Insights Into Teens: Episode 11 “Fears and Phobias”

Madison and Joe tackle the sensitive subject of fears. We discuss what fear is versus phobia, what the typical symptoms of each area, how such things are useful and we discuss statistics about fears and phobias and find out they aren’t nearly as uncommon as you might think. We learn that fear is a healthy natural defensive mechanism of the body and that phobias aren’t irrational fears but an over-reaction by a part of the brain that can be overcome with the proper training. We also discuss some commonly effective methods of overcoming your fears and phobias.

Insights Into Teens
Insights into Teens Podcast

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:02Insightful podcast. A podcast network.

Speaker 2:0:21Okay.

Speaker 3:0:27Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth, your hosts, or Joseph and Madison Wireless, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges,

Speaker 4:0:42the teenage years.

Speaker 5:0:52Welcome to insights into teams. This is episode 11, fears and Phobias. I’m your host, Joseph Waylon. And I’m here with my lovely and talented cohost, Madison Waylon. Hello everyone. How are you doing today, Matty? Pretty good. So today this was actually a topic that you suggested you want to talk about fear. So I’m guessing you have some fears. Yep. So we’re gonna go over these and what we’re, what we’re gonna do is we’re going to go through, we’re going to define what fears and what phobias are, where the differences between the two. We’re going to look at,

Speaker 2:1:32um, some

Speaker 5:1:34symptoms. We’re going to look at some statistics and uh, we’ll look at some ways of coping with some of your fears and phobias.

Speaker 2:1:44MMM.

Speaker 5:1:46Anything you want to say before we start?

Speaker 6:1:48Like, what?

Speaker 5:1:49Oh, did you have anything you want to talk about? Anything you want to throw out there? Any fears that you want to throw out there right off the bat?

Speaker 6:1:55Basically just what my, what I think my fears are what I’m afraid of it.

Speaker 5:1:59Sure. What do you think your fears are?

Speaker 6:2:02Well, I think I have, I don’t, well, I’ve always assumed this for a while now that I have Arachnophobia. Okay. Thanks. Fear of Arachnids mainly spiders. Even though I’m also referred a Scorpion to other Arachnids. Sure. But still I’m also afraid of bees normally. And I hate being outside cause I always think like a small flies, a B.

Speaker 5:2:28Right, right. Okay. Very pleasant whatsoever. And I think that that’s a core fear that a lot of people have is those little creepy crawlies and you know, the sting, Scorpion staying in spiders are just freaky looking. So, yeah. And I don’t think it’s, it’s unusual, but let’s dig into the heart of the matter. Let’s talk about what fear is and what phobias are and we’ll see.

Speaker 6:2:52I mean, I have other fears other than the creepy crawly. Yeah.

Speaker 5:2:55Okay. Well as we get into things here, maybe we’ll, we’ll, we’ll delve into those little bit more too. Okay. All right. So let’s get started.

Speaker 7:3:09Okay.

Speaker 5:3:09So the first thing we should start out with is a definition of what fear is. Now this comes from kidshealth.org um, and just to show note, all of our resources, uh, are links in our credits at the end of the show if anyone’s interested in visiting any of the sites. So kids help that or tells us that fear is one of the most basic human emotions. It is a pro. It’s, it is programmed into the nervous system and works looking instinct from the timer. Infants, we are all equipped with the survival instincts necessary to respond with fear when we sense danger or feel unsafe. Fear helps protect us. It makes us alert to danger and prepares us to deal with it. Feeling afraid is very natural and helpful in some situations. Fear can be like a warning, a signal that cautions us to be careful.

Speaker 5:4:05Like all emotions. Fear can be mild, medium, or intense depending on the situation and the person a feeling of fear. Can be brief or it can last longer. So basically what they’re saying here is fears, a tool that all humans have and it’s designed to protect us. Kind of like pain. You know, if you stumble and you sprain your ankle, it hurts, but it hurts. That pain is a deterrent so that you don’t walk on an injured ankle at that point in time. So fear here is a tool where your body somehow, somewhere sense is that there’s some kind of danger and it’s there to protect you. So basically fear is helpful for survival. Exactly. So that’s where we kind of have to, to think of fear in this case here is that it’s a good thing when it’s used correctly. So kids health goes on to talk about how fear works.

Speaker 5:5:05So when we sense danger, the brain reacts instantly. Uh, it sends signals to activate our nervous systems. So you may start like one of the first things that happens is your adrenaline may start to rush so that you’re ready for what’s, what’s called the fight or flight reaction, you know, have you ever heard of that? Okay. So fight or flight is something happens and your body reacts and either your body readies yourself to confront whatever it is that’s a threat to you or to flee from it. And when it does that, it triggers endorphins into the bloodstream to make you run faster and give you a burst of energy. Um, it tends to, you know, it causes your sweat glands to react so that you know that something’s going on. It’s a actual physical process that your body goes through to protect yourself. Now let me ask you something. When you see a spider, how do you react to that?

Speaker 6:6:07Well, it depends on the size of the size of the spider or anything else. Okay. So unfortunately my fear has gotten so bad that I’m afraid of spiders and picture books. Luckily I don’t handle it by screaming anymore. I just turn the page or cover with my hand or closed my eyes. Well, that’s good. That’s good. And whenever I see a small spot, I freak out a bit, but then probably step on it. Oh know. Okay. And if I see a spider and in the house, I normally come to you guys if it’s high up so you can eat there. So you can probably like not kill it and like send it out back into the wild. Yeah. Mommy doesn’t like killing things around the house. Yeah. But and I don’t like things, other things living in the house. So

Speaker 5:6:59yeah. So we come up with a compromise and we just evict whatever the offending creature is to the outside.

Speaker 6:7:04Yeah. Okay. Unless it’s a stink bug, then we flush it down the toilet.

Speaker 5:7:08Well, yeah. So thanks swim though, right? Yeah. Okay. Fortunately, so when your body, when your nervous system reacts to fears, it causes physical responses, like I said, a fast or heartbeat, rapid breathing, increasing your blood pressure, blood pumps to your muscles and your muscle groups to prepare the body for a physical action such as running or fighting, um, and your skin sweats to keep the body cool. Um, so it’s, it’s sort of kind of like an automatic defensive system that fears associated with here, um, that you run into. Um, some people might notice, um, your stomach or your head or your chest or your hands, you might get a little woozy. Do you ever have that happen?

Speaker 6:8:01Um, sometimes I can’t really recall too many times. I mean, I probably felt woozy a few times. I don’t know. Okay. I really don’t know if I have a good example for it, but I can definitely stay. I have a, I definitely have a change and thought and movement and I’m pretty sure I also have a bit of a journal, a bit of adrenaline. Okay. Oh, oh yeah. I actually do feel woozy when I’m up high because I prefer your fights.

Speaker 5:8:37Okay. So that’s a different kind of fear, different kind of reaction. Yup. Okay. That makes sense. So the body tends to stay in this fight or flight mode until the brain receives some kind of all clear message and turns the response off. Sometimes the fear can be triggered by something that’s startling or unexpected. You’re walked through a haunted house and you know, somebody jumps out at you and scares you. Um, even though your body realizes it’s not dangerous, once you get past that your body, your brain then shuts everything back off and you’d go back to normal. Um, the interesting thing is the fear reaction is activated instantly. Um, and it’s usually a few seconds faster than the brain can process or evaluate what’s actually happening. So in certain situations, like a spider or something else that triggers your fear, your body will react like bugs. Okay.

Speaker 5:9:43Yesterday you were getting out of the car. There was a bee flying around and instantly your body went into your fight or flight mode. So before you could even evaluate the situation and realize, all right, that’d be was 10 feet away and he wasn’t any danger to me. Just by seeing that it triggered your fear and your body automatically went into that defensive mode. So that’s kind of how, while your body reacts the way that it does, um, and eventually, you know, your body catches up to that fear instinct and says, okay, well, all right, that bees really not close to me, it’s not going to hurt me. So let’s turn off all of our defensive mechanisms here and I’ll sort of like shields up when we sent something and then you’ve turned those shields back off after your brain catches up to the evaluation of the danger. So any questions on the definition of fear and what causes fear?

Speaker 6:10:42Nope, I think we already have a good, I already have a good background of how, um, what fear is and the definition of it.

Speaker 5:10:51Okay. All right, cool.

Speaker 5:10:58So the next thing we’re going to talk about is just some quick statistics on fear. This comes from the website stage of life.com which we’ve used in the past. They have a lot of great surveys there. So this centers around fear, mostly a show associated with school and teens and personal life, not really phobias or you know, insects and stuff like that. So one of the interesting things is a, in this poll, The d the teens took 75.5% of the teens were afraid of poor academic performance or not getting good grades. Is that ever a fear that you, you have? Okay.

Speaker 6:11:41Well, I don’t think I’ve ever been afraid of getting a bad grade. Well, I sometimes do get nervous if I think I got some questions wrong and especially if I realize I did get a low grade, I’m like, what did I do wrong? Right. And I really don’t feel very well afterwards. So,

Speaker 5:12:01well is this, is this one of these, the fear happens during the test or after the test? Before you get the results?

Speaker 6:12:08Sometimes afterwards. Occasionally. I mean, if I think I did good on the test, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t worry about it. But if I didn’t know some of the questions, I’m pretty sure I’d be afraid to see it.

Speaker 5:12:21Okay. That makes sense. And that doesn’t happen often. So good. Not that big of a problem. The fact that you get straight A’s kind of helps that, right? Yeah. So 66% of those polled said they’re afraid of the future or life after graduation. Do you tend to think that far ahead, the, your anxieties reached that far ahead?

Speaker 6:12:46The only thing that ever really reached that far is that I didn’t want again to a relationship and I was kind of, I kind of thought that I live in a small apartment and I mean I didn’t worry about like too much about after graduation. I honestly don’t even know what I’m going to be when I grow up. So.

Speaker 5:13:10Okay, fair enough. A 56%, 56.4% of the teens were afraid of money, for instance, worrying about how to pay for things. Um, do you have financial worries at your age? No. No, cause you make pretty good money, don’t you? You, you, you, you make a pretty well between bringing home straight A’s and getting money for that and doing your chores that I think you’re pretty well set for someone your age.

Speaker 6:13:40And I’m pretty sure I’m, with my level of education, I’d probably be able to get a good job to get, um, a good amount of money.

Speaker 5:13:49I have no doubt of that. 54% of teens or afraid of having to audition or try out in order to be a part of something. Now you’ve never had to do that, right? Or a musical or a play or anything like that? Nope. He never really did that. So you do play trumpet in Band though? Yup. And you’ve got a concert coming up, don’t you?

Speaker 6:14:11Yeah. And um, may I actually have three concerts. We do one for all the parents cause there were, and there were two schools playing each band. So we have to go to the other school first to play for their school and then we do the other and then we do our school for all the students and we’ll do one for the, all the parents. Wow. That’s a lot. Yeah. We only ever traveled to the school, to the other school once, whenever we do the concerts. So,

Speaker 5:14:43so do you ever have a fear of performing in front of large crowds like that?

Speaker 6:14:48Well, not when I’m like focusing on playing the trumpet, but if I ever like sang or had to dance or I had to do a play, I’m pretty sure I’d be nervous. What stage fright

Speaker 5:14:58did you do? Solos

Speaker 6:15:00in band? While we only did it this one time and we’re not going to do it during this concert. And yeah, I do get nervous during those.

Speaker 5:15:09You’re nervous dog or not afraid?

Speaker 6:15:12Well, I’m, I’m kind of more afraid when I have to do a solo with the other trumpets because there are only four of us and I’m one of the four that that did the solo. So I got kind of nervous that I had messed something up. I also get a little tingling in my stomach whenever we do do performance. So I guess I do have a bit of nervousness during that too. But eventually after I started playing the song, I’m fine.

Speaker 5:15:36And that sounds like typical stage for it. I used to be in concert choir in school myself and I always get those butterflies in my stomach up until I get up on stage. And you start singing at that point in time, you know all that practicing pays off because you go into sort of an automatic mode at that point. And before you know it, the concert’s over.

Speaker 6:15:57Yep. So

Speaker 5:15:5954% of teens or afraid to talk to their teachers about personal problems. You talked to your teacher about personal problems?

Speaker 6:16:07No.

Speaker 5:16:08Is there a reason for that?

Speaker 6:16:10Well, um, like I normally go to you guys for personal problems. Okay, fair enough. As long as you have an outlet, I think that’s the important thing. Yeah. I don’t really talk to my teachers too much about it just because, well I’m kind of quiet. Sure. Tell you guys. But you know,

Speaker 5:16:32it’s important to realize that your teachers are there, that you can go to them and talk to them if you have,

Speaker 6:16:37I just think you guys would be better supports for some reason and it’s perfectly fine.

Speaker 5:16:43Uh, 51% of teens are afraid of talking to their parents about personal problems. Clearly you don’t have that issue.

Speaker 6:16:51Yep. So that’s good problems that aren’t that big of a deal. I, I don’t normally tell you, but bigger problems, I definitely would tell you. Good. Okay.

Speaker 5:17:03Well, and you should feel free to talk to mommy and daddy about anything.

Speaker 6:17:06Yeah, I’d actually prefer to tell you guys over people like teachers at school, which is why I’m like, okay, I’m not gonna tell anyone else about this. Just my parents.

Speaker 5:17:19That’s fine. And that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to help guide you and answer any questions that you have. 43.6% of teens. Now we’re below 50% here, which is good. Uh, 43.6 are free of depression or suicide. Now we’d done it the a series a podcast on depression already. Uh, I think we’ve firmly come to the conclusion that you are not suffering from depression at this point in time. Um, do you fear it? Do you fear suicide? Do you do your peers? Do you know any of the kids that you talked to have these kinds of fears?

Speaker 6:17:59Well, I do feel, I do worry if I ever do get depression and when I commit suicide, but I definitely don’t want to commit suicide whatsoever. Now that’s good. But I am kind of afraid if I get depression, if I’m going to get depression.

Speaker 5:18:15Well and that’s why we have to keep up on the warning signs and, and deal with issues as they come along so they don’t get to that fork cause you know sometimes if you don’t deal with them they can be a little overwhelming. Yeah. 33.7% of teens are afraid of taking tests. How are you on test day?

Speaker 6:18:34Um, I make sure that I know the things like can, um, but I do get nervous about taking the test, not because I have the grade but because of the time period because we have to take tests quicker now, especially when we get to middle school. And that’s stressing me out too. I always try to go as fast as I can and if, and if I’m so close to cutting off the time, I still get worried.

Speaker 5:19:03So you’re, you’re a little more meticulous and taking your tests. Yeah. Now’s that. Just because you want to be careful and get the right answer or no,

Speaker 6:19:13just cause I w I t I want to finish by the time that it’s done because I’m kind of slow with it cause I do want to make sure I get the right answer. But I also want to try and get it out during the time we have and we’re not going to have a lot of time anymore. So I have to try and do my best and try to go faster, which I get nervous about. Okay.

Speaker 5:19:38So 40% of teens are afraid of peer pressure or not fitting in with people at school. How does that affect you?

Speaker 6:19:48Doesn’t really affect me too much. I have, I have friends who have the same intro, who have similar interests to me and as long as that, as long as I have good friends, I really don’t care what other people think about me.

Speaker 5:20:01That’s perfect. That’s a beautiful attitude. And the last one that we had here was 30% of teens are afraid of being bullied or harassed at school. Um, we talked about bullying and you’ve confirmed that you’re not bullied. Is there an an atmosphere of bullying at school or kids at school? Afraid of being bullied?

Speaker 6:20:24Well, I really don’t know. I don’t ask him on a bunch of the kids. I only really talk to one other person, which is my friend Mariah. Other than that, um, I really don’t, I really don’t know anyone who is afraid of that. But I do get a little nervous if I ever will be bullied.

Speaker 5:20:44Okay. Well that’s definitely something that we to keep an eye on. Moving onto our next topic.

Speaker 5:20:59So what does a phobia, so we go back to kidshealth.org again for this definition and kids help tells us that fob is an intense fear reaction to a particular thing or situation with a phobia. The fear is out of proportion to the potential danger. But to the person with the phobia, the danger feels real because the fear is so very strong. So it’s fear, but on a different level, almost an irrational kind of fear, proportional to the danger. So fear is a re a physical reaction to what you’re bringing perceives as danger. Phobia is an exaggerated version of fear where the reaction is disproportionally more extreme than what the, the danger is. So let’s keep that in mind moving forward. So some of the symptoms of phobias, and this comes from an article from um, very well, mine.com, uh, some of the symptoms are dizziness, trembling, and increased heart rate.

Speaker 5:22:13Now let me just, let me run through the list and then you tell me, have you experienced these? Okay. Breathlessness where you just, you can’t catch your breath, you can’t breathe. Nausea where you’re sick to your stomach, a sense of unreality, almost like a out of body experience you don’t like. You don’t feel as though you’re there in the present. A fear of dying and a preoccupation with the fear object where you can’t not, like if there was a spider in the room, you, you had the focus on that sweater, you can’t turn your attention away from it. You can’t, it’s a distraction from everything else. So with those symptoms in mind, do you have those symptoms? When it comes to spiders, for instance.

Speaker 6:23:03Some of them. Yes.

Speaker 5:23:05So which ones do you experience?

Speaker 6:23:07I experienced preoccupation with the fear object.

Speaker 7:23:11MMM.

Speaker 6:23:13And I think that’s pretty much all I really feel for spiders. But there is another fear that I think I experienced a lot of these. Which ones? That my fear of heights. Okay. I feel dizziness and trembling with increased heart rate. I do feel breathlessness. I don’t feel nausea. I don’t feel nauseous. I don’t feel sense of unreality or if it said that, but I do have a fear of dying. Okay. I have a that I’m going to fall down and, and eventually go splat. Absolutely. And preoccupation with the fear object. I’d say sort of.

Speaker 5:23:56So you may legitimately have a fear, a phobia of heights. Um, I don’t think you’ve got a phobia of spiders. I think you have a healthy fear of spiders.

Speaker 6:24:07Okay. That’s good to know. But not a healthy fear for heights.

Speaker 5:24:11No. And, and that sort of played out when you go up and down stairs. Okay. So your fear of heights translates into your difficulty going up and downstairs, especially if they’re open air stairs where you can see down those. Yeah. So I think that’s probably something that we need to focus on. Trying to control that fear. Um, ironically enough, I didn’t think that was going to be your phobia. I thought it was going to be spiders, but I don’t think it is. So let’s talk a little bit about what causes phobias. So some phobias developed when someone has a scary experience or a particular thing with a particular thing or situation. A tiny brain structure called the Amygdala keeps track of experiences that trigger strong emotions. Once a certain thing or situation triggers a strong fear reaction, the Amygdala warns the person by triggering a fear reaction every time he or she encounters or thinks about encountering that thing or situation. So again, this is not some kind of irrational fear. This is something that your brain’s wired to do.

Speaker 6:25:30I have another thing. Okay, just talk. When we were talking about my fear, I felt as though I was looking down. I can relate to what we just said, like every time he or she encounters or even thinks about that thing or situation, I’m thinking about it. So it’s definitely a phobia for you. Okay.

Speaker 5:25:54And we’ll get to how we deal with phobias and a little bit more. Okay. Yeah. So let’s not get too worked up over it. Um, they give an example here. They say someone might develop a B phobia after being stung during a particularly scary situation for that person looking at a photograph of a be seeing a B from a distance or even walking near flowers where there could be a, B can all trigger the phobia. So the phobias have trigger points to them. And those trigger points are what set you off. Just thinking about heights right now was a trigger point for you. So I mean, that’s phobias and again, it’s, it’s, it’s a part of your brain that’s designed to try and protect you from things.

Speaker 6:26:44And I think I can actually relate to the,

Speaker 5:26:46um, uh, you know, example, there’d be example. Yeah.

Speaker 6:26:53I mean, I’ve never been stung by a bee, but I always have this weird fee and my mind like, what if I get stung by the bee and I realize I’m allergic? Does it actually feel like how bad does it? How bad does it hurt? And, and looking at a photograph, I just think it’s kind of disgusting just to look at, I’m seeing a beef from a distance. I do get scared and walking their flowers where there could be a B. I also kind of getting a little nervous.

Speaker 5:27:21Yeah. And, and again, that’s sort of that, that dangerous sense that you have, you know, think spidey sense from the comics. Okay. You know, you walk near a Bush of flowers, there’s a good chance there’s a bee that’s in there that that might come out.

Speaker 6:27:39And Nick and Bob, and you’ve probably seen me like whenever there’s a Bosch, I always walk away all the opposite.

Speaker 5:27:45Yeah, no, and that’s smart. And that’s, that’s being cautious. And that’s how you control your fears that way too. Hmm. So, so some, some quick statistics on phobias. So the National Institute of Mental Health and Anxiety Disorders, association of America. Say the most common specific phobias are of closed in places. Claustrophobia. I don’t have all the phobia names here. Yeah. Heights. I don’t remember what that one is. Escalators.

Speaker 7:28:27Okay.

Speaker 5:28:27You’re afraid of escalators,

Speaker 6:28:29aren’t they like the stairs that go up? That’s correct. Well I think both of them are mixed in together. I much prefer elevators. Escalators.

Speaker 5:28:41How about tunnels? Like, like going forward tunnel, walking through a tunnel or driving through a tunnel. Afraid of those. That’s good. Old Highway driving. You’re afraid to be on the highway around other cars and big trucks? No. Good. Um, water. Are you afraid of water? Well, of it.

Speaker 6:29:02Steep water and education and I will have, I can have the chance to fall into it.

Speaker 5:29:07Okay. How about flying? Um,

Speaker 6:29:12like if I’m in an airplane, I do have a fear that I’m going to crap and we’re going to crash or something bad’s going to happen. So, yeah.

Speaker 5:29:17All right. How about animals? No dogs in particular. Okay. Fine. Insects. We already know. How about thunder? Occasionally? Yes. Okay. Mine’s lightning. And I think I’m afraid, I’m afraid of being struck by lighting. I think I’m afraid of lightening because it’s so random. Like there’s nothing really that you can do to friend against it. If you happen to be out, you know, and people say, well, if you’re the highest object and a lightening storm, you’re going to get struck. You’re more likely to get struck by lightening if you’re the highest object. That doesn’t guarantee that if you’re a lower object, you’re not going to get struck. So it’s just that sheer random to seven I think scares me more than anything. Um, public transportation, you know, you’re really not exposed to that too much. Yeah. Injuries involving blood. Can you see blood and like not faint?

Speaker 6:30:13Yeah. Okay. I mean, I’ve had like, I sometime like before I used to freak out if I ever got blood, but now I’m just like, okay, there’s blood. Just wash it off, get a bandaid. Maybe even told my mom or dad.

Speaker 5:30:27There you go. Tough it out. Um, dental or medical procedures.

Speaker 7:30:34Yeah.

Speaker 6:30:34Even not really having many done. You’ve had some dental work done. A lot of them don’t work occasionally with my versus just right. So that hasn’t been a problem. Well, I don’t really like doing it, but I don’t know. I don’t think I have a phobia of it, so yeah. Yeah. Just like I could, I could say I also do get afraid though, whenever I have to get a shot.

Speaker 5:30:56Yeah. Because that hurts. I mean, anyone, nobody likes getting shots. Yup. So, so they go on this, say that specific phobias generally appear in early childhood around age seven which fence? That’s amount of time that you started to be aware of these dangers, I think. And that’s when you started to develop some of your phobias. An estimated 9.1% of Americans or more than 19 million people have a specific phobia and many people have more than one. So it’s not that unusual. Okay. So you’re not particularly a particularly frightened individual. Most people have these, so it’s, it’s perfectly normal. The prevalence of specific phobias and teenagers is higher at 15.1% so as you, as you get older, you’ll get over some of your phobias, no doubt. Um, and more than twice as many women as men have specific phobias. So the reason I put this information in Harrison, let you know that you’re not an exception to the rule. You’re not, there’s nothing unusual about the fears that you have. There’s nothing to be concerned about. Everybody has them and everyone leave, you know, all these other people, 19 million people lead perfectly normal lives. So having them is a defensive mechanism and it’s perfectly normal. So you don’t need to worry about being unusual or strange or anything like that. Okay, good.

Speaker 5:32:37So the important I think of the podcast is overcoming phobias. Now, some of the advice that’s in here, you’re, you’re probably not going to light because it’s kind of confrontational, but we’ll go through it anyway. So kids health goes on to tell us that people can learn to overcome phobias by gradually facing their fears. I know facing your fear can itself be a phobia. Um, it’s not easy at first. It takes willingness and bravery. Sometimes people need the help of a therapist to guide them through the process. So if it was a debilitating phobia that you had where you know you couldn’t go in an elevator but you had to go to work, all right. That’s one of those that you kind of have to overcome in order to be functional. Or if you had a fear of water, you know, you, you can’t not have water or be exposed to it.

Speaker 6:33:34I mean, I’m not afraid of water in general, just afraid of like a deep lake and I might fall into it and possibly drowned. Right? No, I totally, totally get it. Don’t even know how to swim.

Speaker 5:33:46I totally get that. So over overcoming a phobia usually starts with making a long list of the fears in least to worse order. For example, with a dog phobia, the list might start with the things the person is least afraid of, such as looking at a photo of a dog and then it’ll work its way up to the worst fear such as standing next to someone who’s penning a dog or petting a dog on a leash and then walking a dog gradually and with support the person tries each fear situation. On the list one of the time, starting with the least fear, the person isn’t forced to do anything and works on each fear until the fear feels comfortable taking as long as needed. So basically what it’s doing is it’s saying, all right, let’s take a fear that you have. Let’s figure out in order of least fearful to most fearful what exposure to that fear is. So spiders, so looking at a picture of of spider and a book is scary. We’ll deal with that first.

Speaker 6:34:54Honestly, I feel as though looking at smaller spiders, spiders is the least fear. And looking at a picture of like a tarantula is the worst fear. I just one other worst fear. So that’s an escalation. And being near Trent and having to be near a tarantula or even looking at your ranch slow would be even worse.

Speaker 5:35:12All right? So that’s a good example of an escalation. So you, you, you start to get yourself acclimated to the least amount of fear. You expose yourself to that in a controlled situation. And when that’s not fearful or stressful anymore, you’ve conquered that level, that lower level fear. And you move to the next one and you can do it in gradual steps. You don’t just jump right in. Did did, you know, getting into a room full of spiders like that, that would just freak you out? I would probably scream until, well, I’d probably just scream. Well, and I’m not saying that you’ll ever get to the point where you’ll want to be in a room full of spiders. I wouldn’t and I don’t have Arachnophobia but what they’re saying here is you’d do it in a controlled manner. You have, you kind of have to confront the fear, but you do it in a way that’s not overwhelming to you in a way that’s comfortable for you.

Speaker 5:36:03Um, as somebody gets used to a feared object or situation, the brain adjust to how it responds to the phobia. So you’re basically going to train your brain at that point in time, how to handle that, what it perceives as that danger. Um, it says the, the hardest part of overcoming a phobia is just getting started. Once a person decides to go for it and gets the right coach or support, it can be surprising how quickly you can overcome the fear. So yeah, it’s difficult trying to confront our fears. But if you do it in a, in small increments, it’s sort of like exercising. Like if you want to run a five k, you don’t just jump up and start running a five k, you might walk a half mile or walk for 20 minutes and then you build up that distance that you walk or the time that you walk and your body has a chance to adjust to it, your muscles start to adjust to it.

Speaker 5:37:02And in a couple of weeks you’re able to do a five k because you’ve trained your body to do it. The same thing with overcoming fears. You have to train your brain. We’ve already established the fact that it’s a normal process. I mean, it’s your body’s way of protecting itself. So you kind of have to train your brain to not overreact. And that’s really what a phobia is, that your brain overreacting. So that’s what we had for today. Uh, any questions on fears or phobias before we go into our closing remarks? Well, yes. I want to ask you just looking at the symptoms of fears and phobias and just looking at the statistics, what would you, do you think you have any phobias? Um, I don’t think I have phobias, but what I like the worst fears that you have. The really the biggest fear that I have, like I said, is the lightning.

Speaker 5:38:10Um, and it’s not like I can’t watch it on TV or I can’t look at a bolt of lightning in a book or something like that. It’s when I’m in, you know, a thunderstorm or if I’m in the car and a thunderstorm, I feel I’m safe. It’s when I’m transiting from the car to the building that I’m going to, it’s a, it’s a sense of vulnerability that I don’t have any. And I think that’s the same kind of fear that I have about flying where in a plane now I fly, I’m not definitely afraid of flying. I won’t refuse to do it, but I don’t like doing it because it’s a control situation, I think for me. Where in a plane, I’m depending on that guy in the cockpit getting me from point a to point B safely. I don’t know who that is. I had never met them. I don’t know what their qualifications are. I don’t know if they have any substance abuse problems. I don’t know if he had a fight with his wife this morning and you know, might might be distracted. I don’t know. It could be any of those things. Um, that’s why I prefer driving, cause at least driving, I’m in control. If I make a mistake, it’s all me. I’m in a plane. That pilot could have a bad day today and it cost me my life.

Speaker 6:39:32Yeah. That would also freak me out.

Speaker 5:39:35You know, in a situation with lightening, I can’t control that lightning. I can move as quickly as I can from the shelter of the car to the shelter of the building. But that’s not to say that I won’t get struck by lightening and it’s that uncertainty. I think that’s war were scary to me than anything else. So let’s, uh, did you have any other questions?

Speaker 6:39:58Um, I think that was it.

Speaker 5:40:01Okay. So I, that’s all we had for the topic today. Let’s move on to our

Speaker 7:40:08closing remarks.

Speaker 5:40:15So it was always dear. I turn it over to you to end the podcast with closing remarks and shout outs.

Speaker 6:40:21Alrighty. So for my closing remarks today, I’m going to say to all the viewers, if you have a fear that is just, that doesn’t seem too bad, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It’s the phobias you should worry about. If you feel as though your phobia is very bad, you should get some mental help and possibly start thinking of coming of overcoming that phobia and making it into a small fear. I would definitely think of worrying about, um, your biggest fears and phobias instead of your smaller fears. Okay.

Speaker 5:41:04Did you want to give a shout out to anyone today?

Speaker 6:41:06Well, I would get, I want to give a shout out to both of my parents, you and Mommy, who I’ve helped me out. So how many years? I was afraid of certain things and how many years I’ve thought I’ve had a phobia of other things, and a fear of a n, a fear of others. Um, I’d also like to thank you guys for supporting me

Speaker 5:41:35through my thoughts of and fears and phobias, or you’re, you’re welcome. And thank you for the shout out. And I think that’s all we had for today. Um, our contact information is in the credits at the end here, but you can reach us on Twitter at, uh, insights underscore things. Check out our youtube and our podcasts on a Buzzsprout and we’ll talk to you folks next week. Bye. Bye.

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