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Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am truly sorry to know about these overwhelming fears affecting your life.
The situations you describe, around these overwhelming fears of dogs' bite and of hurting your fingernails with your piano's keys does show what we known as phobic fears, which are fears that got distorted because of the powerful negative - obsessive ideation around them, and the negative feelings and emotions they trigger. Most times people do develop these phobic-obsessive fears because of past traumatic or overwhelming experiences, whether you happened to suffer them directly, or just got psychologically impacted by news about somebody undergoing such traumas, from the news, a story or even a dream.
Just "accepting" it would not help much. We are talking about a metal health disorder deeply undermining the person's mood, functioning and even relationships because of their intensity. Most times they are rooted on increased anxiety that people could suffer before these phobias-obsessive thinking develop. This is why getting adequate psychological help, through psychotherapy appears as the ideal approach in order to work on rehabilitating from these phobias and anxiety disorder. Please do not delay even more getting necessary psychological support, since time only deepens whatever we experience, of healthy or destructive, and you do not need nor deserve to face even more anxiety and phobic fear limiting your life.
Please look for a professional psychotherapist with expertise in phobias and anxiety disorders.
Does it make sense?
Thank you for replying.
Perfectionism is a personality trait that uses to be developed during childhood and adolescence as most personality traits. Tendency to experience more anxiety is a temperament trait that is defined by genetics. Your personality depends on the predisposition your genetics set. When a person develops obsessive thinking and or fears, they are based on their temperament and personality characteristics.
That other example could confirm how it is anxiety the core issue behind these phobic and obsessive ideation-behaviors, thus addressing the anxiety disorder, would allow you to feel, be and functioning much better, and for that psychotherapy is the best treatment.
personality also is shaped by your concrete experiences from infancy, what you learn from what you perceive through your senses, what you think, feel, learn, everything plays a role in its formation. Psychotherapy allows you to work on improving those personality traits, having better control of your temperament, and improving coping skills, while reducing anxiety level and unhealthy fears.
Accepting you have a problem does not fix it. Acknowledging a problem is a first step, but from there you need to work on making changes in order to improve the way you think, feel, cope and do things. Thus a person who suffers of anxiety, whether it shows through phobias, obsessive and/or compulsive symptoms, social anxiety or any other similar problem does need to work with psychotherapy in order to learn how to relax, better cope with stressors , eradicate dysfunctional patterns, and make improvements in all those areas that play a role setting your mood, mental health, functioning and relationships.
You would be a perfectionist is you do not feel satisfied with things you do unless they are %100 correct / successful, tormenting yourself thinking why you did not do them the best way. Phobias are about irrational / excessive fears about anything. a person could be a perfectionist without experiencing phobias, but for sure anxiety and obsessive problems would be present.
if you want to rehabilitate from these phobic problem, you need to look for professional psychological treatment, since these are about mental health problems that can and should be addressed with adequate psychotherapy - behavioral support.
When phobias develop from a traumatic event, then what happens is that your psyche-brain get overwhelmed by the impact such "stimuli" had on it, was unable to process it thus keep its impression that strongly affecting the way your nervous system-mind works. then psychotherapy focus on trying to release that overwhelming impact created by traumatic episode, and when doing so, the fuel for the overwhelming anxiety-phobia goes away. Some people could experience cure from traumas, while other can make significant improvements but develop good rehabilitation from them.
EMDR is a therapeutic technique that shows effectiveness helping people who suffered acute traumas but not long term problems-traumas.
Hypnotherapy, is the therapeutic application of hypnosis, which could be very effective helping people reduce anxiety and rehabilitate from traumas, and also from phobias and other mental health problems, as log as implemented with an integral approach.
Learning relaxation techniques, coping skills, anxiety managements and similar tools could really help to reduce anxiety and phobic reactions. All previous therapies are of psychological/behavioral nature, affecting your nervous system as a way to promote health and improvements in the way it works.
The gradual exposure technique, as its name suggests, implies gradual and increasing controlled exposure to the phobic object-scenario. This is a process, not something mechanistic, that's why we call it a therapeutic intervention. You do not necessarily need a dog to bite you in order to benefit from this therapy. It's effectiveness depends on how well implemented it is from beginning to end. ideally my recommendation is to use it with an integral approach, where you do consistently work on learning anxiety reduction techniques and on addressing any issues that could be connected to your anxiety or fears.
An integral approach in therapy means the professional understand your psychological experience without professional bias-stereotypes, without the rigidity of limiting his/her support to one psychological and psychoptherapeutic approach, but being knowledgeable and competent in diverse therapeutic approaches, so to adjust them and himself to your needs. This does not mean the professional would not have more expertise on one type of therapy than others, but that she knows good enough about diverse approaches and technique to support you or refer you to the best possible treatment available.
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