Most people have one or two things they prefer not to encounter, like spiders or rodents, but they are able to live with their fear, not severely impacting on their day-to-day life.

A phobia is an intense fear of an object or situation, which the majority of other people do not fear, severely restricting their lives. They may take extreme measures to avoid whatever it is they intensely fear. Some examples of a phobia are:-



Certain animals or insects

Fear of drowning

Enclosed spaces

Being driven in a car

Certain foods

Social interaction

Crowded places

Presenting to a group of people

Some phobias can be traced back to childhood, a certain frightening situation. Some people remember experiencing a panic attack at the time. However, some people are not sure where and when their phobia started. Some phobias are unintentionally passed on by other people in childhood, their fear of an object or situation is transferred.

Phobias are a learnt response to what the brain perceives as danger. If a person had a strong overwhelming experience the brain makes a connection between the ‘experience’ and what they were doing at the time – the trigger.

When the trigger is thought about or experienced again the brain automatically recalls the emotional response.

Phobias are very similar to the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.

Counselling may provide effective treatment to help you reduce or remove your phobia. It may help you to identify the causes of your phobia and find coping strategies to manage your fear so that it does not impinge on your daily life.

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