Specific Phobia is the intense fear and dread of a particular thing or a particular situation. The fear is not usual fear, but an intense irrational fear that completely takes them over. The phobia can be related to a variety of things. It could be a phobia of a particular animal say a dog or spiders (arachnophobia). Natural environment phobias like a fear of heights (acrophobia) or thunder and lightning. Medical related phobias for example blood or needles. Situational phobias are also common especially a fear of being in a confined closed space (claustrophobia) or the dark. The person with the phobia knows their fear is totally irrational, however they are completely unable to do anything about it.
The individual will try to avoid their specific phobia if at all possible, however when faced with no alternative but to face it head on their reaction will be extreme stress, anxiety, panic and terror. This can then result in them having a panic attack where they will display symptoms of increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea and trembling.
Specific Phobia can interfere with the normal day to day running of people’s lives. The anxiety, fear, avoidance and distress can affect a person’s job, home life as well as their social life.