A phobia is not just a fear, but a really strong fear that generally affects someone’s life in an adverse manner. The fear could be of anything, however, some fears are more common than others such as snakes, spiders, vomit, the dark, going out, thunder and lightning, heights, needles and many more.  Other less common phobias could be buttons or Velcro. A psychotherapist at the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, Peter Kolb, recently told the Surrey Comet newspaper:

“We are all afraid of things but this is a reaction which is out of keeping with the item.  The worst case I have seen was someone with a bird phobia. If she was anywhere near a bird she would perspire unbelievably. There was hair matted on her face.  People have to realise that these people are petrified. Some years back there was a woman with a spider phobia who climbed out of a window and actually fell to avoid a spider.  People have tried to get out of their cars while they are moving because a wasp has got in.  It’s a level of fear that takes precedence over everything else. They are so afraid of that item that it overlays other things that the rest of us would say are very hazardous.”

There are different methods that can be tried to overcome phobias.  Sometimes a phobia can be removed completely and other times it will just be reduced to a more healthy level.  For instance, a fear of snakes is perfectly natural to some degree.  Methods that have had proven success rates in the past include hypnotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which have been known to cure a phobia in as little as one session.