What are phobias?
Many people have negative, fear reactions to a whole range of things, but these fears only have a minor impact on their lives. If you find that the fear becomes overwhelming and that it stops you doing things or begins to affect your life significantly then it may be turning into a phobia. Phobias can be debilitating and the reaction the feared object, feeling, animal, concept or place evokes can be devastating. Phobias are much more extreme than fears and they are often based on an unrealistic sense of danger.
If you feel many or all of the following you might have a phobia:-
- You find yourself organising your life around avoiding whatever it is that is causing the fear and anxiety
- Your life is being restricted by your fear
- The thing you are phobic about is causing you considerable anguish
- Just thinking about the source of the phobia makes you feel anxious or even sends you into a panic
- You feel dizzy, nauseous, shaky when you encounter or even think about the source of the phobia
- You experience palpitations, increased heart rate, sweating or shortness of breath when you encounter or think about the source of the phobia
Phobias can be classed as simple (eg. fear of animals, situations, environmental factors, bodily functions) or complex (eg. social phobias and phobias such as agoraphobia). The following podcast is from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and it explains social phobia (referred to as social anxiety disorder) and some recommended, evidence based treatments.
Who can help?
If you feel that your phobia is having a very significant impact on your life then we can work with you to help you overcome your fears. Our therapists are very experienced and extremely well qualified to work with you on your phobia and to help you towards the goals you hope to achieve.
We offer a range of approaches to help you to overcome your phobias. Our Therapies section takes you through all of the different therapies we can offer that might work for you – in particular, you might find Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) useful. To help you decide which approach would suit you best we offer an in-depth assessment. The section Information for individuals on this website explains the process.
There are other sources of help you could access and a range of links to local and national organisations are provided to the right of this page. In addition, if you think you have a phobia then you might consider approaching your GP in the first instance.If your GP feels that you would benefit from a psychiatry assessment then they can send a referral letter to us and we can book you an appointment with one of our psychiatrists, Dr Thomas Elanjithara or Dr Gill Smith.
The links to the right of this page point you towards some ideas about self help strategies and courses you might be able to access. If you get some help then you are likely to find ways to overcome your phobias. We can help.
The links provided on this page are intended to point you towards additional websites and organisations who might be able to help you overcome phobias. They offer a mixture of information, advice, self-help resources and sometimes contact details so that you can find someone to talk to. They are not exhaustive - there are many, many resources and organisations focused on phobias on the internet that you could use. These are just some of them...