Phobias

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Unlike fears and general anxiety, phobias tend to be specific. There may be a certain object, animal or situation that brings you out in a panic. Whatever it is, having a phobia can make everyday tasks more difficult.

Symptoms

Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, motorway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything. Most phobias develop in childhood, but they can also develop in adults.

People with phobias experience also panic attacks with the symptoms often occurring suddenly and without any warning. Panic attacks can cause physical symptoms, such as:

• sweating
• trembling
• hot flushes or chills
• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• a choking sensation
• rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
• pain or tightness in the chest
• a sensation of butterflies in the stomach
• nausea
• headaches and dizziness
• feeling faint
• numbness or pins and needles
• dry mouth
• a need to go to the toilet
• ringing in your ears
• confusion or disorientation

 

In severe cases of phobias and panic attack’s , you may also experience psychological symptoms, such as:

• fear of losing control
• fear of fainting
• feelings of dread
• fear of dying

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Diagnosis

Although the diagnosis of a panic disorder is largely clinical you may also have to complete a self-assessment tool or questionnaire that will ask you questions pertaining to your symptoms. For instance, you may be asked questions regarding your medical history, current symptoms, and recent life changes.

 

The entire diagnostic evaluation process is typically completed within one to two visits.

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Causes

There is no single cause for the appearance of phobias. Many different factors can play a role during someones life to make them more likely to develop a phobia. The existence of a phobia is often linked to the following factors:

 

  • a traumatic event during childhood
  • a particularly stressful situation / negative experience
  • learned behaviours (often from family)
  • genetics
  • environmental factors
  • brain chemistry
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Treatment

Phobias which interfere with daily living can lead to more serious conditions such as depression and anxiety, it is therefore essential that when that occurs you seek treatment.

 

The most common treatment options for panic disorder include psychotherapy, self-help techniques, prescribed medications, or a combination of these approaches. Treatment for phobias can be extremely effective and can allow an individual to live a life free of fear.

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Dr Julie Scheiner
Consultant Psychotherapist

The therapy that Julie provides is integrative meaning that tailors your therapy to what you present. Julie's philosophy is "for when you can't see the wood for the trees" and she strives to help people focus on their own needs.

David Polak
Consultant Psychotherapist

David Polak has been practising as a psychotherapist for over ten years and has worked in a variety of health care settings, in both the public and private sectors.

Iana Trichkova
Psychotherapist

Iana is a professionally qualified counsellor and psychotherapist who practices an integration of several theoretical approaches: Person Centred, Humanistic, Phenomenological, Existential, Psychodynamic /Psychoanalytic, Postmodern.

Silvia Gerea

Silvia Gerea is a Consultant Psychotherapist and Psychologist.

Mr. Stelios Kiosses
Lead Psychological Services

Stelios Kiosses is a consultant psychotherapist who studied psychodynamic counselling & clinical Supervision at the University of Oxford.

Dr. Areti Pavlidou
Lead Psychiatric Services

Dr Areti Pavlidou, Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in Adult & Liaison Psychiatry; Lead Consultant for inpatient & community mental health services.

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