Fears and Phobias

A phobia is an intense, irrational fear of an object or situation. Common phobias include fears of animals, heights, crowds or social events. This fear is often out of all proportion to the actual danger that the object or situation holds. However the actual emotion engendered is very real and debilitating.  Any situation or object can be phobic to someone and the fact that they seem alone in this fear only seems to exacerbate the situation as those nearest and dearest often lose patience and understanding through sheer frustration and helplessness.

Phobias vary greatly in severity amongst different individuals. Some people simply dislike or avoid the subject of their fear and experience only mild anxiety while others can experience extreme anxiety and panic with all the associated symptoms, among which can be:

  • FearAnxiety

  • Depression

  • Obsession

  • Rapid shallow breathing

  • Chest pains

  • Headaches and dizziness

  • Panic attacks

  • Butterfly feelings in the stomach

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Nausea

  • Faintness

  • Sweating

Phobias are the most common form of anxiety disorder; current estimates are that there are around 10 million people with phobias in the UK. People from all backgrounds can suffer from phobias at any time in their lives.