Phobias

We all have fears that are natural and normal.

Usually we are able to deal with what is causing the fear and move on. However, when that fear becomes so overwhelming that it is impossible to function in a normal, everyday way that fear becomes a phobia.

A phobia is a debilitating fear of or anxiety about a specific object, situation, activity or feeling, even when there is no danger present. The fear becomes an overriding factor of every single decision that is made and can significantly affect your daily life.

If this fear or anxiety is not addressed the fear starts to control you, rather than you controlling the fear. Phobias are usually divided into two categories, simple or specific. They can mask underlying causes and can be a symptom of deeper emotional distress.

When facing a phobia, common symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath

If you feel you may be suffering with a phobia, please contact your GP or speak to a trained counsellor or therapist.

More Information

Useful Articles

Here's a list of articles on phobias you might find helpful.

Phobias and Irrational Fears
Symptoms, Treatment, and Self-Help for Overcoming Your Anxiety and Fear
 
Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two—of mice, for example, or your annual dental checkup. For most people, these fears are minor. But when fears become so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with your normal life, they’re called phobias. The good news is that phobias can be managed and cured. Self-help strategies and therapy can help you overcome your fears and start living the life you want.

Phobias: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis 
Individuals with a phobia go to great lengths to avoid a perceived danger which is much greater in their minds than in real life. If confronted with the source of their phobia, the person will suffer enormous distress, which can interfere with their normal function; it can sometimes lead to total panic. For some people, even thinking about their phobia is immensely distressing.

Why Do We Develop Certain Irrational Phobias? 
Under normal circumstances, fear triggers a natural fight-or-flight response that allows animals to react quickly to threats in their environment. Irrational and excessive fear, however, is typically a maladaptive response. In humans, an unwarranted, persistent fear of a certain situation or object, known as specific phobia, can cause overwhelming distress and interfere with daily life. Specific phobia is among the more prevalent anxiety disorders, affecting an estimated 9 percent of Americans within their lifetime. Common subtypes include fear of small animals, insects, flying, enclosed spaces, blood and needles.

Phobias: The rationale behind irrational fears 
Phobias are very common, with many people admitting to being irrationally afraid of something. But where does this fear come from, and what can we do about it?

Why do people get phobias? 
An estimated 13% of the adult population will develop a phobia at some point in their life, according to one study. But why do people develop phobias?

Fear Not! For millions of sufferers of phobias, science is offering new treatments - and new hope 
Researchers are making enormous progress in determining what phobias are, what kinds of neurochemical storms they trigger in the brain and for what evolutionary purpose the potential for such psychic squalls was encoded into us in the first place. With this understanding has come a magic bag of treatments: exposure therapy that can stomp out a lifetime phobia in a single six-hour session; virtual-reality programs that can safely simulate the thing the phobic most fears, slowly stripping it of its power to terrorize; new medications that can snuff the brain's phobic spark before it can catch.

Poems and Quotes to Inspire You

Dare we hope? We dare.
Can we hope? We can.
Should we hope? We must, because to do otherwise is to waste the most precious of gifts given so freely by God to all of us.  So when we do die, it will be with hope and it will be easy and our hearts will not be broken.

Andy Ripley – England and Lions rugby legend, often described as one of the most colourful personalities in the history of English rugby

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