Phobias are essentially irrational fears that we can develop, often as a reaction to being under severe stress, following an acute panic attack in a specific situation, such as a supermarket, crowded shop, bus, train, underground or lift.
Agoraphobia, which is a fear of open spaces, is extremely common in women and this prevents them from leading normal lives, because they avoid going into situations which make them feel anxious, which increasingly limits their lifestyle.
Social phobia is more common in men and in these situations, the man is frightened of public speaking, authority figures and social situations.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a way of modifying the response to the phobia and is often carried out in a slow ‘step-ladder’ approach to gradually reverse the phobia. The person has to pursue increasingly more difficult tasks, whilst using relaxation therapy, to help to cope with their symptoms.
Our consultant psychiatrists will be able to help determine the best course of treatment for each individual as well as looking at prescribing any appropriate medication to help with relieving the anxiety caused by the phobia.