A phobia is when a person has an extreme fear of a particular 'thing' or situation. Exposure to the feared 'thing' or situation causes extreme distress. The person can usually recognise that the fear is excessive, but feel they have no control over this. The person with the phobia will go to extreme lengths to avoid the feared 'thing' or situation. This can have a significant impact on a persons life, and cause high levels of distress. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) the focus of fear can be organised into subtypes.The fear may be;
- Of a type of animal or insect.
- Of the Natural Environment Type such as storms, heights, water.
- Of the Situational Type such as public transport, tunnels bridges, lifts, flying, driving or enclosed places.
- Of the Blood Injection Injury Type such as seeing blood or an injury, or receiving an injection or other invasive medical procedure. It may be
- Of the 'Other' Type such as choking, vomiting, or falling down.
It is possible with help and support and the right therapy such as; exposure therapy, CBT, and sometimes EMDR to recover from phobias. (Exposure therapy often sounds very daunting and terrifying to someone suffering with a phobia. Please be reassured that this will always be a graded exposure plan that will be devised with client and therapist together to go at the clients own pace).