A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder and causes an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal. Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object.

You may not experience any symptoms until you come into contact with the source of your phobia. However, if a phobia becomes very severe, a person may organise their life around avoiding the thing that’s causing them anxiety. As well as restricting their day-to-day life, it can also cause a lot of distress. In some cases thinking about the source of a phobia can make a person feel anxious or panicky. This is known as anticipatory anxiety. If you do not come into contact with the source of your phobia very often, it may not affect your everyday life.

Some of the most common phobias include:

    • arachnophobia – fear of spiders
    • claustrophobia – fear of confined spaces
    • agoraphobia – fear of open spaces and public places
    • social phobia – fear of social situations

Phobias can be divided into 2 main categories:

  • specific or simple phobias
  • complex phobias)
    • unsteadiness, dizziness and a feeling of being light-headed
    • nausea
    • sweating
    • increased heart rate or palpitations
    • shortness of breath
    • trembling or shaking
    • an upset stomach


Each phobia is different . You may decide to use your own self-help strategy or get help from a mental health specialist.

A self-help programme could include:

    • lifestyle changes
    • a course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
    • attending a self-help group
    • using exposure therapy to overcome your fear
    • a combination of these

    If you are suffering with a Phobia get in touch to discuss how we can support you or complete our referral form by clicking the button below