Q: What is a phobia?

A phobia is intense fear reaction to a specific stimuli. It can be heights, dogs, needles, going outside, water, or anything else. Phobias are extremely uncomfortable and can often lead to people changing how they live their lives so that they don’t have to encounter their specific phobia.

Q: What causes phobias?

For some people phobias are the result of a one-time traumatic event. They might have gone swimming and almost drowned, got up to speak and had a terrible experience, or were chased by a dog. For others, it’s hard for them to pinpoint exactly what caused their phobia, with many people reporting that they have been phobic of something for as long as they can remember.

Q: Can therapy help for phobias?

Therapy can be helpful for phobias in many ways. For some cases, therapy is effective enough to erase the phobia entirely. Once that happens, the person is able to encounter the formerly phobia triggering stimulus without any reaction at all. Even when therapy is unsuccessful at eliminating a phobia entirely, it can help you learn how to manage your fear so that you are able to live a valued life and move forward without being held back by the phobia. There is a world of a difference between being controlled by a fear vs being in control of yourself while you experience a fear.

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