Individuals can develop extreme anxiety and fear when faced with a feared situation or an object. They display unreasonable or irrational fear in response to the feared object or situation. For example, some people may show extreme fear and anxiety when facing a dog or open water.
This fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the feared situation or object. The lifetime prevalence of specific phobias is around 12-13% with most of them starting in early childhood.
Physical Symptoms of Specific Phobia include:
- Racing Heart
- Difficulty breathing
- Trembling or shaking
- Dry mouth
- Chest pain or tightness
Psychological Symptoms of Specific Phobia include:
- Feeling overwhelming anxiety or fear
- Knowing that your fear is irrational, but feeling powerless to overcome it
- Fear of losing control
- Feeling an intense need to escape
Treatments for Phobia
There are a number of options when dealing with specific phobias. Neurofeedback can calm down the overactivation of the fear centres in the brain such as the limbic system. Psychotherapies such as Clinical Hypnosis and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with exposure therapy can also be a very effective therapy. CBT exposure therapy reduces anxious responses to fear-triggers, whereas Hypnosis examines the subconscious cause of the phobia and by using one’s imagination eliminates that phobia.