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) or Blenophobia (fear of needles.) People who suffer from a phobia will usually avoid any behaviour connected with the phobia, and may have strong feelings of anxiety, loss of control and panic. Sufferers usually know their fear is irrational, but they cannot control it.
There are two different types of phobias: specific phobias and social phobia.
Specific phobias are where there is a fear of a particular thing, usually start in childhood and can continue into adult hood. Examples of specific phobias are closed in places, spiders or fear of flying.
Social Phobias is when there is extreme anxiety and discomfort in social situations. It can vary from fearing just one situation to fearing all situations where there are other people present. This can begin in childhood or adolescence. Sufferers may feel that they are being watched and judged which makes them feel overwhelmed and like specific phobias, know that they are acting irrationally but aren’t able to control the feelings.
Signs and symptoms
You may experience some of these symptoms:
Sweating, fast heartbeat, blushing, trembling, nausea, palpitations, headaches or difficulty talking.
Why do I have a phobia?
Phobias can start early on in childhood or develop much later and there are a number of reasons why. It can be a learned behaviour, where a child may watch a parent or trusted adult and observe their reaction to a situation or object. It can also develop from a traumatic experience as well as it is thought that brain chemicals can also play a part to.
How can it be treated?
The good news is that phobias respond very well to hypnotherapy. As phobias are displaced fears and not rational, they can be dealt with. By using relaxation and visualisation techniques, objects and situations. I can teach you to deal with your phobia or fear a calm manner. Sufferers can be desensitised and new habits such as being calm and feeling in control can replace those unwanted behaviours instead.