What is a Phobia?
Phobias are a type of extreme fear and anxiety disorder defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. Phobias are more pronounced than fears and can cause extreme amounts of stress – affecting around 8% of the UK population at some point in their lives. Many people have heard of phobias such as arachnophobia (fear of spiders), claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces) and social anxiety, but there are countless other triggers of phobias. This often occurs where the person feels at risk even when they rationally know they are not.
Treatment of Phobias
To combat phobias and reduce the risk of them becoming debilitating to the point where the person is affected and unable to live a normal life, Brevin offers various phobia treatments and phobia therapy methods that help deal with causes of the fear and anxiety.
Phobia therapy can include psychotherapy and counselling. When combined, these two methods work together in order to identify strategies that help overcome phobias. Phobia treatment psychology helps to understand the reasons for worries and anxieties that may not be seen from an inside view. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy brings about responses to situations and feelings that are overall more positive than before. Brevin offer phobia therapy and phobia treatment at your home, meaning there are no additional anxieties in your surrounding environment. For phobia treatment tailored to you and your needs, speak to Brevin today and we’ll offer help and guidance through phobias and the best way to manage them on a day to day basis.
Symptoms of Phobias
Phobia signs are very similar to traditional anxiety symptoms due to this being at the root of the disorder. Phobia symptoms can include:
- An intense need to visit the toilet
- Increased heart rate and palpitations
- Increased sweating
- Dry mouth
- Shaking hands
- Feelings unsteady and maybe dizzy
- Chest tightness
- Nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting
- Feelings of dread and worry
- Feeling out of touch with reality and your body
Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish a fear from a phobia, but generally, a phobia would be diagnosed if:
- The fear begins to impact daily life
- The fear has exceeded 6 months
- The fear is out of proportion to the danger e.g. being fearful of spiders when there is none around.
What causes Phobias?
Phobias can develop at any time in a person’s life, but specific phobias (intense fears of a specific trigger e.g. snakes) generally begin early in childhood, between the ages of four to eight. These can sometimes be caused by children seeing parents or peers react to a trigger in a negative way, installing a feeling of fear which then grows and manifests into a specific phobia. It is therefore recommended to try and tackle these phobias when they first begin and familiarise children with the things they fear (self-exposure therapy) to allow the fear to dissipate.
Complex phobias, such as agoraphobia (fear of open spaces and crowds) and social anxiety (phobia of social situations) often develop later in life, from late teens to early adulthood. These often stem from experiencing panic attacks or being shy (social phobia) which then lead to avoiding any situation that could trigger the fear. These can be much more difficult to overcome and people will often find their life is limited due to their complex phobias. As social phobias can create such a burden on an individual’s life, and it’s often difficult to identify the source, social anxiety treatment plans can be an effective way of identifying triggers and reducing symptoms.
Types of Phobias
There are many phobias, but some are more common than others. Social anxiety phobias and agoraphobia are some of the most disabling, simply due to the amount of day to day situations that can trigger fear. More specific phobias such as a fear of snakes may only affect a person should they be close to one. However, sometimes phobias can induce symptoms when the person thinks about their fear or talks about it.
Other common phobias include:
- Aerophobia – a fear of flying
- Aquaphobia – fear of water
- Acrophobia – fear of heights
- Zoophobia – fear of animals
Home Phobia Therapy London
If you have a phobia that is causing anxiety and having a significant negative impact on your day to day life, contact Brevin today to see how our phobia treatment plans can help you. Our combined therapy methods can help identify the source of your anxiety, then find an appropriate plan of action in order to decrease the symptoms you are facing.
Fear is described as a common emotional response to a real or perceived threat, whereas, a phobia is similar to a threat with one key difference. That being, the anxiety felt by phobia sufferers is so strong that it interferes with overall ability to function to the point it affects overall quality of life.
A phobia is a form of anxiety disorder. The extreme form of fear and anxiety is triggered by particular situations or objects, often when there is even no danger. Someone with a phobia may even feel extreme anxiety just by thinking or talking about their specific phobia – making them diagnosable mental disorders.
Almost all phobias can be successfully managed, treated and cured. A combination of treatments such as desensitisation, counselling and exposure therapy can be very effective for treating various different phobias.
There are no diagnostic laboratory tests that are able to diagnose phobias, as this is unnecessary. Phobia diagnosis is based on a thorough clinical interview and diagnostic guidelines. This covers topics such as an individual’s account of their fears, anxiety and experiences relative to the phobia.