Phobias are extremely common; ask your friends or family and I’ll bet there’ll be at least one person who will mention something that is terrifying to either them or a close friend of theirs. People can have a phobia about almost anything and there are times when feared objects or situations are almost impossible to avoid, rendering the phobia a debilitating condition.
Some people will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid coming into contact with the source of their panic so much so that leading a normal life can be very difficult, this is especially true if the feared objects are common (eg, dirt, birds, telephones, lifts, etc). Social phobia (or social anxiety) is fear of being with people which can prevent them from being successful at work; forming and maintaining friendships; meeting a partner etc.
The good news is, phobias can be treated and diminished and in many cases eliminated completely.
What Causes A Phobia?
There are several ways a phobias may develop; it may arise after a shocking or traumatic encounter with an object or situation and results in avoidance of objects or situations; a person may have witnessed something shocking and traumatic (real or fictional); it can be a learned behaviour from being with someone who is experiencing a phobic reaction (eg a parent who shows their fear or avoidance of something and inadvertently passing the phobia on to their child).
Symptoms of Phobia
An excessive fear of something or a situation
Avoidance of the thing or situation that is feared
Experiencing extreme anxiety or panic when exposed to the stimulus
Knowing the fear is irrational but cannot control it
Find avoidance of the feared thing or situation is distressing and/or causing problems in your life
What Can I Do To Help Myself?
Phobias can be overcome when the fear is faced. If you continue to avoid the thing you fear you are maintaining your phobia. You can do this alone or with a close and trusted friend.
Visualise facing and conquering your fears. Make a list of situations where your fear is present and put them in an order of the mildest situation first and ending with the worst possible scenario. Then one-by-one visualise being successful at each of the listed situations, relax and breath calmly throughout the exercise and don’t move on to the next until you are comfortable with the situation you have just practiced.
Seeking Professional Help
If the symptoms are familiar and you are unable to overcome your phobia, remember you don’t have to suffer a moment longer, you can access help by calling me, Dawn Haworth, on 07818 840 841 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
What Sort of Issues have People Brought To Therapy?
Fear of blood
Fear of dying
Fear of failure
Fear of flying
Fear of growing old or aging
Fear of heights
Fear of needles
Fear of speaking in public
Fear of terminal illness
Fear of the dentist or doctor
Fear of vomiting