The persistent fear itself can be so petrifying it can be paralyzing. Scientists believe they have found what is an effective way to rid people of their phobias and keep them from returning.
Previous research has shown people can ‘catch’ their fears or phobias from friends and family
New scientific research from scientists in Sweden say that watching someone else overcome their phobia could safely help you get over your own phobia. The Karolinska Insitute claims unlearning the fear behavior is easier than going through the experience to rid yourself of the phobia and may prevent the fear from ever coming back again.
Soul Surfer teaches Thailand tsunami survivors
It makes sense. Think of the Brittany Hamilton, the surfer girl who’s arm was bitten off by the shark. She had to get over her own fear of going back into the ocean and surfing. Before she had fully gotten over the fear of the ocean herself, Brittany volunteered with her church to help the people of Thailand who have just suffered a tsunami and lost many family members through death. Brittany realizes she has suffered little in comparison and swallows her own self- pity and gets back in the water again while she is playing with a Thailand boy on the beach.
The people of Thailand know of Brittany’s story through the news and how she was attacked by a shark and are completely amazed at her courage to get back in the water again. Because their own fear of the water is so enormous the little boy won’t get in the water to play, at first. But the people of Thailand are on the beach watching Brittany on the surfboard in the water and decide if she can overcome her fear so can they. The little boy goes out to play with Brittany and soon the rest of the people follow.
The scientists in Sweden experienced the same kinds of learned social safety and the prevention of further recovery of the fear memory, and a way to help people with phobias optimize life again.
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