A phobia is an overwhelming fear of something specific e.g. an animal, an object. Typically someone with a phobia has an exaggerated sense of the danger about the situation or object and will organise their life to avoid coming in to contact with it. Common phobias include a fear of dogs, spiders, heights, vomiting and having injections/needle phobia.
If a person avoids the source of their phobia very often, it may not affect everyday life. However, if you have a complex phobia such as agoraphobia (see the Panic and Agoraphobia link on the left), leading a normal life may be very difficult. Sometimes just thinking about the source of a phobia can make a person feel anxious or panicky. This is known as anticipatory anxiety.
You can find out more about phobias and associated panic symptoms by looking at our resources page.
If you would like support in relation to a phobia, we offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based treatments depending on the type of phobia you experience. To request an assessment from a member of our therapy team, click here.
Last updated: 9 April, 2015