How Can I Seek Professional Help?
People with phobias or OCD have high anxiety and often experience panics – palpitations, ‘jelly’ legs, queasiness and absolute terror. Sometimes depression is present too. The phobic sufferer tries to avoid the situation they fear, which may lead to them being unable to work or to have a social life.
The OCD sufferer usually finds that the problem invades the whole of their life, whereas the phobic sufferer sometimes escapes the problem by avoiding the situation they fear. Eventually work and home-life suffers, leading to relationship breakdown in extreme cases.
Phobia, OCD and associated panics can be helped by a structured self-treatment programme like that pioneered by Professor Isaac Marks and set out in his book Living with Fear (Contact us for more info).
Sometimes professional help is necessary, especially where the problem is severe and chronic.
It is agreed by most experts in this field that the most effective treatment currently available is behaviour therapy (BT) or cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) via a qualified therapist. This treatment can be aided by anti-depressant medication. TOP UK’s work is based on behaviour therapy. We strongly advise sufferers to talk to their general practitioner about their problem and ask for a referral to a qualified BT/CBT therapist.
A great deal of research is being done to try to find a medication which will counter the effects of phobia and OCD. At present, no medication has been found which will completely ‘cure’ an anxiety disorder.
Most experts agree that behaviour therapy or cognitive behaviour therapy is the most effective treatment. However, anti-depressant medication has been found to be very helpful in some cases, where the sufferer is extremely anxious or very depressed.
We strongly advise sufferers to talk to their general practitioner about their problem. Most doctors in the UK may prescribe one of the new SSRI anti-depressants.
We also strongly advise sufferers NOT to try self-medication in the form of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs, as these can be counter productive.