A phobia is an irrational and uncontrollable fear of an object or a situation that most people can face without anxiety. If you have a phobia you will experience feelings of intense panic when confronted with whatever it is that frightens you and you will go to considerable lengths to avoid the cause of such distress. Phobias are very common and wide-ranging and many people suffer from more than one.
Obsessions, like phobias, are irrational and uncontrollable. They seem to be more common than was recently thought; between one and three per cent of the population seeks treatment.
Obsessions appear as recurring thoughts or ideas which are frightening or distressing. Usually they are accompanied by ritual behaviour which is called compulsive as you cannot stop yourself.
Most people experience mild obsessions or preoccupations which may be accompanied by urges to count or check, pointing to some form of anxiety
Although there is no immediate cure for the unpleasant feelings that you may have, there are a number of different treatments which can help you to overcome your phobia or obsession, however, it is not possible to predict how long treatment will take as everyone’s problems are different.
(Taken in part from the Mind Understanding’ series of publications)