Fears are not entirely bad, because they can point us to dangers and protect us from them. They take on a pathological character when no real threat exists and they have an impact on mental well-being, negatively influence work or lead to social withdrawal. If the symptoms remain untreated, they can lead to depression, which should be prevented at all costs.
Compulsions are divided into two categories: obsessive thoughts and compulsive acts. With obsessive thoughts, the same thoughts occur repeatedly. They are always present and leave little room for other thoughts. These could be of an aggressive, sexual, religious or magical nature, or ruminating. Compulsive acts, on the other hand, are recurrent acts that cannot be controlled or avoided. These include the compulsion to control, clean or even wash. The sufferer often feels relief for a short time after exercising the compulsion, but this quickly turns into shame and agony.
A phobia is an unfounded fear of an object, situation or circumstance. Among the best known phobias are social phobias, agoraphobia ,and fear of flying. The life of the sufferer is severely restricted. People who are affected often try to avoid encounters with the fear-inducing stimuli and increasingly isolate themselves from their social environment. Due to strong physical symptoms, such as trembling, sweating, nausea, weakness attacks and heart palpitations (which can increase to panic attacks), the affected person can develop a fear of the fear (phobophobia).
Anxieties, compulsions and phobias are neurotic disorders and most often arise due to unresolved internal or interpersonal conflicts. The impairments can be learned in the further course of one’s life and integrated into everyday life, so that one can hardly remember a time without them. Hypnotherapy and EMDR procedures are similar to behavioral therapy and are best suited to eliminating fears, compulsions and phobias. How deeply entrenched the distress is will affect the number of sessions needed to restore well-being.