Phobia & Fear

We all experience worry and fear to some degree, however having a phobia or fear of something can have a significant impact on how we live our lives from day to day.


What is a Phobia?


A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterised as being an irrational or extreme fear of an animal, object, place, activity or situation. They can have a huge impact on the sufferer, who may reorganise their whole life, doing what they can to avoid and flee the object or situation they are afraid of.


People who suffer with phobias will often know that there is no real danger from the feared object or situation. However, the fear and anxiety the person feels as a result of coming into contact with the thing in question will feel very real.


A phobia sufferer does not necessarily have to come into direct contact with the phobic object or situation, they may simply have a thought or see a picture of it on the TV or in a magazine. When faced with the thing that is feared, the sufferer will experience intense feelings of anxiety and panic attacks.


There are a number of signs and symptoms of a phobia. These include:


  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid speech or inability to speak
  • Dry mouth
  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feeling dizzy, faint or lightheaded
  • Hot (sweating) or cold flushes


Phobias can impact on the person's ability to lead a normal life and the sufferer's ability to engage in normal day to day activities, they can often lead to sever anxiety and depression.


If you suffer with any of the symptoms listed and believe you may have a phobia counselling may be able to help you


How can counselling help me with my phobia?


Counselling can help you understand the basis for your fear and support you in working through this. It can also help you find ways of being able to cope with your anxiety when coming into contact with the feared object or situation.


A common method of dealing with phobias is to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques. This looks at the thoughts, feelings and behaviours attached the phobia and how the phobia is maintained. By exploring your phobia in this way, counselling can help increase you insight and a plan can be made which can support you in reducing its impact on you and your life.