14th February 2020 1 min read

According to the NHS it is estimated that 10 million people in the UK have some sort of phobia. Some phobias can be very small and others may impact day to day life but what is a phobia? Is it a mental illness? Are their different types? And what can be done to treat them?

What is a Phobias?

A lot of people get phobias at some point in their life and they normally begin when they are younger. A phobia is an overwhelming fear of something, and this can become severe. It is a type of anxiety disorder. The anxiety of the phobia could cause people to avoid doing things that are linked to the phobia.

You may not experience the symptoms of a phobia until you come into contact with it. Some symptoms may include:

- Unsteadiness and dizziness

- Nausea

- Sweating

- Increased heart rate

- Shaking

- Shortness of breath

How are Phobias Classified?

There are two categories that phobias go into when classifying them; specific or simple phobias and complex phobias. Specific phobias are for phobias like animals, environmental, situational, bodily and sexual. Complex phobias are usually more disabling then simple phobias and are linked to a deep fear of something.

The two most common, complex phobias are agoraphobia and social phobia. Agoraphobia is a feeling of anxiousness of being in a place/ situation where escaping may be difficult. Social phobia is feeling anxious in social situations.

Phobias are not caused by a particular issue but there can be other factors involved. A phobia could be a learning response, it could be associated with a trauma or incident or it could be genetics.

Diagnosing Phobias

Diagnosing phobias does not normally happen as people who have a phobia already know. Treating a phobia can be as simple as removing yourself from a situation or removing the thing that you have a phobia of. In other instances, for complex phobias, treating them takes longer and things such as counselling, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy can be an option to treat a phobia. Speak to us in confidence to discuss your phobias in more details.