(Key West, FL )
Hello, I am wondering what could be the basis of phobias. I am not OCD, and am a fairly 'normal' person, if there is such a thing. However, when it comes to HIV, I am a mess. I used to get tested every 6 months, even when I wasn't sexually active. Now, I am getting tested tomorrow because my boyfriend and I have been together for over 2 years, and would like to stop using condoms. (We are both getting tested, and I'm on birth control). He recently came from Africa, and I am terrified that he got it somehow, he did not have sexual relations with anyone, i just feel that in africa it is a given (yes, this is VERY narrow minded thinking), and it won't show up in his test. Basically, no matter what the test results say, I don't ever trust them 100% of the time. How can I alleviate my concerns? These phobias are not the only ones I have, I have a phobia of having children as I am afraid to be an abusive parent, and I have 'what if' thoughts all the time :-( Sorry, this is getting off topic. Anything you can say to help is truly appreciated. Thanks.
As answered in a recent question, phobias come in all forms and are always related to anxiety. A specific phobia can be related to a specific trauma (like getting bitten by a dog, or falling off a ladder), or can be more of a random manifestation of some seemingly unrelated trauma or inner conflict.
Just like an alcoholic's problem is not alcohol, it's her addiction... a phobic person's problem is not usually the specific phobia, but the underlying anxiety or fear that gives rise to it. If you don't treat the core issue, then you may just exchange one phobia for another. HIV is spread through sexual intercourse, and through blood transfusions. By any other means - you would be more likely to be struck by lightening.
If you want to get a handle on this fear, I suggest you learn to use EFT/Meridian Tapping. It is excellent for phobias and traumas if you use it thoroughly until the problem is gone. And it may lead you the the root of the problem, which can then also be healed with EFT.
Therapy could be another possibility.
You can definitely eliminate these phobias with the right help.
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist