In the previous part of this series (if you missed the first instalment, you can find it here), we looked at one of the main reasons a person who suffers anxiety attacks becomes labelled with a resulting phobia. This week we’re going to look at why that person becomes phobic, when the cause is completely unrelated.
Let’s start by going back a bit to identify how the mind processes information…
Your mind is a huge library of your past experiences and the resulting smells, sights sounds, feelings and emotions.
It categorises these different events and experiences by linking certain aspect of them to each other in a sort of history chain. For instance a simple example would be that when you were a toddler, you probably touched a hot cup of tea, or a hot radiator, etc and the shock you felt would’ve imprinted on your mind that excessive heat is painful and should be avoided. The next time you approach something that gives off the same sensation of heat, your mind quickly takes you back to how you felt during the first encounter and you immediately move away from the source of further pain.