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Thursday, February 21, 2013

o.c.d., phobias or anxiety? THE Question

by Dr. Craig April, Director of The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles
www.KickFear.com



Here is a vital question to ask yourself if you suffer with phobias, o.c.d. and any other form of anxiety:

"What am I truly afraid of?"

I'm not talking about the content of your fear or anxiety.  For example, I'm not talking about your fear of panic attacks, your fear of driving, a blood phobia, agoraphobia, fear of germs, fear of flying, obsessions or really any piece of anxious subject matter or content.

What I'm talking about is what you're really truly afraid of.  Often times, when anxious, one can get lost in the content of their anxiety and lose sight of or not even know what they truly fear anymore.

When we know what we truly fear, we can set the stage to confront the content and anxiety symptoms that have become a barrier.  Working through whatever anxiety plagues you then becomes easier.

For example, what do many with social phobia truly fear?  Is it really just parties or social gatherings or meeting someone that may reject or criticize them?  Or is it ultimately a fear that they'll be alone?  Looking beneath the fear of rejection is a powerful process.

For those with o.c.d., if we look beneath the content of obsessions about germs, contamination, sex, harm, etc. , what we often find is fear of loss, of being alone, and of death.  In fact, fear of death or that which people equate with death, such as loss of family, loss of control, and loss of identity is often the foundation of all fear!

THE IMPORTANT ANXIETY QUESTION:

The question: "What am I truly afraid of?"  is one that is most often asked in our anxiety therapy support groups.  As part of group treatment for o.c.d., social anxiety or panic attacks, honest discussion of each member's fear is encouraged.  This exploration enables members to confront their anxiety in a safe, supportive atmosphere which can move them towards anxiety relief.

When battling anxiety with or without an anxiety doctors assistance, it is always a mistake to focus entirely on content.  In other words, when anxious, most tend to focus on fighting thoughts about their particular anxiety.  Unfortunately, this can increase anxiety because trying to control anxiety by forcing it away can unintentionally create more!

Therefore, asking yourself The Question above can circumvent the natural tendency to fall into the anxiety trap of battling the story in one's head - rather than really looking at what supports it.

So, the next time you're struggling with anxiety symptoms, practice taking a deeper look at the real foundation of your fear.  And then begin working on shifting the perspective that holds that faulty fear foundation together.

All the best,

DR. APRIL 
Director of The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

P. S.  Don't forget to sign up for my anxiety newsletter on my website's home page where you'll receive free anxiety tips!
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The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles and The South Bay

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management is committed to helping you remove the destructive barriers of anxiety, so that you may lead a calmer, healthier, happier life.

Take a look at our website at www.KickFear.com or give us a call: (310) 429-1024
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