I offer very successful treatments of many symptoms and the list below covers just a few of them. If you would like to discuss your particular problem, then please don’t hesitate to contact me with no obligation.
Fear is a normal response to a genuine danger. With phobias, however, the fear is excessive and irrational often causing the sufferer to experience intense feelings of panic, terror, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling and an overwhelming desire to flee the situation. Phobias are very common and affect people of all ages, from all walks of life and in every part of the country. It is estimated that at least 10% or more of the population experience a phobia at some point in their life. If the phobia is of a common object or situation the disability can be severe.
What are phobias?
Nearly all of us have some fears that tend to make us feel uncomfortable from time to time. However, when the emotions are sufficiently bottled up, the inner mind will create a phobia. A phobia is a pathological fear which is incredibly intense and totally uncontrollable. Many phobias appear to make no sense at all. If we take a fear of flying, for example, logically the sufferer will know that flying is one of the safest forms of transport there is but they still feel completely powerless and terrified sitting in the cramped cabin of the plane. On a conscious level, the sufferer is experiencing a fear of being ‘out of control’ and this can cause them to feel shaky, short of breath, palpitations, sweating etc. The phobia, however, is just a symbolic representation of bottled up emotions that have been locked away in the sufferer’s subconscious mind. There is no reason why anyone should have to put up with something that is inside of themselves but outside of their control.
Symptoms of a phobia
- Chest pain or other chest discomfort
- Chills or hot flashes
- Choking sensation
- De-realisation (feeling unreal) or de-personalisation (feeling detached from self)
- Dizzy, lightheaded, faint or unsteady
- Fear of dying
- Fears of loss of control or becoming insane
- Heart pounds, races or skips beats
- Nausea or other abdominal discomfort
- Numbness or tingling
- Shortness of breath or smothering sensation
Anxiety can be caused or triggered by various situations. It alerts us when we are in dangerous situations allowing us to keep ourselves safe. It is perfectly natural to feel this way when confronted with danger. It is not natural, however, if you are suffering anxiety or panic for no apparent reason. Anxiety can manifest as a huge release of adrenaline but as long as the threat is real this will subside as the danger passes. With some people, though, this anxiety appears for no obvious reason and can lead to what is known as a panic attack. The sufferer feels absolutely terrified and often experiences symptoms such as tightness of the chest, rapid and difficult breathing, shaking, sweating, rapid heartbeat and a tingling sensation on some or all parts of the body. Other symptoms may also be experienced. Having gone through a few panic attacks the sufferer often then begins to feel a ‘fear of the fear’ and this alone can bring on an anxiety or panic attack. The sufferer has no idea why these attacks are occurring and this can lead them to blaming the location eg the plane, tube, cinema or wherever else they may be. If, for example, the person has an attack when travelling on a plane they will blame it on the plane, a fear of flying develops and they then try to avoid all air travel. The reality is these anxious feelings are just a manifestation of emotions that are already inside of you. I can help you release them completely and permanently
Panic Attacks (Panic Disorder)
Panic attacks can be extremely frightening. People experiencing an attack usually suffer the same symptoms as those that occur with phobias. The attack can come on very quickly with the symptoms usually peaking within 10 minutes and lasting up to 20 minutes. Some attacks can go on for longer but this is probably because they are experiencing one attack after another or a high level of anxiety after the initial attack. Often the first attack is totally unexpected and following this you become worried about having another attack. This can lead to a fear of the fear – you become anxious about having an attack and this produces the very thing you are most afraid of.
Depression could be described as a range of moods, from the low spirits that everybody experiences to something much more severe that then interferes with everyday life. The more severe type is often called ‘clinical depression’. Research by NIMH estimates that up to 20% of the population will experience it at some time in their lives. A feeling of ‘being down’ happens with all of us and this is perfectly normal and natural. When these ‘down’ feelings persist for long periods of time and affect our day to day lives it is then known as depression. People suffering with severe depression can experience low moods, a loss of interest and pleasure as well as feelings of worthlessness and guilt. They may also find that they have reduced energy, tearfulness, poor concentration, reduced or increased appetite and weight, sleep problems and anxiety. A feeling that life is not worth living can also be experienced. Depression can affect anyone, of any culture, age or background. About twice as many women as men seek help for depression, though this may simply be because women may be more prepared to discuss their problems than men. Depression is often accompanied by upsetting life events, such as bereavement, relationship difficulties, physical illness, or job or money worries. Stress caused by physical illness, family problems or other upsetting life events can all contribute to depression surfacing. It is often also accompanied by anxiety, panic attacks, social phobia and generalised anxiety disorder. There has been a suggestion that depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Whilst this may be possible in some cases it is worth considering that depression has increased ten-fold over the last half century and it seems unlikely that our brain chemistry has also changed to that degree. This would suggest that the root cause of depression is likely to be something else. Talking therapies are rarely able to resolve depression permanently despite the treatment often lasting many years and costing thousands of pounds.
Obsessions and compulsions
What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a serious anxiety-related that affects people regardless of gender and social or cultural background. Sufferers often go undiagnosed for many years, partially because of a lack of understanding of the condition, and partially because of the intense feelings of embarrassment, guilt and sometimes even shame associated with what is often called the ‘secret illness’. This illness can have a totally devastating effect on work, social life and personal relationships. The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks OCD as the tenth most disabling illness of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life. Most sufferers know that their thoughts and behaviour are irrational and senseless, but feel incapable of stopping them. This has a significant impact on their confidence and self-esteem and as a result, their careers, relationships and lifestyles. Obsessions and Compulsions are different in as much as the obsessions are felt and the compulsions are acted out. The obsessions can be intrusive and recurrent thoughts, ideas or impulses the sufferer can’t stop thinking about. It may feel as though the brain has been invaded by thoughts with no means to stop them. All of us at some point in our lives have experienced the occasional obsessional thought, however if it reaches the stage that these thoughts completely take over a person’s life and affects their everyday functioning it becomes a full blown obsession. Compulsions offer the sufferer an immediate benefit – for example the person may go on a drinking or eating binge which allows them to escape from life for awhile. The compulsion is often much stronger when this person is feeling anxious or under stress. After they have carried out their compulsive behaviour, they often feel very guilty and ashamed. Other compulsive behaviours are gambling, drug taking, nail biting, comfort eating or cutting oneself. Self harming and bodily abuse affects mainly children and teenagers although adults can also be affected. Many normal people can suffer from the compulsion to self-harm. It is believed that between 1 and 10 per cent of people (especially teens) in the UK self-harm. Self harming can include cutting on the arms and legs, scratching the skin, hitting oneself and hair pulling (Trichotillomania). It can also be associated with other abusive and reckless behaviours such as drug taking, eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia), reckless drinking and dangerous behaviour.
It is often very difficult for people to ask for help with sexual problems and yet they are surprisingly common in both men and women. I can promise that your problems will be discussed with the greatest of sensitivity and your confidentiality is guaranteed.
Common symptoms include: Impotence / Erectile Disorder / Erectile Dysfunction. All of these terms are the same thing and refer to the difficulty that causes a man in getting an erection or maintaining an erection during sex. This results in feelings of failure and frustration and can have a damaging effect on any relationship. Premature ejaculation is an extremely common problem affecting many men. It is the persistent experience of ejaculating too quickly (coming too quickly) with barely any sexual stimulation whatever and this can happen before or during sex. Premature ejaculation often produces a lack of confidence and stress in love making, frustrations and worry regarding their partner’s fulfilment and feelings of inadequacy and frustration.
Frigidity is the general loss of desire and interest in sex. It affects men and women and can lead to a general fear of being intimate. This can have a very detrimental effect on what may have once been a sexually active relationship causing frustration and problems and arguments
Social phobia is the third largest psychological problem in the world today according to research by the NIMH. A phobia is basically a fear. All of us can have fears and may get anxious before meeting new people but once we are there find we settle down quickly, coping and enjoying the situation. For others, however, these situations create huge amounts of fear and anxiety and in many cases it leads to them to avoid these situations entirely. This can have a terrible effect on people’s lives and in severe cases leads to the sufferer completely withdrawing from society and life itself. A social phobic will worry continuously about how others see them and what others think about them. They have a pervasive fear of being judged, humiliated or embarrassed when exposed to possible scrutiny by others. Even though they know it’s not true, people with social phobia feel that everyone is watching, staring and judging them.