panic imageA phobia is an anxiety disorder characterised by an intense and persistent fear of an object or situation:

Agoraphobia: a fear of crowds or public places
Social phobia: a fear of being judged or evaluated negatively by others, or of behaving in an embarrassing or humiliating way.
Specific phobias: a fear of a very specific object or situation. Some of the most common specific phobias include animals, birds or insects, heights, flying, blood, and being sick (emetophobia).

One of the key symptoms of any phobic disorder is avoidance of the feared object or situation. Other symptoms may include palpitations or a pounding heart, blushing, trembling or sweating, dry mouth, difficulty breathing, fear of choking, chest pain or discomfort, nausea, dizziness and/or a fear of losing control, going mad, fainting or dying. The symptoms usually cause intense distress, and are often considered excessive or unreasonable by the person themselves, as well as by others.

As with panic disorder, the recommended treatment for phobic disorders is Guided Self Help or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (individual or group).

If you think that you might be experiencing a phobia and would like an assessment and/or therapy from a clinical psychologist or a CBT therapist, Changing Minds can offer you this from locations throughout Hertfordshire and North West London, including Harrow, Watford, Borehamwood and Berkhamsted. We are also able to offer online therapy via Skype.

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