It’s normal to be scared of some things, like spiders, heights or any second spent playing the game outlast. But a phobia is an extreme level of fear, disproportionate to reality. It is very common, around 10 million people in the UK have a phobia, so you are not alone!
SYMPTOMS OF A PHOBIA
Coming into contact with your fear can make you feel very anxious and distressed. You may also experience some other symptoms such as:
- A fast heart rate.
- The sensation of having a ‘thumping heart’ (palpitations).
- Feeling sick (nausea).
- Shaking (tremor).
- Dry mouth.
- Chest pain.
- A ‘knot in the stomach’.
- Fast breathing.
Just thinking about the fear may cause you to become very anxious and can lead to you avoiding the situation. This can limit your day to day life.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF PHOBIA
SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER
Social anxiety disorder is one of the most common phobias. It can make you feel extremely anxious about how other people perceive you, or about how they might judge you. You might fear that you will do something embarrassing or be seen as ‘stupid’ so you try avoid these social interactions as much as you can.
This is another common phobia. Having agoraphobia usually includes multiple fears of various places and situations such as crowds, public places or travelling on a train. These are all part of an underlying fear of not being able to escape to a safe place (this is usually our home, where most of us find comfort in our gaming worlds). When in these situations you may feel very anxious and distressed with an urgent need to escape. This is why many people with agoraphobia avoid this by staying in their home most of or all of the time.
SOME OTHER PHOBIAS
- Fear of confined spaces or of being trapped (claustrophobia).
- Fear of certain animals.
- Fear of injections or needles.
- Fear of vomiting.
- Fear of being alone.
- Fear of choking.
- Fear of the dentist.
- Fear of flying.
These are just a few, there are many more.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR PHOBIAS?
COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIOURAL THERAPIES
One of the most effective treatments for phobias is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This can help change certain ways that you think and feel. Some medication is also available such as antidepressants.