Healthcare TipsMental Well-Being

Conquering Fear in the New Year

December 4, 2023
A group of adults sitting in a circle in some sort of discussion.

It’s almost the new year, and you might already be thinking about what your resolutions will be. You’re probably coming up with lots of ideas to improve your health next year (we hope!), but something you might not be thinking about is overcoming a fear. Maybe you’ve been wrestling with a fear of heights your whole life, or that spider you found in the bathroom last week is still bugging you.

Luckily, the therapists and counselors at Hancock Health are here to help you navigate those fears—and give you the tools to overcome them in 2024.

Scare Away the Scaries

Now, there’s a difference between being a little uncomfortable about something and having a genuine fear. A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of something that hinders daily functioning. 

“A few common phobias include arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders; acrophobia, which is a fear of heights; agoraphobia, the fear of big open spaces; and aquaphobia, the fear of water,” said Kevin Knott, a licensed clinical social worker and family and marriage therapist with Hancock Health. 

“The first thing we look at when identifying and treating a phobia is how it’s impacting your daily functioning,” said Knott. “We also want to know what changes the patient wants to experience to enhance their life experiences and when to seek help if the phobia is having a negative impact on daily life.” 

Knott said a big part of his job was to develop treatment plans with patients to help them combat their fear and then help them reach their goal of overcoming it entirely. 

“There can be other mental health issues associated with a phobia,” said Knott. “So we try to get to the root of that, as well.” 

Treatment options for facing the phobia can include relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and other calming exercises. 

“We want to help improve the overall quality of life through treating a phobia,” said Knott. “If the phobia is negatively impacting life, whether that’s through relationships, finances, increases in anxiety and depression, or other disruptions, it’s time to seek help.” 

If you or someone you know is interested in establishing care with a therapist or psychiatrist, please call the Hancock Counseling and Psychiatric Services at 317-468-6200. You may also call the Hancock Health Connection Center at 317-468-4231. A Support Navigator would be happy to review treatment options and coordinate services that will best meet your needs.