scared man in elevator 500

What is a phobia?

A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop a phobia toward virtually anything. Most phobias develop in childhood, but they do develop in adults.

If you have a phobia, you probably realise that your fear is irrational, yet you still can’t control your feelings. Just thinking about the feared object or situation may make you anxious.

And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror is automatic and overwhelming.The experience is so nerve-wracking that you may go to great lengths to avoid it -inconveniencing yourself or more dramatically changing your lifestyle. If you have claustrophobia, for example, you might turn down a lucrative job offer if you have to ride the elevator to get to the office, the same if you have a fear of heights. Pinpointing the cause and effect of the phobia is the first step to overcoming it. It’s important to know that phobias are common and that they are highly treatable.

Phobias and irrational fears

Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two — of mice, for example, or your annual dental checkup. For most people, these fears are minor. But when fears become so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with your normal life, they’re called phobias.

The good news is that phobias can be managed and cured. Self-help strategies and therapy can help you overcome your fears and start living the life you want.