Phobias are characterised by feelings of fear or anxiety triggered by particular situations or objects. These situations do not cause anxiety to everyone, although it is little help to sufferers in realising that others do not regard the situation as being dangerous or threatening.

Getting lives back on track

Reactions to phobias will often lead to avoidance of the feared situation. These responses can be quite severe and range from a person being initially conscious of their phobia, to it becoming second nature - without them necessarily realising the extent to which it has changed their life. The feared situation may not be avoided entirely, but will trigger anxiety in anticipation of the situation, even before it is encountered, and a sense of enduring it with discomfort.