The majority of us have a phobia of some kind, from heights to spiders to enclosed spaces. Some people are affected mildly, some strongly, and many people strive to overcome these barriers that have been set unconsciously by ourselves. There is in development a new form of medication, which has been designed to aid people with these phobias and help them to challenge themselves and face this mind set head on.
Having a phobia is a mental condition that we subconsciously acquire throughout different stages of our lives, though the majority of these appear through our childhood. They are most likely to be due to an event or series of events linked to the object of these uneasy emotions that have occurred, and gradually our brains develop a metaphorical alarm bell that rings when we encounter these hurdles. Importantly, being apprehensive about something is all because of our state of mind and can be challenged until these responses cease to be triggered at all, yet this is a timely process that takes will power and self-motivation.
People find overcoming these challenges productive in everyday life and can also add to convenience, for example facing claustrophobia head on by purposefully travelling in the lift when going upstairs so that the effects are weakened. As well as this, there are thrill seekers who go out of their way to face these apprehensions such as skydiving and bungee jumping. Achieving the end goal after facing these obstacles can be extremely rewarding, and can help us progress so that we can live life to the fullest.
The challenges of overcoming phobias alter from person to person, and also depends on how intense the reaction is when in these situations. Some people find it easy to get themselves into the state of mind where they need only their own self-motivation, and others need a helping hand with different forms of counselling, and now there may soon be an additional option for those who need it in the form of medication.
The tablets that have been developed will help aid people who want to overcome these challenges, although they are only constructive if self-motivation and counselling from others are added to the equation. They work by detraining the brain, allowing the strong reactions that we have when we are high up above the ground for example to become weaker, and for the alarm bell to cease ringing each time we are faced with the same obstacle. Receptors in our brains which are responsible for us making memories can be detrained so that we cease to link the memory which once triggered apprehension, with when we come across them in the present and future.
There are practical uses for these tablets and the corresponding therapy as well as personal. At the moment, scientists are doing trials with the drug on aspiring pilots who have an intense reaction to heights, although it is too soon to give conclusive results on how effective the treatment is. With increasing tests on different subjects with a range of intensities of condition, more information will be given regarding possibly a preferred personal profile for patients who would gain most from undergoing the treatment and the suggested therapy to coincide with the medicinal aid.
Although there is much more work to be done until medication can allow us to be fearless, developments in neuroscience and a greater understanding of mental conditions may allow this to become a reality in the future.
How can the way we feel about certain situations be used to our advantage?