Having fears and phobias can be a debilitating, draining and a scary experience, having to avoid certain situations and feeling frightened by certain stimuli can cause physical, emotional and mental responses that can be linked from a past event or memory linked to it.

It is normal and even helpful to experience fear in dangerous situations. Fear has serves a protective purpose throughout evolution, activating the automatic “fight-or-flight” response from ‘caveman’ days. With our bodies and minds alert and ready for action, we are able to respond quickly and protect ourselves. But with phobias the threat is nonexistent or greatly exaggerated. For example, it is only natural to be afraid of a snarling Doberman, but it is irrational to be terrified of a friendly poodle on a leash, as you might be if you have a dog phobia. Or even the fear of the ocean or water, for example, could be from seeing the film Jaws as a child or a traumatic experience in earlier life, these are subconscious responses that can affect your life and wellbeing. Through bringing our unconscious triggers into state of consciousness – we then understand where the fears and phobias originated and then find ways to avoid the trigger or find a way to cope with the fear, rather than letting it control our lives.

so, what is Fear?

Fear is one of the most basic human emotions. It is programmed into the nervous system and works like an instinct. From the time we’re infants, we are equipped with the survival instincts necessary to respond with fear when we sense danger or feel unsafe.

and what is a Phobia?

A phobia is an intense fear reaction to a particular thing or a situation. With a phobia, the fear is out of proportion to the potential danger. But to the person with the phobia, the danger feels real because the fear is so very strong.

Here are some Tools to help with Fears and phobias:


Fear of Germs

Fear of Germs and Covid-19 Mysophobia is an extreme fear of germs. Also known as ‘Germaphobia’. You may go out of your way to avoid situations that expose you to germs. The phobia and steps you take to avoid it worsen over time. You may find yourself stuck in a cycle of repetitive behaviours that… Continue reading Fear of Germs

PTSD

PTSD How PTSD makes you feel: You may be reliving aspects of what happened This can include: vivid flashbacks (feeling like the trauma is happening right now) intrusive thoughts or images nightmares intense distress at real or symbolic reminders of the trauma physical sensations such as pain, sweating, nausea or trembling. Alertness or feeling on edge This… Continue reading PTSD

Ways to Overcome Fear Foods

Ways to Overcome Fear Foods Common fear foods include: cake, cookies, doughnuts, candy, ice cream, pasta, pizza, chips. Fear foods are taken to a whole new level when eating out. People struggling with eating disorders often want a sense of control that food can somehow provide for them. Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a newer… Continue reading Ways to Overcome Fear Foods

General Anxiety

General Anxiety People with Generalised Anxiety Disorder may: Worry excessively about everyday things Have trouble controlling their worries or feelings of nervousness Know that they worry much more than they should Feel restless and have trouble relaxing Have a hard time concentrating Startle easily Have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep Tire easily or feel… Continue reading General Anxiety

Fear of Leaving the House

Fear of Leaving the House Also known as Agoraphobia – is a type of anxiety disorder. A person with agoraphobia is afraid to leave environments they know or consider to be safe. What are the signs of Agoraphobia? Fast, pounding heart Sweating, trembling, shaking Breathing problems Feeling hot or cold Nausea or diarrhoea Chest pain Problems swallowing Dizziness or… Continue reading Fear of Leaving the House

I Can’t Visit their Grave

I can’t visit their Grave If you’re struggling to face visiting a loved ones grave, then you may need to look at all the reasons why visiting their grave may help you in the grieving process… Reasons why visiting your loved one’s grave will help you grieve… …does visiting the grave help us grieve? 1.… Continue reading I Can’t Visit their Grave

How COVID has affected my Mental Health

How COVID has affected my Mental Health How was mental health affected by the pandemic? Choose which of the following applies to you… Mental health support at university 392 young people answered questions about mental health support at their university: 34% felt confident that they can get mental health support at university if they need… Continue reading How COVID has affected my Mental Health

Fear of Needles

Fear of Needles Many people are afraid of injections to some extent, but once this fear becomes persistent, excessive and unreasonable, then this fear becomes a phobia. Injection phobia is the fear and avoidance of various types of injections, and/or blood sampling through venipuncture (piercing the finger). This is a special phobia, very common, but… Continue reading Fear of Needles

Fear of Animals

Fear of Animals Zoophobia is the fear of animals. It can refer to a fear of a specific animal or to a fear of all animals. Zoophobias are one of the most common types of specific phobia. The most common zoophobias are those to snakes and spiders. It’s okay to have some worries about animals, but… Continue reading Fear of Animals

Fear of Blood

Fear of Blood Why do I feel dizzy when I see blood? The medical term is called Vasovagal syncope, which occurs when you faint because your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. It may also be called neurocardiogenic syncope. The vasovagal syncope trigger causes your heart rate… Continue reading Fear of Blood

Fear of Confined Spaces

Fear of Confined Spaces Having a fear of enclosed spaces is called claustrophobia. Claustrophobia can cause people to avoid confined spaces, such as lifts, tunnels, tube trains, and public restrooms. This avoidance may further exacerbate the condition. Claustrophobia can originate from a one-time trauma of any age, developed when the person was a child (for… Continue reading Fear of Confined Spaces

Relationship Anxiety

Relationship Anxiety Learning how to Cope with Relationship Anxiety “Are they cheating on me?” “Are they really where they say they are?” “I only feel secure when we’re together, but feel extremely anxious when we’re apart”  In some cases, even after the exchange of “I love you” in the relationship, these questions still remain. If… Continue reading Relationship Anxiety

Fear of Abandonment

Fear of Abandonment The fear of being abandoned is an overwhelming worry, and people around you will leave.  Anyone can have a fear of being abandoned. It may be deeply rooted in your traumatic experiences as a child or painful relationships in adulthood. If you are afraid of being abandoned, it is can feel almost… Continue reading Fear of Abandonment

Internalised Homophobia

Internalised Homophobia By the end of this tool, you will hopefully understand what internalised homophobia is, how to recognise internalised homophobia in yourself and others and have some practical solutions to overcome it.   What it is and why people experience it Internalised homophobia occurs when a person is subject to society’s negative perceptions, intolerance,… Continue reading Internalised Homophobia

Fear of Sick

Fear of Sick Emetophobia Emetophobia is an extreme fear of vomiting, seeing vomit, watching other people vomit, or even feeling sick. It can affect people in lots of different ways, but if you think you may be struggling with emetophobia, you are not alone – help is available. Here are some peoples experiences: Anna, 23,… Continue reading Fear of Sick

Fear of Heights

Fear of Heights Acrophobia Acrophobia is an excessive fear of heights, manifested as severe anxiety. A person may have an attack while walking up stairs or climbing ladders. Sometimes the fear is so great that one cannot move. Acrophobia can create a dangerous situation for someone who has the fear of heights. How can I… Continue reading Fear of Heights

ideas

Get involved!

If you have ideas about other Tools like this, click here and contribute to the ToolBox.

feedback

Feedback

You can give us feedback about this tool by clicking here.

Your Safety

Your safety


Popular Tools

Funding Organisations

Those who continue to support
SAFA services

Subscribe to SAFA and get the latest news and event updates.