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Phobias are defined as the irrational fear of an object or situation. These fears are often caused by traumatic experiences, for example: getting stuck in an elevator may cause the fear of small, closed spaces. This person will actively avoid anything that could potentially result in being confined in a small, closed space. The fear of small, closed spaces is called Claustrophobia, and it is relatively common.
Other common phobias include:
These fears can become debilitating, and even paralyzing. For someone suffering from a phobia, their reactions may seem similar to those suffering from a panic attack with symptoms that may include:
Therapy plays an important part in overcoming phobias, it can be significantly useful to help explore why the particular phobia developed and when this occurred. Dr. Koller explores this with his patients and helps them develop skills which assist in coping with their phobias, should they ever face them. He does this in a safe, secure environment where the patient can feel as relaxed as possible.