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Explains phobias, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
There doesn’t seem to be one particular cause of phobias, but there are several factors that might play an important role:
You might find it helpful to try to work out the specific causes for your own phobia, but you might equally feel that there is no simple explanation.
"I am disabled and have had medical treatments my entire life. When I was little, I used to fight people trying to take my blood, so I would have to be held down. The people raising me were completely unsympathetic to my feelings. All of this compounded to create the intense fear I experience when I’m getting my blood drawn today."
If you avoid the object or situation that is making you phobic, this will often make your fear worse over time. However, it can be extremely difficult to face your phobia, and you may need professional help to enable you to do this.
See the Treatment section for more information.
This information was published in March 2017. We will revise it in 2020.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.