A phobia is an excessive or unreasonable fear of an object, place or situation that can significantly affect a person's life. Common phobias are fears of specific things such as spiders, being sick, flying.
Phobias can feel very intense and limit significant aspects of life and cause a sense of embarrassment. However, there are practical ways people can learn to manage and overcome these through self-help resources or professional support.
Agoraphobia is a fear of open spaces, being in places where one feels ‘trapped’ or unable to get help, such as in crowds, on a bus, or standing in a queue and leaving your house. A social phobia is an excessive fear of social or performance situations.
Phobias cause a number of reactions in response to the anxiety felt:
- Physical symptoms for example feeling dizzy, faint or panic attacks.
- Thoughts and feelings like ”I might make a fool of myself” and a sense of dread.
- Behaviours for example avoiding lecture rooms, staying in your room, which can affect your academic and social life if it continues.
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