What Is It?
A phobia is something that you feel really frightened of that is not actually dangerous and which most people do not find worrying. The nearer you get to the thing that makes you anxious, the more anxious you get … and so you tend to avoid it. Away from it you feel fine but you may also feel frightened when you think about it. Phobias can really get in the way of life.
Common phobias can be complicated and include:
- agoraphobia – a fear of going where there are other people
- social phobias – a fear of being with other people
Some more unusual (and specific) phobias include:
What Might Help?
- Talk to someone: this could be anyone that you find helpful to talk to, don’t bottle it up
- Listen to your body: understanding how your body reacts to fear is really important.
- Tune into your thoughts: spotting unhelpful thoughts can help to challenge phobias.
- Learn how you relax: to help cope with the phobia (link to relaxation page)
- Test yourself: only if you feel able to, with support, you can start to find times when you are able to cope with the phobia, and build up from there
- Professional help: if it is really getting in the way of life, you may need extra support from someone trained to help, this might include talking or behaviour therapy (link to access)
Useful Clips and Stories:
- Ali’s story: social phobia in teenagers and adults
- Phobic Pheobe: children and teenagers with specific phobia
- Fear Fighter (IOS and Android link)
- SAM: Self-Help for Anxiety Management (IOS and Android link)
- Phobia Free (IOS and Android link)
- Meditate Now Kids (IOS and Android link)
- A good overview from NHS Choices here
- More in depth information from The Royall College of Psychiatrists here
- Extra resources on breathing and relaxation here