know what misery and frustration a phobia can cause.

Drugs can certainly calm you down, perhaps sedate you enough so you can drag yourself onto that plane, or across that bridge.

But beneath the chemical calm, the fear lives on.

Drug-free solutions to Simple or complex phobias include cognitive therapy, hypnoanalysis, role-playing, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), behaviour therapy, and Rogerian therapy. I used all of these with the client quoted above.

I used to suffer with Social Phobia -- Fear of Public Speaking

I can barely begin to describe the pleasure I now enjoy when giving a public talk. It's so fantastic to stand in front of a crowd, impart useful information to them, have a few laughs, and learn from the questions and comments of the audience.

I vividly remember the first time this happened. I was scheduled to give a speech at a large convention of hypnotists in the U.S. Of course, I first watched a Self-Confidence video which includes a segment about giving a speech.

There were a dozen or so competing seminars offered at the same time so I thought probably 6 or so hypnotists would choose my session.

When I located the room in which I was to speak I had to fight my way in, there were so many people trying to enter. To my amazement, not only was the room packed with hypnotists, (I stopped counting at 103) but video cameras had been installed!

Well, I used my own advice, took a slow deep breath, and on breathing out, said, "This is easy." And it was!

Since then I've given talks wherever and whenever I can. So I know that social phobia can be beaten. As the cliche has it: if I can do it, so can you.

SHYNESS is also a phobia: Overcome Shyness

Here's the list of topics:

  • Overcoming a Phobia of Trains
  • "It's Not the Point -- How I Cured a Needle Phobia"
  • The Curious Case of the Button Lady
  • (bonus) The Curious Case of the Agoraphobic Cheque
  • Effective Hypnotherapy to Cure a Public Speaking Phobia
  • "The Weather Could Kill Me" -- A Phobia of Rain & Death
  • The Professor who Feared Microphones
  • "I Would Have Paid a Billion Dollars to be Able to Walk Out my Front Door" [yes, this is the testimonial published above]

Order this ebook for only $1.99. Hypnotherapists from England, New Zealand, United States, Australia and of course, Canada, describe how they helped clients previously trapped in phobias that disrupted their lives.

Order now:

"Now I Can Live"

"I am 57 years old and have suffered from severe anxiety since I was a child. My first school report, at 6 years old, said 'Elisabeth tends to worry too much'!

Since having therapy, for the first time in my life, with Dr Bryan Knight, my whole life has changed.

I am more confident, self assured, able to deal with any problems that arise without any anxiety or panic attacks. I no longer have my claustrophobia; previously for example I would never be able to travel in a lift [elevator] or sit in a car unless I sat next to the door.

I owe so much to Dr Knight, he is the most kind, caring, professional and extremely knowledgeable therapist.

I urge anyone suffering from anxiety, phobias etc., who wants to change their lives and to begin to live to make an appointment with Dr. Knight."

Elisabeth Carr.

 


Back to articles