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It is normal and natural for us all to experience fears at some point, and we can usually overcome these fears and move on from them. However for some, fears can become overwhelming and debilitating, and this is known as a phobia. 


A phobia is an anxiety disorder defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal, even when there is no real danger at hand. Phobias typically result in a rapid onset of fear and are usually present for more than six months. The fear becomes an overriding factor of every single decision that is made and can significantly affect daily life.

Physical symptoms of phobia may include:

  • feeling unsteady, dizzy, lightheaded or faint

  • feeling like you are choking

  • a pounding heart, palpitations or accelerated heart rate

  • chest pain or tightness in the chest

  • sweating

  • hot or cold flushes

  • shortness of breath or a smothering sensation

  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea

  • numbness or tingling sensations

  • trembling or shaking.

Phobias can mask underlying causes and can be a symptom of deeper emotional distress. 

For Help with Phobias:

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