Thursday, June 24, 2021

Treating Phobias with Flooding

Phobias can be defined simply as an extreme fear of an object, experience, etc. Phobias are something a majority of individuals suffer from and the levels of intensity can vary. Intensive phobias can cause higher levels of anxiety and so much so that individuals can struggle with daily function. They often stem from childhood experiences that were so traumatic, it caused an individual such intense fear and anxiety that they developed a long term phobia. Phobias can vary from small objects or small creatures to things and places that one would not normally find themselves in. An example of an intense phobia is Arachnophobia is one of the most common fears and that is an intense fear of spiders, which is also a phobia I myself have. Another phobia is Acrophobia which is the intense fear of heights. 

Arguably the most extreme treatment for phobias is flooding. Flooding is "rather than exposing a person to their phobic stimulus gradually, a person is exposed to the most frightening situation immediately." Often times this is very effective for long term phobias, due to its extreme nature it can be incredibly traumatic for the individuals being treated. I myself am against flooding but only because if I was put in the situation of trying to treat my fear of spiders, I don't think I would have a very good time and would probably have choice words to those who would put me up to it. 

An example of flooding that was used for humor was on the television show Impractical Jokers in which 4 older men put themselves in uncomfortable situations for humor and if not following what they are told, they get "punished" at the end of every episode. Two such examples of flooding in this show included when one of the individuals was tied down to a platform and had spiders placed on top of him. If this was done to me, I probably would not speak to the friends who would do this to me. Another example and the more extreme of the two was when they surprised one of the individuals who has acrophobia with making him skydive.   The only video example I could find was another level of flooding where they had one of the individuals try and retrieve his passport from the bottom of a shark cage while he had an intense phobia of sharks and his reaction proves how afraid he truly was.


  1. Great post! Informative and covers the topic of phobias well!

  2. Phobias are certainly an interesting topic as far as not only the diversity of them but also in the various ways to effectively treat them. I definitely relate to what you wrote about you experiencing acrophobia as I do as well! Also I really enjoyed watching that Impractical Jokers video as it was nice to see that even celebrities have their own phobias as well, thanks for sharing it!