What are phobias?
Phobias are an extremely strong fear that a person has of something – for instance an animal, a feeling, an object, situation or place (often known as the ‘trigger’). A phobia associates the trigger with extreme feelings of danger, and can cause huge restrictions and anxieties around a person’s life, as they try to avoid it. Some people may not be distressed by their phobia unless they are physically near it or in the situation at the time, while others can be affected just by thinking about their phobia.
How are you feeling?
It is good to understand and to monitor how you are feeling. Some common signs that you are experiencing a phobia are:
- Panic about a specific trigger
- Anxiety about what may happen to you if you are around the trigger
- Dizziness and feeling faint
- Feeling sick when thinking about your trigger
- Rapid heart rate
- Feelings of being detached from your body
- Avoiding situations linked to your phobia
- Feeling as though you are in extreme danger
Who does it affect?
Around 10 million people in the UK have some sort of phobia, so remember that you are not alone. Phobias can affect anyone at any time in their lives, no matter who they are, where they are from, how old they are, or what personality type they are. Phobias can develop at any time, and are sometimes caused by childhood incidents linked to your trigger. It may be that you have a phobia that wasn’t caused by a particular event, but is still as extremely difficult to deal with.
Should I tell my friends and family?
We understand that having a phobia can be isolating and terrifying, and talking about it can be daunting. One of the best things you can do to help yourself, however, is to reach out to the people you trust, and speak to them about how you are feeling. They may be able to talk through your problems and help you find solutions, or provide you with emotional support and empathy towards how you are feeling.
How can TALKWORKS help?
If you feel you may be dealing with a phobia, TALKWORKS is here to help. We can provide you with talking therapies to help you understand your phobia and to develop strategies to help you manage it or to overcome it. With five teams across Devon and Torbay, support can usually be provided close to where you live and appointments can take place in a variety of community buildings, hospitals, GP surgeries and libraries.
To get in touch with us:
If you prefer, you can speak to us over the phone, or you can make an appointment with your GP to discuss how we can help.
The sooner you take this next step, the sooner we can help you to feel in control of your life again.