Phobias & Fears

Whether you have a fear of heights, spiders, social gatherings, needle phobia, confined spaces, phobias & fears are extremely common. A phobia is an irrational fear without good reason or a fear of something that is unlikely to happen. People with phobias often experience unwanted responses to insects, animals, objects and specific situations that often induces the stress response within the body and on occasions can lead to panic attacks. 

What are Phobias?

 As part of normal life, many of us may feel uncomfortable or fearful at times about certain objects or situations. If such experiences become feared and disrupt life to the point where we are unable to enter social situations or to carry out our work and everyday activities, this may be due to an anxiety disorder called a phobia. A phobia – from the Greek meaning ‘flight’ or ‘terror’ – is an extreme, irrational fear of an animal, object, place or situation that most people would not fear. People who have phobias either avoid the situations they fear or are intensely anxious in them. They may develop panic attacks either in the situation or at the thought of being in the situation. There are two types of phobias – specific and complex. Specific phobias are an anxiety about a single object, situation or activity. These commonly include animals or insects, such as spiders or snakes, or the environment, such as a fear of heights or storms. Sometimes specific phobias involve a situation, such as flying or using an escalator, or being in a situation that may lead to a feared event such as vomiting or choking. Specific phobias can also be a fear of blood, medical interventions such as injections, or injury. People with blood-injury phobia may faint in the presence of blood or injury, following a reduction in their heart rate and blood pressure. This vasovagal response leading to fainting does not normally occur with other anxiety disorders as a person’s heart beat and blood pressure usually increases as their arousal rate increases. Complex phobias involve several anxieties. Agoraphobia – which can include a fear of open spaces, crowds, public places, entering shops or travelling alone on forms of transport – is a complex phobia. Agoraphobia often occurs with panic disorder, which, like a phobia is an anxiety disorder. 

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Often agoraphobia includes the anxiety of being unable to escape to a place of safety (usually home) this can include going to the theatre or anywhere a person feels trapped. Social Phobia, a second example of a complex phobia is a fear of a social or performance situations, such as a party or speaking in public. People with social phobia fear that they will behave in an unacceptable or embarrassing way that will lead others to judge them negatively. In instances where the person’s phobia involves situations or objects that are difficult to avoid in everyday life, their avoidance can lead to daily activities becoming limited and sometimes to depression. In the case of agoraphobia, the person can become virtually house-bound. Who can suffer from phobias? Mild phobias are very common, particularly in childhood, although most of these fears disappear by the age of six. People can also develop phobias when going through a particularly stressful period of their lives. 

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for the 

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