Underground Trains – Tube Trains Phobias
There are so many differing phobias that it would be impossible to list all of them. In fact each and every day people can develop a phobia about almost anything. Anyone can have a phobia and for the most part that phobia will only occasionally affect their life. In fact many people with a phobia will, by the time they reached adulthood have developed a way of coping or avoiding the trigger of that phobia.
There are some phobias though that are virtually impossible to avoid. Living in London a phobia of travelling on tube and underground trains is fairly common. Some people’s transport phobia will include over-ground trains and even buses. The interesting thing about a phobia like travelling on the underground trains is that one person might dread tunnels and another person who has the same phobia, might dread the closing of the train doors.
What is a phobia?
According to the About.com psychology website a definition for a phobia is “…a phobia is an irrational and excessive fear of an object or situation. In most cases, the phobia involves a sense of endangerment or a fear of harm.”
Phobias can be stimulated by many and varying stimuli, for example: fear of some thing (object – eg. buttons, escalator, car), some creature (snake, spider, dog), a certain environment (open space, small spaces), an event (birthday, wedding, funeral) or some task (meeting a stranger, introducing yourself to a meeting).
What’s a Tube Train or Underground Train Phobia?
This phobia is a fear and anxiety about some part of the experience of using a tube train or underground train. Some sufferers become really anxious if the underground tube stops in a tunnel for too long. They might sweat, become panicky and fear making a fool of themselves in front of other passengers. Another sufferer might be alright with tunnels but hate the sound of the doors closing which means they are trapped on the underground train until the next station arrives.
Some fears about tube travel might only apply to certain underground trains. A passenger may have a phobia about the smaller space on a Central Line tube train but be comfortable on a District Line tube train because there seems to be more room.
Someone else might experience anxiety every time the train driver makes an announcement. They fear some bad news and have a panic attack in anticipation.
So a phobia about travelling on the underground can be very specific for a person and what leads to a feeling of anxiety for one sufferer will not always be identical for another.
Some people who fear travelling the underground will be okay on the Docklands Light Railway and overland trains because of the feeling of being out in the open although they may have some fears when these go through tunnels.
What happens to a person experiencing a phobic reaction?
Any or all of these symptoms may be experienced in varying degrees by anyone whose phobia is being triggered :-
Adrenaline rush – fight or flight syndrome is kicking in
Shortness or quickening or breath
Sweating – perspiring
Flushing of face
A desire to escape
Feeling or anxiety and stress
How does a person with an Underground Train Phobia cope?
Most people who travel by London Underground (or any underground – metro system) are unaware of the fears of some of the other people who have this phobia. That person who always stands by the door every time you see them travelling may be doing so because it feels safer than sitting down.
Steven Harold, a Hypnotherapist in London has noticed that sufferers of this phobia will either do one of two things to cope:
1) Find a different way of travelling (eg. car, walk., cycle) to work/home – maybe move closer to work
2) Find a familiar strategy for being on the trains
As has been previously suggested the strategy might be always standing in a certain part of the train or always sitting near the door. It might even be travelling a certain distance on a part of the tube line and then alighting several stops before their destination and walking the rest of the way and thereby keeping their tube travel to a minimum
Some people who have not resolved their underground phobia will go to the extreme of leaving their job and finding employment somewhere that doesn’t public transport.
Help for a Underground or Tube Trains Phobia
Although a person with any phobia knows that their fear is irrational this doesn’t help them to stop the panic and anxiety. This is where a psychological intervention method such as hypnotherapy can play a role in helping someone resolve their train phobia or any other phobia. Hypnotherapy’s aim is to make healthy changes in the subconscious mind. This is considered to be the part of the mind where all our urges, desires, habits, patterns and behaviours are located. This is also why a someone with an underground train phobia has been unable to change their fearful reaction.
Hypnosis for Underground Trains or Tube Trains Phobia
Steven Harold, uses hypnotherapy and other brief yet highly effective therapies such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to help people eliminate their phobia and lead happier lives. After all why put up with a phobia that dominates your thinking each day and restricts your lifestyle?
by Steven Harold BA(Hons) DCH DHP
Quit Smoking Hypnotherapist – London and Essex