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Curing the Root Cause of Phobias and Fears:
Psychological Techniques are not Enough

by Matt Moody, Ph.D.  

Dear Dr. Matt,

My name is Maya. I'm 19 years old and single. I currently an international student living in Hong Kong.

For almost 5 years now, I've been scared of crossing streets, with the occasional anxiety when riding a car, bus, train, or any form or transportation on land. It started 5 years ago when I was in a very bad car accident, and then almost getting hit by a speeding car while crossing a highway just a few months after. When alone, I usually have to stay standing at the curb for at least 15 minutes, to try and calm my nerves and breathing before any attempt to cross the street -- no matter how narrow or empty the street is. At these times, my heart will beat really fast and irregularly; I feel my blood pressure going down, and my breathing becomes hitched.

While crossing the street, I will turn my head left and right a thousand times to make sure there are no cars, even though I've checked before, and there are no signs of cars as far as I can see. Any sound will make me either start running wildly and blindly or freeze in place completely. Until the moment I reach the other side of the street, I'm on edge, very scared, and tensed. And it will take me a full 5 minutes until I'm calm enough to take a deep breath. More often than not, I will start imagining a car coming up and hitting me with force, and my imagination seems so real that I will just freeze in place with raw fear, and prepare for impact with body all tensed and my eyes closed.

So whenever I cross a street or parking lot, I always opt to have someone there with me and have them hold my hand and move me forward, because otherwise I would just stand there for a long time trying to push myself to move. Similarly, when I'm in a car, I will always imagine a car coming from the side and speeding towards the car in which I'm riding, and I'll lock my eyes, tuck my head between my knees and wait for the "car" to hit. But usually the whole sensation lasts for a few seconds, but the feelings that come from it seem very real and very raw... In my mind I can hear the screeching and crashing sounds of metal against metal.

Also, whenever the driver has to suddenly stop the car or when I hear a the horn, or just anything that does not seem normal while in the car, I feel like my heart has fallen to my stomach and I'll stop breathing until I'm sure that I'm safe. The same thing happens when I hear stories of car accidents or see videos, but the affect is much less intense, just really uncomfortable.

At the beginning these vivid imaginations and feeling, I thought what I was going through would just fade with time, but it never did, not even a little, and frankly it's really bothering me. So I thought of e-mailing you, to get your input. Should I see a psychologist regarding this matter, or is not worth it? Would it be smart to confront my fear? I've considered it before, but I worry that I might freeze up and actually get hit by car.

Some friends and family think I'm exaggerating, and sometimes they get angry at me for acting up, but the fear I feel is very real, and I know that I'm not making it up, because why would I willingly choose to act scared and frightened, and in result put myself in a situation where I'd be stuck in the middle of a street full of cars?

Best regards,

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Dear Maya,

Truth is, YOU ARE "making it up," in the sense that all the imaginations and feelings that you have are generated by YOU. All the trauma that you experience is generated, in the first place, because of your perceptions. So, it is more accurate for you to say that you are not intentionally "making it up."

If you see a Psychologist, this person will try to get you to overcome your FEAR PHOBIA through consistent, incremental exposures to your fear -- it's called Systematic Desensitization. The approach will gradually try to convince your creative mind that there is nothing to fear, after you've successfully crossed the street a hundred times, or maybe two hundred times.

Systematic Desensitization is a HEAD process that may work in the end, over time, but it will not be as Powerful or as Permanent as a HEART process that taps into your Spirituality

My recommendation is this: Save Your Money! You don't really need a psychologist. Instead, you need to get in touch with your Spirituality -- which means, you need to establish a meaningful and lasting connection with your Creator.

You see, the Creator knows the traumas you've experienced, and knows that such traumas tend to instill fears within normal human beings -- even to the point of having severe Fear Phobias. Because the Creator gave you life, and loves you, He has a lasting solution that will change you and calm you, that your mind will cease to do … what you mind tends to do, habitually.

Think about it: If the Creator has the Power to create and sustain a world with billions of people in it, then, obviously, the Creator has the Power to give you a new Heart and a new Mind -- a mind that will no longer fear crossing the street; especially as you are careful to observe practical safety measures, like looking both ways, and even double checking, & triple checking.

By the way, when I cross the street I double-check and triple-check my situation -- because it's better to be safe than sorry. I've never been sorry, because I am caution and careful, while also being practical and rational.

In other words, I don't create perceptions of fear, when there is nothing to fear based upon a practical assessment of the facts that surround me.

The emotions that you've been feeling ARE REAL. It takes such REAL FEELINGS to create the irrational and impractical ILLUSIONS that you are so good at creating, within your creative but illogical mind.

You will eventually come to realize that the ILLUSIONS that YOU create in your Head are irrational and impractical. Why? Once you've looked both ways, twice or even three times, from that point, unless you are a CRAZY PERSON you need to believe your visual senses.

Of course, you are CRAZY, and so am I, and so is everyone else in this world! All human beings are CRAZY and QUIRKY to some extent, in their own special way.

Every human being has a particular habit of holding onto irrational thoughts and emotions -- crossing the street happens to be how YOUR CRAZINESS and QUIRKINESS is currently manifest.

I invite you to read the explanations in this Link; they will help you understand the Context of our Human World, and why you and I are often haunted by irrational and unproductive thoughts and emotions.

Your Fear Phobia will absolutely melt away as you develop a meaningful and close relationship with your Creator. As you draw near to God, He will Change your Heart and your Mind, so that you will no longer harbor irrational fears. Your FEAR PHOBIA will melt away according to the following truths:

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. Those that fear are not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)

"Dearly beloved ... stand fast in the Lord... Rejoice in the Lord always: ... The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing (don't worry about any thing), but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:1-7)

"God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7)

"A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26)

"This is the covenant I will make with them in those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." (Hebrews 10:16)

The Creator of Heaven and Earth has the power to give you a New Heart and a New Mind -- a Mind that will no longer be burdened by irrational thoughts. So when the Love of God comes to you, as you ask for that blessing and live for that blessing, your Fears will melt away because God is Good!

Good Luck to you! And let me know when your spiritual miracle happens! I know that it will happen, because through decades of experience with the Creator of Heaven and Earth, I know that God is faithful to keep all His promises, 100% of the time.

Dr Matt

Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist


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