Phobias are intense fears of specific objects, situations or animals such as, spiders, snakes, needles, driving, vomiting, heights, public spaces (otherwise known as agoraphobia) and social situations (otherwise known as social phobia/social anxiety). This can cause significant distress and individuals can go to great lengths to avoid the specific object, situation or animal. However, avoidance serves to heighten a person’s fears and can lead to life becoming restrictive. This, in turn, can contribute to a less satisfying life which can lead to low mood/depression.
The cause of phobias can sometimes be traced back to a highly fearful event in the past. However some people are not able to recall such an experience that they can attribute the cause to.
Treatment for Phobias
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the recommended therapy for phobias. In therapy the cause of the phobia may be explored. However, therapy is often mainly focussed on understanding the factors that are keeping the phobia going and addressing these. You will be helped to learn that avoidance, although provides a short term sense of relief, actually increases your fears in the longer term. An important part of therapy involves learning tools to help you to manage the anxiety you face when gradually confronting your fears. Your fears will soon diminish enabling you to get back on track and do the things that you were not previously doing. This can help you to live a more fulfilling life again.
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