You probably are very aware if you struggle with a "phobia." But let's clearly define the difference between a true phobia, and just not liking something. (I don't like spiders, but I don't consider this to be a phobia for me.)
What is a phobia?
A phobia falls under the category of anxiety disorders and is defined by the American Psychological Association as follows: "a marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation." The following symptoms are associated with it: "The object or situation (1) almost always provokes immediate fear or anxiety; (2) is actively avoided or endured with intense fear or anxiety." "The fear or anxiety (1) is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the object or situation; (2) is persistent, 6+ months. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes clinically significant distress / impairment" in important areas of functioning."
How common are phobias?
Phobias are not uncommon in the U.S. The American Association of Anxiety & Depression reports that "specific phobias affect 19 million adults, or 8.7% of the U.S. population." Some of the more common phobias include fear of some type of animal or insect, heights, storms, needles or injections, airplanes, or elevators.
Are phobias treatable?
Phobias are treatable. I treat them using EMDR therapy. Please refer to my page on EMDR for more information on this form of therapy.
So, if you are tired of taking 7 flights of stairs rather than using the elevator, or driving 1,500 miles rather than flying to get there, or being overcome with anxiety and panic every time there is a Texas storm, reach out for the help that is available to you.