It’s time to get scared. Nightmare On Elm Street, Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre will be airing on TVs through to midnight tonight, Halloween.
The holiday reminds us that we love to be scared. Too much fear, however, is no good. At the extreme are phobias.
Research out of Boston University’s Center for Anxiety finds that nearly a third of us experience an anxiety disorder at some point. Eleven percent of us have a phobia.
Contrary to what most people may think, phobias are not often connected to trauma. Studies have shown that fear of water can show up in children without any negative water experiences. And those who are phobic of dogs are just as likely to have had a bad experience with a dog as are those who love dogs.
The B.U. Center for Anxiety’s David Barlow says that three factors together are required for a phobia to emerge: A negative event over which one never got control, an anxiety that is directed at a specific situation and genetics. Therapy may require medication, intense exposure to the feared situation or emotional control.
Fortunately, phobias are among the most treatable of all psychological conditions. So don’t be afraid to try.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]