Fear is a natural response caused by real danger. For example, we are all scared of coming face to face with a wild, hungry animal, and fear is a survival instinct which warns us against certain things or situations. A phobia, on the other hand, is an irrational fear of an object or situation that causes little or no danger. For example, arithmophobia (fear of numbers) may cause certain individuals anxiety, but the fear itself won’t cause any danger. Phobias are linked to our subconscious, and because they are irrational, they can often be dealt with effectively.
Phobias are extremely common and range from the less well-known i.e. asymmetriphobia (fear of asymmetrical things) to the more commonly recognised dentophobia (fear of dentists). There will usually be strong avoidance behaviour connected with the phobia, and feelings of anxiety, loss of control and panic. Sufferers usually know their fear is irrational, but they cannot control it.
Phobias are often categorised into specific phobias and social phobia.
On this page
Some common examples of specific phobias are closed-in places, spiders or a fear of flying. It is a fear of a particular thing rather than just extreme fear, and these phobias usually begin early in the person's life and continue into adulthood.
Social phobia is extreme anxiety and discomfort in social situations. Fear of being watched and judged by others is overwhelming and although those suffering are aware that they are acting irrationally, they are unable to control and overcome their fears. Social phobia can vary from fearing just one situation to fearing all situations involving other people. Social phobia also usually begins in childhood or adolescence.
Signs you have a phobia
- racing heart
- difficulty talking.
Causes of phobia
Phobias often begin early in an individual’s life and may occur for a number of reasons. It seems phobias can run in families; however whether this is hereditary or simply learned behaviour is unclear. For example a child may learn a phobia by observing a family member’s reaction to an object or situation. Traumatic experiences and brain chemicals are also believed to influence the development of phobias.
Treatment for phobia
Hypnotherapy can help to identify the root cause of the phobia and enable individuals to react to the particular object or situation they once feared in a calmer manner when encountering it in the future. Phobias are displaced fears and because they are not rational, they can be dealt with.
Hypnotherapy can also help with relaxation and visualisation techniques for desensitisation and forming new habits such as being more calm and relaxed.
This is where you can submit feedback about the content of this page.
We review feedback on a monthly basis.
Please note we are unable to provide any personal advice via this feedback form. If you do require further information or advice, please visit the homepage & use the search function to contact a professional directly.
- White coat syndrome and the impact on blood pressure
- Snake – I can’t even say the word!
- Say goodbye to fears, phobias and anxiety
- Hypnosis for phobia of driving
- Driving anxiety - can hypnotherapy help?
- Fear of falling phobia - how to help the elderly remain independent!
- The A-Z of hypnotherapy
- Everybody’s phobia is funny but yours!
- Escape from phobia successfully
- Dentistry and hypnotherapy
- Do you have a fear of injections or needle phobia?
- Detonators and detachment
- Health anxiety - how hypnotherapy can help
I saw a hypnotherapist last year. I had an irrational fear of dogs which was worsening and affecting my daily...
Experiencing a healthy apprehension before doing something is a feeling most people deal with from time to time,...
I have been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for a long time, which I felt I was coping with. However, a...