An Irrational Fear
A phobia is an overwhelming and irrational fear of an object or situation that presents no real danger. It causes high levels of anxiety and avoidance. Unlike the brief anxiety most people feel when they have to give a presentation or take an exam, a phobia is long lasting, causes intense physical and psychological symptoms. It can also affect your ability to function normally at work or in social settings.
There are several types of phobias. Some people fear being outside or crowded places. Others are unable to tolerate certain situations like heights. Others have a specific phobia, such as a fear of dogs, lifts or flying.
CBT can help you overcome your fears — permanently.
planes, enclosed spaces...
thunderstorms, heights ...
Animals or insects
Blood, injection or injury
knives or medical procedures
such as loud noises or clowns
It is not unusual to experience phobias of more than one thing.
On exposure to your fear:
Iv'e got to get away, I am in danger, I cant cope
Panic with increased heart rate, hyperventilation, sweating, hot, tension.
Escape as quick as possible
Scan for danger
Avoidance is a big part of having a phobia. people wiil keep away from any 'dangerous' situations. They will also carry out lots of checks and protective behaviours. e.g. the spider phobic keeping the plug in the sink to stop spiders coming up.
Rosie - Beautician
I had a really bad phobia of rats and mice. It was making it impossible for me to go out anywhere I thought they might be. I couldn't go to the countryside, into my garden and even some places in town. I had to keep the back door shut and I had to check my bedroom at night. If I saw one I would go crazy and panic. I would just run, I had to escape. This was even if I saw it on TV.
I cant believe I am no longer scared of them
Treatment involved 10 sessions of gradual exposure to her fears in a controlled way. We started with simple drawings of a mouse eventually working up to being able to hold a mouse.