Phobias are much more than a fear of something. A phobia develops when a person has an inflated sense of danger about a situation, object, place, feeling or animal.
Phobias are classed as an anxiety disorder. If particularly severe, people might find themselves organising their life around their phobia. This can increase anxiety as day-to-day life becomes extremely restricted.
Symptoms and their severity can vary from person to person. In most cases, the symptoms are both physical and psychological. You do not always need to be confronted with your phobia to experience symptoms. Sometimes just thinking about it can make a person feel anxious.
Physical symptoms include:
- Rapid heart rate and palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in chest
- Hot flushes or chills
- Butterflies in stomach
- Dry mouth
Psychological symptoms include:
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of fainting
- Fear of dying
- Feelings of dread
Simple phobias such as a fear of spiders, or heights etc. usually develop at an early age. Simple phobias are often linked with a negative experience during childhood which progresses into phobia when you get older.
Phobias can also be learnt from an early age. So, if someone in your family has a fear of spiders, it is likely that you will learn and inherit that phobia.
Causes of complex phobias like agoraphobia and social phobia are not known, but it is believed that genetics and brain chemistry contribute to their formation. People with complex phobias often react severely as their body releases the hormone adrenaline, which in turn prompts physical symptoms.
You may find that avoiding your phobia is enough as treatment.
However, avoiding your phobia may not always be possible. This is when we recommend visiting one of Ahmeys Healthcare professionals to explore different treatment options. Most phobias are curable, and some of the treatment options we may explore with you are:
- Self-help techniques
- Talking treatments
To learn more about these treatments, don’t hesitate to visit Ahmeys Pharmacy