PHOBIAS (Derived from the Greek – PHOBOS, meaningFEAR or TERROR )
YOU ARE NOT ‘WEIRD’!
YOU ARE NOT ‘MAD’!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
It is estimated that one in six people in the UK will suffer from at least one phobia during their lifetime, however only one in 10 of those will seek treatment.
Phobias are a particular type of anxiety disorder characterised by an extremely intense level of anxiety/fear, experienced when an individual is confronted by a specific object or situation. The onset of the fear is very rapid, causing distress and panic and may lead to fainting (particularly if blood or body injury is involved) i.e a ‘Panic attack’.
Definition: A pervasive fear associated with high levels of anxiety, usually linked to a specific object, situation or event
The characteristics of the panic and terror will be well recognised by any sufferer.
The degree of fear experienced will be objectively viewed as out of all proportion to the situation.
In general; it cannot be logically explained and is not under voluntary control i.e. it cannot be willed away.
It leads to avoidance which interferes with enjoyment of life and leads to social incapacity.
You will understand that the brain can recognise absolutely anything as a threat, and respond, as it is evolved to do, with an instantaneous panic response.
Whilst many of the ‘phobic foci’ can be appreciated as understandable sources of potential harm eg wasps, snakes, water, the dark etc, the vast majority are not. Feathers, house plants, bridges –anything can be a phobic focus! In fact, if we were being completely logical we should be far more terrified of objects such as electrical sockets or ladders. The only ‘error’ is the linkage by the brain’s perceptual system to a particular shape, object or thought, perceived to be a threat to life and activates the ‘fear response’ as it designed to do. It’s doing its job!
Find below for definitions of Phobias and how we categorise them (for convenience):
Classification of phobias:
There are hundreds of different types of phobias (List of phobias) but to simplify matters (and help those seeking correct and understandable information) here is a convenient classification:
EXTERNAL PHOBIAS – Situations, objects, or places which are outside of your body.