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blooiejagwa
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19 Jan 2020, 10:53 pm

I was wondering how therapists and psychiatrists know whether a thought process is rational or irrational. Esepcially for phobias. Because everything can be rationalized... and it can actually be irrational to presume a perfect life with no bad occurrences.
So how can they tell?
For example what makes them say Agoraphobia is irrational, what if the person heard about muggings in the area, or grew up in Somalia, that's perfectly rational to be afraid to leave the house then.
Is it only a phobia if other people don't have that thought occur to them as often?
What is the cut-off point?


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Twilightprincess
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21 Jan 2020, 1:07 pm

For a phobia to be diagnosed, it has to be impeding your life in some way. Being afraid to leave the house when there’s a guy waving a weapon in the street would not be an impediment. It would be smart. Under most circumstances, not leaving would be an impediment because it would inhibit your ability to work or go to doctors’ appointments.

I’m not exactly sure what the cutoff point is. Going to mental health professionals in the first place probably doesn’t occur too much in countries with significant, safety concerns - in which there’s war, extensive drug dealing, and not enough patrols in place to keep the crime rate down. People are going to be too worried about their safety needs to spare much time and energy for their mental health.

If you live in a very bad area in the US, they’d probably encourage you to move with the help of social workers, and then they’d diagnose a phobia if things don’t improve from there. That would be a sensible way for things to go, but it probably doesn’t often work like that.



blooiejagwa
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21 Jan 2020, 2:48 pm

Okay that is a thorough explanation, thanks. There are so many supposed phobias which are rational if you look at it as, the person's other conditions and circumstances, make that thing a threat anyway, experiences prove it to be the case. So I think it's very vague to say someone has, for example, social phobia when in fact, their social ineptitude, bullying, etc, make it rational that they would then avoid and be scared of being in those situations again.

CBT for social phobia or Agoraphobia, it's okay, but then places the same person back in the very circumstances they are ill-equipped to deal with, and might never get by in those situations.
So it can be counter-intuitive, and a fool's errand, sometimes. No?


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magz
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21 Jan 2020, 3:08 pm

I probably have some slight claustrophobia - it's completely irrational and I know it, it's a discomfort and adrenaline shot whenever I'm in small space (e.g. plane toilet). However, I have no problems with underground bunkers and caves as long as there is enough room inside.
It makes me prefer stairs over lifts but otherwise does not interfere much with life, so it's below threshold for any diagnosis.

Something else interferes with my life seriously but it's not a diagnosed phobia for other reason.
I'm afraid of people when I'm low on mental energy - to the point I don't leave my apartament and I don't talk to anyone. It goes away when my metal energy recharges and comes back again when I use it up.
When I talked about it to my therapist, she asked what I was afraid of.
I described her having a meltdown in public and how people react to it.
After that she decided, it's a healthy fear protecting me from a real danger. Thus, not phobia.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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21 Jan 2020, 4:38 pm

The Diagnostic statistical manual does not offer a :P cut off point :twisted: or measurement

For example, after two dog bites, I am afraid of dogs. But that's just one pint of fear, justified. The fear is a barrel size. Any more than the correct amount, with margin of error, is irrational

However there are things that you should fear

The fear of dogs is not wrong, but out of proportion



blooiejagwa
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22 Jan 2020, 4:51 pm

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
The Diagnostic statistical manual does not offer a :P cut off point :twisted: or measurement

For example, after two dog bites, I am afraid of dogs. But that's just one pint of fear, justified. The fear is a barrel size. Any more than the correct amount, with margin of error, is irrational

However there are things that you should fear

The fear of dogs is not wrong, but out of proportion


But who dictates proportion? Because life is disproportionate to the norm, for some people. E.G. Certain things keep happening to them that don't happen to others in the same scenario.


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magz
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23 Jan 2020, 4:03 am

blooiejagwa wrote:
shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
The Diagnostic statistical manual does not offer a :P cut off point :twisted: or measurement

For example, after two dog bites, I am afraid of dogs. But that's just one pint of fear, justified. The fear is a barrel size. Any more than the correct amount, with margin of error, is irrational

However there are things that you should fear

The fear of dogs is not wrong, but out of proportion


But who dictates proportion? Because life is disproportionate to the norm, for some people. E.G. Certain things keep happening to them that don't happen to others in the same scenario.

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut threshold. It's like an ancient question - if we plucked hair one by one from a man's head, at which point will he become bald?
In cases of phobias, a lot may depend on a given psychologist's interpretation - which is quite unscientific but there are no objective, repeatable measurements here to fully apply the scientific method. Psychology is still more of an art than a science.


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blooiejagwa
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23 Jan 2020, 8:17 am

magz wrote:
blooiejagwa wrote:
shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
The Diagnostic statistical manual does not offer a :P cut off point :twisted: or measurement

For example, after two dog bites, I am afraid of dogs. But that's just one pint of fear, justified. The fear is a barrel size. Any more than the correct amount, with margin of error, is irrational

However there are things that you should fear

The fear of dogs is not wrong, but out of proportion


But who dictates proportion? Because life is disproportionate to the norm, for some people. E.G. Certain things keep happening to them that don't happen to others in the same scenario.

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut threshold. It's like an ancient question - if we plucked hair one by one from a man's head, at which point will he become bald?
In cases of phobias, a lot may depend on a given psychologist's interpretation - which is quite unscientific but there are no objective, repeatable measurements here to fully apply the scientific method. Psychology is still more of an art than a science.


Well put that is concise and explains it. Esp the last line. Explains why one person thinks something is rational while the other person scoffs at it and the third says it's irrational but justified and works through it with me. Ok thanks


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23 Jan 2020, 9:37 am

I forgot to thank you for your nice words to me yesterday, Blooie.