Monday, June 20, 2011

Dog phobia- go see a therapist

Here are the facts: Phobias are anxiety disorders. They are a medical condition and can be cured. Phobias are typically disproportional to the actual danger posed and can therefore be considered irrational. I know that getting rid of them is not as simple as "hey, no need to be afraid of that spider, it cannot harm you". If a statement like this was helpful, phobias would not be irrational.
Now as an outsider it is of course not understandable why somebody can pour hot wax on legs and other bodily areas, rip of body hair by their roots and still be afraid of a spider... But that is not the issue.
I see a lot of people that are afraid of dogs. Again, in principle I do not understand but I am aware that phobias exist. But what I do NOT understand is why people who say their hobby is hiking in the nature and who have a dog phobia at the same time do not go and see a therapist. How likely do those people think it is that when they go for their walks in the nature that they will NOT see a dog? Once, when we walked our dog in a forest along a river in the mountains, a lady approached and one could tell from the distance that she was afraid. Those people always act so they actually attract the dog's attention (like staring at the dog for example). Our Dog walked by, but quickly raised its nose to sniff the lady and then walked on. The lady said "always those dogs running freely in the forests!"
My answer to the lady: "What do you honestly think is more natural: A dog running freely in the forest, or a human being that has its trousers full because of an animal that weighs about a third to a fourth of a human being?
Going out, knowing that you will encounter something you are afraid of several times and not doing anything against it has the same logic to me as a surgeon with a blood or syringe phobia and rather trying to avoid the object than to cure the disorder.