A phobia is an intense fear that causes you to avoid the feared thing or endure it with unbearable mental pain. Additionally, a phobia is an irrational fear, in that most people either don’t fear the same thing that you do or fear it to a much lesser degree. Some examples of common phobias are the fear of public speaking, dating the opposite sex, heights, spiders, closed spaces, crossing bridges or tunnels, going to the dentist, swimming in the ocean, flying in planes, and being in a crowd of people.
One of the most powerful techniques used for curing phobias is called classical conditioning. Simply put, classical conditioning involves pairing a particular feeling with a particular event over and over again until the feeling and event become automatically associated with each other.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say that whenever you give a public speech, you feel intense fear. However, you wish to feel intense calm, whenever you give a public speech. How do you accomplish this?
First Step: First you must find something that makes you feel intensely calm – something like two or three shots of whiskey.
Second Step: Then whenever you give a public speech, you drink two or three shots of whiskey just before going onstage. You will undoubtedly feel calm during your public speech.
Third Step: After giving many public speeches under the influence of whiskey, you will automatically associate giving public speeches with feeling calm. Once this happens, you will be able to calmly give public speeches – without drinking whiskey beforehand! Mission accomplished, your phobia is cured!
You say, “Wait a minute! If my supervisor catches me drinking alcohol on the job, I’m history!” Good point. In many workplaces, drinking alcohol is taboo and those found committing the taboo may suffer serious consequences. Luckily, there are other sedatives that are more socially acceptable.
Some examples of socially acceptable sedatives are Remeron, Xanax, Thorazine, Risperdal, Benadryl, Lunesta, and Rozerem. All of these sedatives need to be prescribed by a physician, except for Benadryl. And taking any one of these sedatives is more discreet than drinking alcohol, since it doesn’t leave your breath smelling and your eyes red.
Okay, so which sedative should you choose? Upon researching each sedative, you see that each of them works differently, producing different types of sedation. You end up choosing Benadryl, since it is the easiest to obtain (no physician’s prescription needed) and it sedates effectively.
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride)
Benadryl (diphenhydramine hydrochloride) is an antihistamine that is used to relieve allergy symptoms. It is also used as a sleep aid, due to its sedative effects. Benadryl sedates by blocking histamine from its receptor sites. Histamine is a neurotransmitter that promotes alertness, arousal, and allergy symptoms. By blocking histamine, the opposite occurs.
Another way Benadryl sedates is that it inhibits the re-uptake of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that calms the brain. Neurons release serotonin to send calming signals throughout the brain, but then the neurons need to reabsorb serotonin to turn off the calming signals. Benadryl interferes with this turning-off process.
Now that you have a sedative that can be bought over-the-counter, is very affordable, works quickly, and sedates effectively, you are ready to cure your phobias. Pick a phobia. Fear of dating the opposite sex? Okay let’s cure it.
First Step: Strike up pleasant conversations with potential dates, and ask them if they would like to get together with you to do something fun (e.g., bowling, dinner, movies, swimming, etc.). To reduce the chance of rejection, only ask potential dates who already know you and have expressed some interest in you. A good hunting ground is your workplace or any other populated place that you visit often.
Second Step: Take 25-50 mg of Benadryl (diphenhydramine hydrochloride) a half hour before going on the date. If you must drive a motor vehicle, be careful – Benadryl may cause drowsiness! Your date may drink alcohol, but you may not; because Benadryl increases the intoxicating and sedating effects of alcohol. The sedating effect of 25-50 mg of Benadryl lasts 4-6 hours.
Third Step: Go on many dates, taking 25-50 mg of Benadryl a half hour before the start of each date. Eventually, you will automatically associate feeling calm with going on dates. Once this happens, you will be able to calmly go on dates – without taking Benadryl beforehand! Mission accomplished, your phobia is cured!
Warnings, Drug Interactions, and Common Side Effect
When using any drug, some common sense is needed. Even though Benadryl (diphenhydramine hydrochloride) is a very safe drug with minimal side effects, I advise you to check with your physician and pharmacist to see if it is okay for you to use Benadryl as prescribed here.
To avoid adverse drug or medical interactions, always read the container label of any drug that you take. Benadryl enhances the effects of alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers. Additionally, taking Benadryl tablets and applying Benadryl cream or ointment enhances the effects of each other. If you have glaucoma, an enlarged prostate gland, or breathing problems, Benadryl may worsen your condition.
Since Benadryl may cause drowsiness, be very careful while driving or operating hazardous equipment. To reduce your chances of becoming too drowsy, don’t exceed 50 mg per dose, don’t take more often than every 4-6 hours, and don’t take more than six doses within a 24-hour period of time.
Therapy and prescription drugs can be very expensive, especially if you don’t have health insurance. Oftentimes the poorest members of society have to live with mental health problems such as phobias. Affording the best health care, the rich rarely have to live with phobias or other mental health problems. Thus, mental health relates to financial health. However, there is an alternative way to cure mental health problems such as phobias. This way involves using an effective self-help technique with an affordable over-the-counter sedative.