Phobias

Phobias can affect a person's ability to function.
Help is available.

Phobias are extreme or irrational fears about a specific situation or a specific thing. This can include an excessive fear of crowded places, deep water, heights, animals such as snakes and spiders, or confined spaces such as tunnels and lifts. Hence the individual often deals with this excessive fear by avoiding the trigger where possible.

Symptoms

The symptoms include extreme anxiety, that is excessive worry or fear, about being confronted by a particular situation or thing, and can lead to a panic attack.

Treatment

Phobias are most often treated with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that aims to challenge the individual's irrational thoughts and thereby aims to change their behaviour when confronted by the specific trigger. In some cases medication may be added to relieve a patient's anxiety so that they can face their fear and engage in step-wise exposure to the trigger.