How is ataxophobia treated?

How is ataxophobia treated?

Your healthcare provider may use similar treatment approaches for ataxophobia as for other specific phobias, including:

  • Exposure therapy: Exposure therapy involves gradually introducing a specific fear into your life. For example, you may look at pictures of disorganization or asymmetrical spaces. Eventually, you may practice staying calm in a disordered environment.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Sometimes called talk therapy, CBT can occur in a group setting or one-on-one with a therapist. The goal of CBT is to help you identify irrational thought patterns. Then you retrain your brain to think more rational thoughts.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): This type of therapy is effective for people who’ve experienced trauma. It involves focusing on traumatic memories while being stimulated by specific rhythmic movements. EMDR can help you process a traumatic event without being overwhelmed by the memory.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): DBT is a type of CBT that combines talk therapy with specific coping skills. The goal is to help you deal with stress or anxiety in healthier ways and regulate your emotions better.
  • Medication: Your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications to prevent panic attacks (sudden rushes of anxiety that cause physical symptoms).
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR): MBSR is a structured program to help you learn mindfulness techniques. It uses a combination of yoga and meditation practices to help you address the thoughts that increase stress.
  • Stress management techniques: You may learn coping techniques that decrease anxiety symptoms. For example, you may practice deep breathing or meditation. Exercising aerobically, such as running in place, may also lessen symptoms when you feel a panic attack starting.

If ataxophobia is the result of another diagnosis like OCD, your treatment may also include:

  • Specific depression medicines, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac®) or sertraline (Zoloft®).
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

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