What is a phobia?
A phobia is medically classified as a type of anxiety disorder that causes an individual to experience extreme, irrational fear of or aversion to an object, situation, living creature or place.
How common are phobias?
The NHS suggests that phobias are the most common type of anxiety disorder, estimating that around 10 million people in the UK have a phobia.
How phobias are created
- Observational learning: A person may develop a phobia by observing someone else’s fearful reaction to an object or situation. For instance, if a child observes their parent having a panic attack in an elevator, they may develop a phobia of elevators.
Informational learning: A person may develop a phobia by hearing or reading about a potential danger or threat associated with the object or situation. For example, if a person hears about someone being attacked by a shark, they may develop a phobia of swimming in the ocean.
Overcoming a phobia
Overcoming a phobia is entirely possible, no matter what your specific fear may be. To achieve this, you’ll need to work on changing the way you interpret the events that led to your phobia’s development. As you begin to shift your perception, you’ll notice a change in how you feel.
One effective way to challenge your phobia is by gathering evidence that supports a positive outlook on the object or situation you fear. With determination and perseverance, you can follow in the footsteps of many others who have successfully overcome their fears.
Living with a phobia can be extremely challenging, however, you are not alone. Here at Trauma Research UK, our belief is, ‘it’s not what’s wrong with you, it’s what happened to you’. With this philosophy, we believe that everyone can successfully overcome their phobia if given the right help and support. Read more…