Treating Phobias and Panic Attacks


A phobia is is an excessive or irrational fear reaction. If you have a phobia, you may experience a deep sense of dread or panic when you encounter the source of your fear.  The fear can be of a certain place or situation - hospitals, lifts, tunnels, aircraft, crowded places - or it can be of an object - snakes, spiders, blood even clowns. Unlike generalised anxiety disorders, a phobia is usually connected to something specific.  

The impact of a phobia can range from disturbing to severely disabling. People with phobias realise their fear is irrational but they are unable to do anything about it. Many sufferers begin to avoid situations where they might experience fear. They restrict their lives more and more.  Phobias interfere with work, school, personal relationships. They rarely improve if left untreated.

The most common and disabling symptom of a phobia is a panic attack.  Panic attacks can start with a feeling of mild to moderate fear, which escalates into rapid heart beating, shortness of breath, sweats and tremors.  

Phobias and panic attacks respond well to psychotherapy.  A mixture of cognitive techniques as well as psychotherapy to help clients understand what might be causing the phobia, can bring long term recovery for clients suffering with phobias and panic attacks.




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