Teen Phobia Treatment

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Everybody has his or her own particular fears and dislikes – they’re normal.

A phobia, though, is something else. Most people who come across, say, a cockroach will feel revulsion; people with a phobia of insects may experience overwhelming fear and anxiety – even though the bug presents no direct danger to them.

Phobias can seriously cripple a teen’s ability to function in school and social life. Additionally, phobias can lead to social rejection if they’re perceived as silly by a teen’s peers. Sovereign Health provides a tolerant, understanding place for teens to heal at Rancho San Diego, a residential phobia treatment center for boys and girls aged 12 to 17.

What Are Phobias?

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder based around an intense, irrational fear of a person, place, thing or situation. Phobias create sensations of intense, overwhelming anxiety. A person with a phobia may even unconsciously begin to organize their life around avoiding the subject of their fear.

Some phobias – fears of animal attack, heights – are more manageable than others. Phobias of unavoidable situations – public places, attending school – can be absolutely destructive to normal functioning, especially in a teenager. In general, phobias can be categorized into the following groups:

  • Specific phobias: A phobia about a specific situation, person or thing, these are the classic phobias that come to most people’s minds.
  • Social phobia: One of the two complex phobias, a person with a social phobia finds social situations intensely uncomfortable. Often, this phobia runs hand-in-hand with fears of failure, humiliation and rejection. Even going to a party will create massive anxiety for a person with this phobia. Teens with this phobia can miss out on important social events. Social phobia, however, should never be compared with shyness.
  • Agoraphobia: The other complex phobia, people with agoraphobia dread being in situations where there’s no escape. It’s a phobia that may mean being uncomfortable in an enclosed space such as a bus or airplane; in extreme cases people with agoraphobia might have a panic attack after leaving their home.

Symptoms of Phobias

Symptoms of phobic disorder may include:

  • Sweating
  • Suddenly feeling hot or cold
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Intense nervousness and anxiety

Red Flags of Phobias

  • Displaying extreme nervousness or fear when in the presence of the phobia’s source
  • Avoidance behaviors, such as avoiding school or faking illness
  • A refusal to face certain situations, people or things
  • Clingy behavior
  • Crying outbursts in certain situations

How Do Phobias Develop?

Phobias are the most common anxiety disorders in the United States – the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates up to 18 percent of all Americans of all ages have various phobias. Many more women have phobias then men, and most specific phobias show their presence in childhood. Fortunately, most phobias go away by the late teens. Complex phobias, on the other hand, tend to start at older ages.

Most specific phobias seem to emerge due to something which happened earlier in life. Someone who has an intense phobia of insects may recall being swarmed by bees as a child, or have a vague memory of waking up with a spider on their face. Also, seeing a family member have an intense phobic reaction to something is also a trigger for phobias – children of a father with claustrophobia is much more likely to have the same fears themselves.

Treatment Of Phobias

Some phobias can be avoided without much difficulty; other phobias, such as an intense fear of thunderstorms or dogs, might make for the occasional awkward moment. But phobias involving school, leaving the home and academic failure can and will cause a great deal of harm to an adolescent.

At Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego, our team of qualified, compassionate experts uses a wide variety of methods to help their patients move past their fears. Psychotherapy, perhaps better defined as “talk therapy,” gives patients new tools and strategies to master their lives and leave their irrational fears behind them. Alternative therapies, like equine and art therapy, allow our patients to get to know themselves better, allowing them to try new experiences in a safe, monitored environment.

Rancho San Diego isn’t a reform school: Our residential phobia treatment center for adolescents is a comfortable place for teens to receive treatment and reach their full potential. It’s a safe, secure environment with round-the-clock crisis management. Life shouldn’t be governed by fear – we’ll help your teen overcome his or her challenges at our phobia treatment centers.

Why Choose Sovereign Health?

We’re a leading provider of mental health, substance abuse and eating disorders treatment. Why?

  • Rancho San Diego is fully accredited by the Joint Commission, the oldest health care facility grading organization in the U.S.
  • We treat our patients as individuals – not merely collections of symptoms
  • Sovereign makes use of the latest scientifically-backed treatment methods to ensure our youngest patients have the best chance at a full recovery.

A healthier life can start today. Please call our 24/7 helpline to learn more about our treatment of phobias.

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"There was more than just therapy. There were life skills that were taught and everyone here cared genuinely." - Jack

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