A phobia is a persistent irrational fear of and wish to avoid a specific object, activity or situation. This sense of fear is out of proportion to the real danger, which you recognize as an exaggeration. You may find it difficult to control your fear and will attempt to avoid the object or situation. A specific phobia can cause you considerable anxiety, and depends on whether you come across that particular trigger area often or not. If suffering with a phobia you feel anxious not only in the presence of an object or situation but when thinking about them.
It is estimated that 10% of the population experience a fear of phobia, and most will not seek treatment, as it does not affect them very often. Some are easier to live with, such as fear of snakes, unless you come across snakes on a day to day basis.
Animal phobias are more common, rats, spiders, birds and dogs. These phobic responses develop in childhood, where they may be considered ‘normal’. It is only when they persist into adult life and cause a disruption that they are then called a phobia.
There are so many phobias, in fact anyone can have a fear or phobia about anything in the entire world, some of which are, fear of heights, crowds, open or enclosed spaces, thunder and lightning, injury, hypodermic needles, illness. These phobias are a cause of the person’s perceptions on what could go wrong, or have experienced something that did go wrong, perhaps a previous trauma. The person then places more emphasis on the negative, building up into an exaggerated fear that it will happen again. Sometimes it is a ‘learned response’ from their parent who had a specific fear or phobia.
Hypnotherapy is extremely helpful in treating phobias. By finding and removing where the specific fear or phobia developed, allows that person to feel so much better, and by providing more control using a cognitive approach in those situations.