What is a Phobia?


A phobia is an irrational fear, a kind of anxiety disorder in which the individual has a relentless dread of a situation, living creature, place, or thing.

Individuals with a phobia go to great lengths to avoid a perceived danger which is much greater in their minds than in real life. If confronted with the source of their phobia, the person will suffer enormous distress, which can interfere with their normal function; it can sometimes lead to total panic.

For some people, even thinking about their phobia is immensely distressing.

A phobia starts when a person begins organising their lives around avoiding the object of their fear. A phobia is much more serious than a simple fear. People with a phobia have an overpowering need to steer clear of anything which triggers their anxiety.

It is unusual for a phobia to start after the age of 30 but of course, it can. Most of them begin during early childhood, teenage years, or early adulthood. They can be caused by a stressful situation or experience, a frightening event, or a parent or household member who has a phobia which the child becomes progressively aware of.

As mentioned above, witnessing a family member's phobia is a common cause for phobias that started during childhood. A child whose mother has arachnophobia is much more likely to develop the same phobia. Experts stress that phobias picked up from parents are learned - they are not genetically inherited.

People often confuse fear with phobias. A fear is not liking something or having a fear of carrying out an act. However, if need be they will still be able to do it, albeit they really don’t want to. This could be, for example feeling uncomfortable in small, cramped places like an elevator especially if there are others in there too. They may even prefer to take the stairs but at a push will be able to do it despite perhaps feeling a little uncomfortable. A phobic experiences very different sensations. The very thought of going into that lift will immediately fill them with such dread that they begin to shake, sweat and even feel faint. No amount of reasoning will work and they will refuse point blank to even consider it.

Another common example is that many people say they are ‘scared of flying’ but still fly when necessary either for business or pleasure. However, a phobic with a fear of flying will just not do it under any circumstances. They never go overseas unless by boat and will either drive or go by train to get across the country. If, in an emergency it is imperative that they do fly, many are sedated by their doctor beforehand as it is the only way they know of that will work short term. They will however, still have a phobia and will have the same reaction next time flying is suggested.

Hypnosis has been proven to have a high success rate when helping people overcome their phobias once and for all. You see hypnotherapy deals with the underlying cause which is achieved by bypassing the conscious mind and addressing the unconscious mind which is hosting the phobic reactions. No one is born with a fear of flying or spiders or such, these phobias have developed either over a number of years becoming increasingly stronger and stronger, or they may have resulted in one particular incident usually occurring when the person was a young child. Other phobias are learned phobias from parents or older siblings. If a parent runs screaming out of the room every time a spider appears for example, then it is likely the young child will connect the two together and expect to be frightened too.

Here at New DAE Hypnotherapy we have had a lot of experience treating phobias (and fears) with hypnotherapy. Contact us on 0403 158 229 to find out how you can remove that debilitating influence on your life - once and for all. How amazing would that be?

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