What are phobias
- Phobias are a persistent fear of either a specific activity, event, place, person, social situation, animal or certain types of objects.
- Some phobias can be simple such as a fear of spiders, blood, or needles, but social and medical phobias can be quite complex.
- People can often develop phobias related to everyday activities such as using lifts or travelling by trains.
Why are phobias distressing
- Having a phobia can be distressing because for some people high levels of anxiety can be generated just by thinking about the feared activity, event, place, person, social situation, animal, or using a certain object.
- For other people being in contact with the source of the phobia is what creates high levels of anxiety.
- Phobias are also distressing because they can severely restrict a persons ability to work, socialise or complete everyday activities.
- People with phobias often report the following types of anxiety symptoms: sweating, feeling sick or an upset stomach, increased heart rate or palpitations, shortness of breath and shaking or trembling.
- People can also experience other types of anxiety symptoms. See the blog on anxiety symptoms.