Phobias

Explains phobias, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.

Your stories

Living with my phobia of bananas

Vix blogs about how her unusual phobia impacts on her everyday life, and how she manages it.

Vix
Posted on 08/03/2017

Lots of social phobia, but no friends

John blogs about living with social phobia and the steps he’s taking to recover.

Posted on 15/06/2015

Confronting my social anxiety at university

Max, a volunteer at Mind Cymru, shares his experience of social anxiety and how he is overcoming this.

Max Dean
Posted on 25/02/2015

What are the symptoms?

Phobias can feel different for different people and the symptoms can vary in severity. Symptoms involve experiencing intense fear and anxiety when faced with the situation or object that you are afraid of. If your phobia is severe, even thinking about the situation or object can trigger these symptoms.

Common symptoms of a phobia include:

Physical symptoms Psychological symptoms
  • feeling unsteady, dizzy, lightheaded or faint
  • feeling like you are choking
  • a pounding heart, palpitations or accelerated heart rate
  • chest pain or tightness in the chest
  • sweating
  • hot or cold flushes
  • shortness of breath or a smothering sensation
  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • numbness or tingling sensations
  • trembling or shaking
  • feeling out of touch with reality or detached from your body
  • a fear of fainting
  • a fear of losing control
  • a fear of dying

If these symptoms are very intense, they could trigger a panic attack. (See anxiety and panic attacks for more information.)

Experiencing this type of acute fear is extremely unpleasant and can be very frightening. It may make you feel stressed, out of control and overwhelmed. It may also lead to feelings of embarrassment, anxiety or depression.

As a result, many people with phobias avoid situations where they might have to face their fear. While this can be an effective strategy to start with, avoiding your fears can sometimes cause them to become worse, and can start to have a significant impact on how you live your daily life.

Living with my phobia of bananas

Read Vix's blog about the impact her phobia has on her life, and how she manages it.

 

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This information was published in March 2017. We will revise it in 2020.


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