Phobias are intense feelings of fear about a certain object or situation that poses little or no actual danger. Often present from childhood, they are intense automatic fears of triggers such as rats, spiders, heights or, enclosed spaces. They are associated with an intense desire to avoid or escape from the trigger. It affects approximately 10% of the population. The fear and avoidance are strong enough that it significantly interferes with the person’s normal routine, academic or occupational functioning, social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.
Most common specific phobias:
- Claustrophobia – fear of closed spaces
- Aquaphobia – fear of water
- Animal phobias can include; snakes, bats, rats. Herpetophobia – fear of reptiles/crawling things(spiders)
- Acrophobia – fear of heights
- Blood – injury phobia
- Illness phobia – fear of contracting and/or succumbing to a specific illness, e.g. heart attack, cancer