A Specific Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, characterised by intense anxiety and overwhelming fear or disgust of particular things. Common examples include:
- Animal phobias – such as dogs, rodents, spiders or snakes
- Environmental phobias – such as heights, deep water and germs
- Situational phobias – such as visiting the dentist or flying
- Bodily phobias – such as blood, vomit or having injections
- Sexual phobias – such as performance anxiety or fear of contracting a sexually transmitted infection
Whilst it is entirely normal to feel anxious or fearful of certain things from time-to-time, for those of you with a Specific Phobia, you may likely experience excessive levels of fear and anxiety, which are disproportionate to the actual level of danger posed by the situation. This fear reaction however often feels out of our control and automatic, even though we may recognise this. Consequently, these phobias can have a hugely debilitating impact on our quality of life, wellbeing and ability to function in day-to-day life.
It is not uncommon for Specific Phobias to be accompanied by panic attacks, anticipatory anxiety and other uncomfortable physical symptoms of anxiety including:
- a racing heart(palpitations)
- feeling dizzy or faint
- finding it hard to swallow
- trembling or shaking
- pain or discomfort in your chest
- struggling to breathe
- numbness and pins and needles
Treatment for Specific Phobias
The evidence shows that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is highly effective in the treatment of Specific Phobias, and in reducing the impact that these phobias have on your life. It can be treated in both one-to-one and group therapy options.
We’re here to help. If you would like to know more about treatment for a Specific Phobia at the Fitzrovia Psychology Clinic, please contact us to arrange an assessment.