Anxiety Need Not Be Life Sentence 5 – Anxieties and Phobias

November 20, 2022by Sheila Kennedy

Anxiety Need Not Be Life Sentence 5 - Anxieties and Phobias

As a Holistic energy practitioner I have had an awareness of the many clients and friends I have seen with ‘anxiety’ in many forms and recently I have been working on a ‘free’ anxiety program’ to allow those with ‘anxiety to take back control of their lives. I will be offering a series of short ‘blog’ posts on the differing identified areas or types of anxieties prior to the release of this program called The 7 Steps to Freedom so that if you or someone you love suffers from this often debilitating condition then you know that help is at hand

Is it Anxiety? My family have always been excessive worriers; maybe that’s what’s wrong with me? I have been told that may be a Phobia

Anxiety can be either a short term or a long term state of being. It may present as a concern or a worry about a specific circumstance in your life for example, a job interview, a test or an exam, or simply doing something with which you are not familiar.

In the long term anxiety can have a much more profound effect on your body and the symptoms or the frequency of the symptoms that you experience may be much more profound, and in these instances it can literally take over a person’s life due to its frequency or the debilitating effects that it produces.

I am going to talk about the different types of anxieties in this series of short blog posts and share with you some of the symptoms that are associated with the differing forms of anxieties and related ‘phobias’.

A phobia we are told is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance. Unlike the brief anxieties that most people feel when they give a speech or take a test, a phobia is long lasting and may cause intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally at work or in social settings.

Several types of phobias exist. Some people fear large, open spaces. Others are unable to tolerate certain social situations. And still others have a specific phobia, such as a fear of snakes, elevators or flying.

Not all phobias need treatment. But if a phobia affects your daily life there are therapies available that can help you overcome your fears — often permanently.

Phobias are divided into three main categories:

  • Specific phobias.A specific phobia involves an irrational, persistent fear of a specific object or situation that’s out of proportion to the actual risk. This includes a fear of situations (such as airplanes or enclosed spaces); nature (such as thunderstorms or heights); animals or insects (such as dogs or spiders); blood, injection or injury (such as knives or medical procedures); or other phobias (such as loud noises or clowns). There are many other types of specific phobias. It’s not unusual to experience phobias about more than one object or situation.
  • Social phobia.More than just shyness, social phobia involves a combination of excessive self-consciousness and a fear of public scrutiny or humiliation in common social situations. In social situations, the person fears being rejected or negatively evaluated or fears offending others.
  • Fear of open spaces (agoraphobia).This is a fear of an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line or being in a crowd, or being outside the home alone. The anxiety is caused by fearing no easy means of escape or help if intense anxiety develops. Most people who have agoraphobia develop it after having one or more panic attacks, causing them to fear another attack and avoid the place where it occurred. For some people, agoraphobia may be so severe that they’re unable to leave home.

No matter what type of phobia you have, it’s likely to produce the following reactions:

  • A feeling of uncontrollable panic, terror or dread when you’re exposed to the source of your fear
  • The feeling that you must do everything possible to avoid what you fear
  • The inability to function normally because of your anxiety
  • Physical as well as psychological reactions, including sweating, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, a feeling of panic and intense anxiety
  • Often, the knowledge that your fears are unreasonable or exaggerated but feeling powerless to control them
  • In some cases, anxiety just thinking about what you fear
  • In children, possibly tantrums, clinging or crying


An unreasonable fear can be an annoyance — having to take the stairs instead of an elevator, for instance — but it isn’t considered a phobia unless it seriously disrupts your life…

Much is still unknown about the actual cause of phobias. However, there does appear to be a link between your own phobias and the phobias of your parents. This could be due to genetics or learned behavior and I will discuss these issues as we go along.

These factors may increase your risk of phobias:

  • Your age.Social phobia typically develops early in life, usually by age 13. Specific phobias first appear in childhood, usually by age 10. Agoraphobia occurs most frequently in the late teens and early adulthood, usually before the age of 35.
  • Your relatives.If someone in your family has a specific phobia, such as a fear of spiders or snakes, you’re more likely to develop it, too. This could be an inherited tendency, or children may learn phobias by observing a family member’s phobic reaction to an object or a situation.
  • Your temperament.Your risk may increase if you’re more sensitive, more inhibited or more negative than the norm.
  • A traumatic event.Experiencing a traumatic event, such as being trapped in an elevator or attacked by an animal, may trigger the development of a phobia.

Although phobias may seem silly to others, they can be devastating to the people who have them, causing problems that affect many aspects of life.

  • Social isolation.Avoiding places and things you fear can cause academic, professional and relationship problems. Children with these disorders are at risk of academic problems and loneliness, and they may not develop good social skills.
  • Many people with phobias have depression as well as other anxiety disorders.
  • Substance abuse.The stress of living with a severe phobia may lead to substance abuse.
  • Some individuals with specific phobias may be at risk of suicide.
  • Social isolation.Avoiding places and things you fear can cause academic, professional and relationship problems. Children with these disorders are at risk of academic problems and loneliness, and they may not develop good social skills.
  • Many people with phobias have depression as well as other anxiety disorders.
  • Substance abuse.The stress of living with a severe phobia may lead to substance abuse.
  • Some individuals with specific phobias may be at risk of suicide.

Social Anxiety also called social phobia, is a form of anxiety in which a person may have an excessive and seemingly unreasonable fear of social situations. In these instances anxieties including intense nervousness and self-consciousness may arise from the fear of being closely observed or watched, judged, and perhaps criticized by others.

A person with a social anxiety disorder may be afraid that he or she will make mistakes, look bad and be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. This fear may be exacerbated or made worse by a lack of that person’s social skills or experience in social situations.

The anxiety can build into what can be described as a panic attack and as a result of the fear; the person may endure certain social situations in extreme distress or avoid them altogether.

People with social anxiety disorder often suffer ‘anticipatory’ anxiety or the fear of a social situation before it even happens, often for days or weeks before the event.

In many cases, the person may be aware that their fear is unreasonable, yet is unable to overcome the resultant anxieties.

People with social anxiety may suffer from distorted thinking, including false beliefs about themselves and various social situations and have preconceived notions and ideas about the opinions of others about them. Social anxiety can have a negative impact and interfere with the person’s normal daily life, including attending school or work as well as social activities and relationships with other people.

People with social anxiety disorder may be afraid of a specific situation, such as speaking in public. However, most people with social anxiety disorder fear more than one social situation.

How Common Is Social Anxiety or Social Phobia Disorder?

We are told that Social Anxiety or Social Phobia disorder is the second most common type of anxiety disorder and the third most commonly recognized disorder after depression and alcohol dependence. Social anxieties generally surfaces in adolescence or early adulthood, however can occur at any time, including in early childhood, and it is recognized as being more common in women than in men.

People with social anxiety disorder may develop their fear from observing the behavior of others or seeing what happened to someone else as the result of their behavior (such as being laughed at or made fun of). Further, children who are sheltered or overprotected by their parents may not learn good social skills as part of their normal development.


Some of the situations that can be identified as a social anxiety if you are uncomfortable with or affected by them

  • Eating or drinking in front of other people
  • Writing or working in front of others.
  • Being the center of attention.
  • Interacting with people, includingone on one or in groups for example; parties.
  • Asking questions or giving reports in a group or groups
  • Using public toilets or public transport
  • Speaking on the telephone.
  • Speaking to a stranger
  • Meeting or being introduced to someone for the first time
  • Giving a brief talk in front of other people
  • Having your friends and family acknowledge you publically
  • Talking to other students before your class begins if you are a student
  • The professor or teacher calls on you and asks you questions during your class in front of the whole room
  • Talking to someone who may not be a ‘friend’ during a break
  • Interrupting someone else to say something during a conversation
  • Saying “Good morning” to a person you categorize as an authority figure
  • Carrying on a ten minute conversation with an authority figure
  • Answering your phone without looking at who’s calling
  • Walking around your block by yourself
  • Driving by yourself or driving with other people in the car with you
  • Going out socially with a co-worker you do not know well
  • Giving a presentation to your work team or to a group in school
  • Telling your neighbors that their party was too loud last night and you would like them to be quieter
  • Working as a cashier in a busy grocery store
  • Going to a job interview and being interviewed by several people
  • Being asked to reading out loud
  • Shopping for something at a public place alone or going into a shop you haven’t been into before
  • Asking a salesperson for help at any public store

Symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include:

For many people with social anxiety disorder or social phobia disorder they may feel that there is something not quite right with themselves however they do not necessarily recognize their feeling as a sign of an anxiety or as related to a group of anxieties.

  • Mild to intense anxiety in social situations.
  • Avoidance of social situations.
  • Physical symptoms of anxiety, including issues such as mental confusion, poundingheart, tremors or  shaking, blushing, muscle tension, stomach upsets and diahorrea

Social anxieties can also affect children who may express their anxiety by crying, clinging to a parent, throwing a tantrum or selective mutism.

Anxiety can be classified as a disorder when the symptoms of anxiety become longstanding or ‘chronic’ and have an effect on our daily lives and our ability to function in our everyday life

Many anxiety sufferers will often report the following symptoms:

  • Muscle tension especially in the head and shoulders and back
  • Physical weaknesses as in feeling as if you have not got the energy to do something or that your legs do not want to hold you up for example
  • Poor memory or poor short term memory
  • Sweaty hands or breaking out into a sweat
  • Fear or confusion, these can be either one or both and may fluctuate
  • Inability to relax this can relate to being constantly tense or on edge
  • Constant worrying even when you know that there is not anything to worry about
  • Shortness of breath or feeling as if you cannot take a deep breath
  • Palpitations or feelings of your heart fluttering which may be accompanied by shortness of breath
  • Upset stomach as in feeling heavy or nauseous in the stomach, and may lead to reflux or vomiting
  • Poor concentration or an inability to quieten the mind

These symptoms may range from mild to severe and  be upsetting enough to make the individual feel uncomfortable, out of control and helpless.

*If in doubt that your symptoms are more than ‘anxiety’ please seek the appropriate medical advice.

Anxieties and anxiety disorders fall into a series of separate categories or diagnoses depending on the individual symptoms and the severity of the levels of anxiety the person is experiencing. The broad overview of the types of anxiety disorders I will be discussing in this series on anxieties includes.

1 Anxieties

2 Worrying

3 OCD- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

4 Social Anxieties

5 Anxieties and phobias

6 Fear of flying’

7 Fears of things that walk crawl run or fly e.g. Birds, Moths, Spiders, and Cats.

8 Separation anxiety

9 Performance anxiety

10 Fear of Failure exams

11 Fear of Failure Business

12 Fear of death or dying

13 GAD general anxiety disorder

14 Post Natal Depression

15 Panic attacks

16 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

In support of the ‘Free ‘  7 Steps to Freedom program  I have started a FB Community called Anxiety Need Not Be A Life Sentence at the link below. If this resonates with you I would invite you to please join us and be a part of this supportive community or to share the information with those to whom it may be of assistance

Peace Love and Light


by Sheila Kennedy

A Spiritual and Metaphysical Practitioner and Teacher With a lifetime connection to the higher spiritual realms Sheila Kennedy has devoted much of her adult life to ‘working with energies’ A connection with the body of consciousness she recognizes as Sounds from Source in 2004 led to the co-creation of the family of Sounds from Source programs. ‘ The sounds facilitate the release of cellular memory and assist in restoring the body to health and harmony. In more recent times they evolved to support the healing of Mother Earth and broader expanses, and especially those related to planetary and universal healing. Well known as a Metaphysician, author and poet Sheila grew up in East Africa and the Australian outback. Sheila’s work, like her background, is an eclectic and innovative blend of indigenous and contemporary healing modalities.

Ⓒ Copyright by | All rights reserved.

Copyright by | All rights reserved.