What are phobias?

A phobia is a crippling fear of an object, place, situation or animal involving an unrealistic perception of danger or threat. Sometimes phobias can become so severe that a person might organise their life around avoiding the situation or object that causes them anxiety. This can greatly affect the person’s day to day functioning and restrict them from carrying out everyday activities such as going to the shops, for fear of coming across the object of their phobia.

There are different types of phobia – simple and complex .

Some examples of simple phobias are:

  • Animal – such as rodents, dogs, spiders, birds and others
  • Bodily – such as blood, vomit or injections
  • Environmental – such as heights, deep water and germs
  • Sexual – such as performance anxiety or fear of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Situational – such as flying or going to the doctor

Some examples of complex phobias are:

  • Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces, crowded places, traveling or public transport
  • Social phobia (social anxiety) – fear of social situations

Which therapies might help?

Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT)

Mindfulness based approaches

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