What are Phobias?
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, and is an extreme fear of an animal, object, place or situation. Phobias can be divided into two categories, simple phobias and complex phobias.
Simple phobias are about specific objects, animals and situations, like spiders, dentists and flying. Complex phobias are more disabling deep-rooted fears, and include agoraphobia and social phobia.
How common are Phobias?
Around 10 million people in the UK have phobias, of all ages, sex and background. Complex phobias usually begin later in life, and may continue for many years.
What are the symptoms of Phobias?
People with phobias often suffer from panic attacks. Physical symptoms of panic attacks include sweating, trembling, hot flushes or chills, nausea, feeling faint and numbness. Psychological symptoms of panic attacks include fear of losing control, fear of fainting, feelings of dread and fear of dying.
How are Phobias treated?
For many people, avoiding the object of fear is enough to control the phobia. Some more serious phobias need treatment, which can include counselling, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy, as well as medication for treating anxiety.
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