Fear is sometimes taboo, and it shouldn't be
We notice that having a phobia or other anxiety disorder is sometimes taboo. That's a shame, because anyone can develop an unnecessary fear.
Anyone can develop an irrational fear
Ladybugs, windmills, whispering, puppets or holes; there is a fear for absolutely everything. And for any phobia goes that you rationally know that what you fear does not actually endanger you, but that you still feel an enormous threat. It is sometimes difficult to understand that that feeling is so strong, while you rationally know 'better'.
That is why we use this page to explain a little more about how fear works in our brain. You will understand why anyone can develop an irrational fear. So it's nothing to be ashamed of.
From functional fear...
Anxiety is an emotion with an important function. It helps you to appropriately respond to danger. As soon as we perceive a threat, a startle reaction occurs in our body within 100 milliseconds. This is an unpleasant feeling: blood pressure and heart rate increase, breathing accelerates. This response allows us a quick fight or flight response to danger. A useful survival mechanism!
... to irrational fear
But when you develop a fear of something that is not actually dangerous, it is an unrealistic fear. You realize that the fear is disproportionate, but it still controls you as soon as you are confronted with it. A connection has developed in the brain between fear and something that is in fact harmless. As a result, you will try to avoid the fear. This can be very debilitating in daily life.
"It was only when I told others that I was going to do this treatment, that I also heard from them that they had all kinds of fears"
Irreal fear is sometimes difficult to accept
It might differ per culture, but in general, people tend to be reluctant to openly talk about irrational fears. During intake interviews and treatments we notice that people are sometimes ashamed of their fear. Much more than, for example, of a broken leg or poor hearing.
That feeling of shame often has to do with the fact that your body reacts differently than your mind dictates. You can keep telling yourself that the height, the spider, the elevator is not scary, but the emotion dominates. That discrepancy between what you know and how you actually respond is sometimes difficult to accept. Even though you can't do anything about it. Because once the fear has developed, the survival mechanism is activated as soon as you are confronted with it. And it does not matter whether the fear is rational or irrational: your body reacts the same.
Open about fear
Fortunately, we are becoming more and more open about invisible conditions such as a phobia or panic disorder. Kindt Clinics supports initiatives from governments or associations that promote openness about these kinds of topics. There's just as little you can do about an irrational fear as about a broken leg, and sometimes even less!