A specific phobia is an anxiety disorder that is based on a certain fear such as a fear of spiders or flying. It is irrational, intense and persistent and often related to experiences in childhood. Specific phobias are so intense that they can bring on panic attacks. Although the object may not be in the vicinity of the suffer fear may still be felt – just the mere thought that it might be around or might happen in the future can bring on an attack.

There are a myriad of phobias, each with their own name – from the more commonly known fear of spiders, mice etc to a fear of food or heaven.

Phobic fears tend to fall into five main categories. These are relating to animals, natural environments, blood and injury and situational. Treatment is not always necessary if you are able to avoid the scared situation, such as avoiding flying. However, it is not always so simple and is very restrictive. Once the phobia begins to disrupted your daily life you should see your doctor for treatment options.

Although figures show that in America alone there are over 6 million suffers from specific phobias it is also known that many do not seek professional help. However the prospects of treating this condition are particularly good.

One of the best known treatments for specific phobias is behavioral therapy. This is where the person is slowly exposed to the object or situation with pictures or visualization. Virtual reality is a reliably new treatment and has been known to be particularly helpful in overcoming certain specific phobias.

If a specific phobia is ruining your life you should seek professional help. Ask for tips in helping to overcome panic attacks or healthy ways in which to avoid objects or situations that cause the attacks. Even if you may never be “cured” from your specific phobia, it is possible to reduce the fear enough to be able to live normally and lead a productive and fulfilling life.