I had an interesting client today. He came to see me about social anxiety. He is about to start a new job and he is terrified that he will get so anxious that he will faint and then lose the job.
I asked him if he had ever fainted and he told me that he had fainted about every two years since he was four years old. Now, the only thing with a psychological cause that makes you faint is blood/needles/injury phobia, so I was intrigued.
I asked him about the fainting and sure enough, every instance was related to something medical. His last one was a year ago when he fainted in his doctor's office. The trigger was being shown an x-ray of his own chest. He also said that there were hundreds of other situations where he felt faint. He felt more and more anxious if he thought that he could not get away easily.
After more discussion I established that he in fact had two issues. He had the medical phobia, and he had a more generalized anxiety of looking silly in public by panicking.
I think that what has happened is that he has been suffering from a genuine physical problem, the blood phobia, that is making him faint. All the rest of his problems stem from a very understandable fear that he might faint in public.
Needle Phobia removal
The solution was simple. I taught him how to squat down and pull in his stomach to increase his blood pressure a little. I then tested him by talking about broken bones sticking out of someone's leg until he showed distress. Then I got him to do the squat. He reported that the feeling of faintness really did go away.
So he had learned to control it in one way. I then got him sit down again and taught him how to tense his abdominal muscles and increase his blood pressure. Once again this banished the fainting feeling. He then began to realize that he did have control of this thing, for the first time in his life.
All I had to do then was to teach him a bit of NLP visualization. That way he could change how he saw future events, instead of letting his anxiety run away with him. And that was all it took to change his outlook on life.