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Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Phobias are an extreme fear reaction, usually triggered by an intense fear of an object, situation and sometimes even an idea.

They’re a really common condition and you’ve probably come across someone who’s afraid of spiders, heights or even household pets.

People are quick to dismiss phobias, but for those suffering from the condition - they can have a highly negative effect on their daily lives. Serious phobias can cause intense physical symptoms like sweating, hot flushes, feelings of sickness and even panic attacks.

If you think you might have developed a phobia, or have an existing one that’s getting worse - it’s recommended that you speak to a GP as soon as possible.

Our doctors will be able to discuss your symptoms and how they’re affecting you, work with you to decide on potential treatment options and if needed, prescribe medication to help you cope in the short term.

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Woman with a phobia
Woman showing mental health problems

What Causes Phobias?

As with many mental health problems, the exact causes aren’t known - but there’s a range of psychological and physical factors that are thought to play a part.

The potential to develop phobias tends to run in families, but many sufferers can pinpoint their development to a particular incident - which tends to have taken place during childhood.

Here is a list of common Phobias that our doctors deal with:

  • Aviatophobia - Fear of flying
  • Belonephobia - Fear of pins and needles
  • Hematophobia - Fear of blood
  • Molysomophobia - Fear of dirt
  • Mottephobia - Fear of moths
  • Ornithophobia - Fear of birds
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Treating Phobias and Fears

Phobias are usually treated with a course of therapy, counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy - which aims to reduce the negative associations with the.trigger of the phobia.

Medication is sometimes used to help sufferers handle the effects of the anxiety caused by the phobia and it’s common to use these methods alongside a self-help regime.

Connect with one of our GPs to discuss your phobia, talk through potential treatment options and get help deciding on the best course of action for you:

See a Doctor About Phobias