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Phobias

What is a phobia?

A phobia is a debilitating fear of an object, place, situation or animal. Phobias are more intense than fear and involve an unrealistic perception of danger about a situation or object. If a phobia becomes severe a person might organise their life around avoiding the situation or object that causes them anxiety. There are different types of phobia, simple phobias and complex phobias.

Some examples of simple phobias are:

  • Animal phobias – such as rodents, dogs, spiders, birds and others
  • Bodily phobias – such as blood, vomit or injections
  • Environmental phobias – such as heights, deep water and germs
  • Sexual phobias – such as performance anxiety or fear of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Situational phobias – such as flying or going to the doctor

Some examples of complex phobias are:

  • Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces, crowded places, traveling or public transport
  • Social phobia – fear of social situations

Treatment for phobias

Phobias can be treated through psychological therapy with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and mindfulness based approaches being the most commonly used for effective outcomes.

Medication is not usually recommended for phobias though it can be prescribed in the short term to reduce some of the symptoms such as anxiety.

The psychologists at The Chelsea Psychology Clinic are experienced in the treatment of phobias. If your anxiety is debilitating and interfering with your daily life, then we might recommend a review with our Consultant Psychiatrist to consider your short term medication needs.