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What Is A Phobia?

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. It is a constant fear of an object or situation. An individual will take great measures to avoid this object or situation and the fear is generally disproportionate. The list of phobias is extensive but can include:

  • a fear of flying
  • agoraphobia – the fear of open spaces
  • social phobia (also known as social anxiety disorder) – the fear of interacting with others
  • claustrophobia – the fear of enclosed spaces
  • arachnophobia – the fear of spiders

Having a phobia is often a debilitating condition. It can affect your work and social life and in the worst cases leaves you confined to your home. Nevertheless, for an individual suffering from a phobia this can feel preferable to being exposed to the source of their phobia. Friends and family may attempt to talk you out of your fears or even feel frustrated with them. As a result you may feel judged, embarrassed or even ashamed. Perhaps you are managing well and have an important role at work but spend a lot of energy concealing your phobia from colleagues or friends. This can lead to feeling very tense and drained. In all cases, having a phobia can lead to accompanying feelings such as depression. Embarrassment and shame or not wanting to address your phobia can mean you cut yourself off from support, which can exacerbate the negative feelings including feeling trapped, frustrated and lonely. On the positive side, with the right treatment it is possible to effectively treat phobias, enabling you to lead a more fulfilling and less restricted life.

Common Signs of A Phobia

  • pounding or racing heart
  • shortness of breath
  • rapid speech or inability to speak
  • dry mouth
  • upset stomach or nausea
  • elevated blood pressure
  • trembling or shaking
  • chest pain or tightness
  • choking sensation
  • dizziness or light-headedness
  • profuse sweating
  • sense of impending doom

How We Can Treat Your Phobia?

At Psymplicity Healthcare our expert Consultant Psychiatrist is very practised and competent regarding the treatment of phobias. Following a psychiatric assessment phobias can be treated with a course of medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

CBT works in complement to medication and we can tailor your treatment plan so that the medication is gradually reduced as the CBT starts to work. Our CBT therapists have years of experience successfully treating individuals in the NHS and the private setting with complex presentations including those with long-term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms using CBT interventions. They will sit down with you and really listen to your issue and together you will decide on a strategy to start feeling better, where you set the pace. We are aware that addressing a phobia can increase feelings of anxiety so we take great care to give you the control of your treatment pace. You will normally meet weekly or fortnightly and you will leave feeling more equipped and empowered to deal with your phobia.

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