What is a phobia?

A phobia is an extreme form of fear or anxiety triggered by a particular situation (such as going outside) or object (such as spiders), even when there is no danger.

For example, you may know that it is safe to be out on a balcony in a high-rise block, but feel terrified to go out on it or even enjoy the view from behind the windows inside the building. Likewise, you may know that a spider isn’t poisonous or that it won’t bite you, but this still doesn’t reduce your anxiety.

Many of us have fears about particular objects or situations, and this is perfectly normal. A fear becomes a phobia if it lasts for more than six months, and has a significant impact on how you live your day-to-day life.

“It stops me living my life. Things that other people do without thought become huge ordeals for me.”

 

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