A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that is defined as an excessive and overwhelming fear of an object or situation. Intense anxiety is often felt in the presence of the object or situation but also when thinking and talking about it.


This section provides information about phobias. How it is diagnosed, possible causes and where to get further information and support.

Specific phobias (also known as simple phobias) are a type of anxiety disorder involving fear of a specific object or situation, such as spiders, heights, or driving. They primarily involve intense fear of the object or situation, and may also include symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and panic attacks.

Complex phobias are typically associated with a deep-rooted fear of situations or circumstances, such as agoraphobia. They can potentially be more disruptive to daily life and continue for years.

Causes are often a complex interplay of factors such as learned behaviour, traumatic experiences, and biological factors such as genetics and brain chemistry.

Treatment and recovery from specific phobias is possible, and often involves a combination of medication and therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

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