A specific phobia is an anxiety or fear linked to a specific situation or trigger.
They are excessive, irrational, but persistent, fears that can interfere with the way people live their lives.
Most people have some form of phobia or fear, for example flying, spiders, snakes or heights. However people are either able to manage them or avoid the situations that trigger them. For some other people the phobias can cause much more of a problem. For example:
• avoiding walking down the street because of a fear of dogs
• avoiding needles and injections even when ill
• avoiding certain types of food
When exposed to the trigger you might experience symptoms including:
• Rapid heart rate
• Churning stomach
• Shortness of breath
• Sweating / trembling
• Feelings of being overwhelmed / out of control
• Confused thinking
The Steps to Wellbeing Service provides treatment that has been shown to be effective in treating phobias and reducing the impact they have on an individual’s life.
If you are feeling very distressed, despairing or suicidal and need immediate help please contact your GP and request an emergency appointment, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
If your GP surgery is not open, you can contact the NHS Out of Hours Medical Service on 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. If you feel at harm to yourself or from other – go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
If you are concerned that someone else is very distressed and might be considering suicide please encourage them to contact their GP and make an emergency appointment. Alternatively you might wish to encourage them to speak to the Samaritans on 116 123.
If you are concerned that someone is about to act on thoughts of hurting themselves you might wish help them attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. Alternatively, you may choose to contact the Police on 999.
Similarly, if you become concerned that someone is at risk of hurting somebody else
If you feel you need to talk to someone in confidence, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:
Tel: 116 123
(TEXT MESSAGE ONLY number available on 07725 909090)
There are also local Samaritans branches across Hampshire and Dorset.