Fears and Phobias

Kind passiert Hngebrcke im KlettergartenAlmost all of us experience fear at some point in our lives. It is very common to feel a little anxious the evening before a long flight, or feel a little dizzy when looking down from a great height.

For most of us these feelings are temporary and manageable. For those living with phobias however, this unease can become a persistent and all-consuming anxiety with the power to turn into overwhelming panic.

So what is the difference between fear and phobia? For starters, feelings of fear are very common – diagnosable phobias are not. Phobias are a form of anxiety disorder and are characterised by intense and irrational fears of an object or situation that poses no real threat.

Phobias come in three different forms:

Specific– This is when there is a specific object or situation causing the fear, such as dogs, heights or flying.

Social– These phobias revolve around social situations and are linked to social anxiety disorder.

Agoraphobia– This phobia is the fear of being in a place or situation that is perceived to be hard to escape from.

These phobias go further than general fear, causing phobic people to constantly worry that they will encounter the object/situation that they fear. Time and energy is often used to actively avoid the object of fear – and if they do come across it, they endure high levels of distress.

Being diagnosed with a phobia can lead the way for treatment. The treatment can help get to the root cause of the phobia and aims to teach the mind new responses as well as offering relaxation and visualisation exercises.

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