Most of us have things we are afraid of, things that make us nervous. Heights, spiders, or small dark spaces are all things that can make many feel uneasy and things that we may try to avoid. However, having a specific phobia is very different and is characterised by having an extreme and persistent fear of a specific object or situation that is out of proportion to the actual danger or threat.

Phobias can develop around a wide range of contexts such as flying, going to the dentist, being in spaces that are difficult to exit, encountering specific animals, and also in response to a wide array of objects, such as needles, vomit or blood, including less obviously provoking, seemingly harmless, objects too.