Phobia What is a phobia? A phobia is a fear that causes us difficulty in an area of our life, or in our day to day functioning. For example, a fear of needles becomes a phobia when we are unable to have important vaccinations or blood tests. Phobias are extremely common. Sometimes they start in childhood for no apparent reason and sometimes they emerge after a traumatic event. Phobias cause us to feel intense fear and to do our utmost to avoid the feared object or situation Some common phobias seen in the student counselling service include a fear of blood, needles, vomiting, of birds, of closed spaces (claustrophobia) or of social or performance situations (social phobia). Support and Information You might want to consider getting help with your phobia if: It interferes with your ability to lead a full, normal life. It causes you to experience a lot of anxiety or distress and you seem to be feeling like this often. You are avoiding situations that matter. You suffer from overwhelming blushing/trembling/sweating in social situations Sources of support and information: If you struggling with a phobia and would like to speak to a Counsellor, please contact us or make an appointment to see your GP. Anxiety UK (formerly the National Phobics’ Society) is a charity which offers information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services. Triumph Over Phobia is a charity which aims to help sufferers of phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and other related anxiety to overcome their fears and become ex-sufferers. They do this by running a network of self-help therapy groups.