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Aftermath of dealing with fear...

P

planneraddict

New member
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Manchester
Hi,

This is my first post. I was looking for a place to talk about this particular issue, since none of my relatives really have or understand phobias. I wondered if someone else might be able to relate, or even explain what's going on.

I have a pretty common but severe phobia. For the sake of this post, I don't think it really matters what it is, but it's something that I have to deal with from time to time. I've developed some strategies, e.g. this might sound silly but I have bad eyesight, and if I can't clearly see the thing I'm afraid of, then it reduces the level of terror/panic, so I take off my glasses. So I think I'm managing as well as I can, without seeking therapy (which I'm not ready to do yet and don't know if I ever will be).

But the thing that's troubling me is the aftermath of encountering my phobia. For the next few days, I can't stop thinking about it and I feel jumpy, sometimes even unsafe (even though the thing I'm afraid of can't actually hurt me, so I know it's irrational). The memory of it keeps replaying in my head. I find it difficult to sleep. And if it was a particularly bad experience, it lowers my entire mood, to the point that I find it very difficult to relax or be happy, and I start getting negative thoughts - nothing harmful, just thoughts about bad things happening and everything going wrong.

I think I'm getting annoyed with myself because I know how phobias work, I know it's just part of my brain misfiring danger signals when there's no danger. I feel like I've worked hard to be able to deal with this phobia when I encounter it. But the horrible mood crash for days afterwards is really getting me down because it feels so unnecessary and disproportionate, and it has a real effect on my life.

Does anyone have similar experiences, and if so, how do you deal with these "longer" negative feelings? Is this some kind of trauma reaction?
 
K

Keesha

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Apr 19, 2019
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I’m not a doctor so can’t diagnose your reaction but I have something similar that happens when I’m triggered and it might take me a few days for my phobia to settle down. In my case I firmly believe it’s trauma related.

How do I feel with it?
I cry, paint and go within a lot and it’s not always helpful.
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

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Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
2,425
I have heard there is such a thing as exposure therapy. So keeping things manageable you just ease yourself into your phobias and climatise to those situations as you learn through discovery that there wasn't anything to fear and find coping mechanisms as you deal with those phobias. Some might take a long time to work through so I am guessing patience is a virtue...
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

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Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
2,425
With things like phobias I think if they are having a negative effect on our day to day lives, it's something that needs addressing. Most phobias in my opinion can be overcome by little-by-little exposure. Through exposure in this manner we become climitised to our fears, whilst also challenging the logic to those phobias (perhaps our fears are unfounded and we over-react accordingly)... Just a thought...
 
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