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What is a phobia, what causes it and what are the main types of phobia?

What is a Phobia?

A phobia is defined as an anxiety disorder which is characterised by an abnormally intense or irrational fear of a situation, animal or object. The word phobia is derived from the Greek Phbos meaning fear, or morbid fear. A phobia however, is not as simple as the definition suggests. Phobias can leave sufferers feeling isolated, restricted and living their life in fear.

The actual cause of a phobia is not always clear and is not an exact science. Various things can lead to the development of a phobia:

Learned/copied behavior
Frightening event or stressful situation
Genetics
Brain chemistry
Culture
A heightened natural fear response

Phobias can develop in response to any trigger. Because of this there are many different types of phobias. These can be split into three broad categories:

Specific Phobias: the fear of a single specific panic trigger when in the presence of it, or when anticipating it:

Animal: Dogs, Birds, Snakes, Spiders, Rats
Natural Environment: Water, Thunder, Lightening, Heights, Darkness
Situational: Flying, Driving, Dentist, Enclosed spaces
Body-based: Injections, Blood, Knees, Vomit
Sexual

Social phobias: a fear which involves other people or certain social situations eg:

Public speaking
Eating in front of people
Fear of humiliation or embarrassment

Agoraphobia the fear of open spaces, leaving home (or an equivalent familiar safe place) and fear of the panic attacks that may follow.

Phobias can be difficult to diagnose if the stimulus is not present. Many people try to cope by avoiding the trigger of their phobia. If this cannot be done then the sufferer will display high levels of anxiety and fear which can prevent them from leading a normal life.

If this sounds familiar and you feel you or someone you know is in this situation then do not hesitate to contact us. The good news is that almost all phobias can be managed. Call us now on 01823 272227 to see how we can help you.

Don’t be ruled by your fears. Face them today with our help.


To find out how we can help, please book in for a free initial chat.

For appointments in Taunton, Marlborough House Therapy Centre call 01823 272227

Bristol  Clifton Area, email us or call 07850373537 for appointments

For appointments in London, High Street Kensington, call 07850373537

Or E-mail us, please CLICK HERE for a contact form

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