What are phobias?

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder, in which symptoms are provoked by a specific object/substance/situation – either coming into contact with it or just thinking about it.

A simple phobia is specific to one type of object or situation, a complex phobia goes much deeper and is usually provoked by particular circumstances.

Quite often, someone may not realise they have a phobia until they experience a panic reaction when faced with the object of their phobia.


What causes phobias?

Phobias don’t have a single cause in common.  They might be the result of a trauma associated with an object, or could be a result of being brought up by a parent with the phobia.


What is the difference between a fear and a phobia?

In general terms, fear is the response to a genuine threat.  A phobia is characterised by being an irrational response to something that is not genuinely threatening.


What types of phobias are there?

Too many to list!  Some you may have heard of include claustrophobia (confined spaces/inability to escape a confined space), arachnophobia (spiders), coulrophobia (clowns), trypanophoba (needles/injections) and emetophobia (vomiting/vomit).


What help is available?

Self-help books and relaxation techniques (such as breathing in for 7 seconds, holding, then breathing out for 11 seconds) can be very helpful in easing symptoms.  There may also be support groups locally – either focussed on your phobia specifically or for people with anxiety disorders in general.

You may also want to try CBT or other talking therapy, if your phobia is interfering seriously with your life and causing you distress.


If you would like an appointment, please contact me.


You might find also these links useful: