Is your phobia having a negative effect on your mental health?
What is mental health? Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. People sometimes use the term “mental health” to mean the absence of a mental disorder.
Conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety can all affect mental health and disrupt a person’s routine.
What is a phobia? an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something
There are different types of phobia:
• Simple phobias: These might involve a disproportionate fear of specific objects, scenarios, or animals. A fear of spiders is a common example.
• Social phobia: Sometimes known as social anxiety, this is a fear of being subject to the judgment of others. People with social phobia often restrict their exposure to social environments.
• Agoraphobia: This term refers to a fear of situations in which getting away may be difficult, such as being in an elevator or moving train. Many people misunderstand this phobia as a fear of being outside.
Phobias are deeply personal, and doctors do not know every type. There could be thousands of phobias, and what might seem unusual to one person may be a severe problem that dominates daily life for another.
All phobias can limit your daily activities and may cause severe anxiety and depression. Complex phobias, such as agoraphobia and social phobia, are more likely to cause these symptoms.
People with phobias often purposely avoid coming into contact with the thing that causes them fear and anxiety. For example, someone with a fear of spiders (arachnophobia) may not want to touch a spider or even look at a picture of one.
In some cases, a person can develop a phobia where they become fearful of experiencing anxiety itself because it feels so uncomfortable.
You don’t have to be in the situation you’re fearful of to experience the symptoms of panic. The brain is able to create a reaction to fearsome situations even when you aren’t actually in the situation.
Although feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, see a GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or causing you distress.
Watch out for more of our blogs where I talk of my own phobia and my experiences with it since childhood and how I have managed it.