While general anxiety can involve fears related to a number of different situations, a phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that relates to once specific fear. When someone has a phobia they are dealing with an extreme and irrational fear about a situation, living creature, place or object. Their fear around this particular thing can build up to the point where they may have a panic attack in its presence or even feel anxious at the thought of their phobia.
Phobias can cause a person extreme distress and make it hard for them to function in their daily life because of their intense fears. A person that struggles with a phobia can have a hard time overcoming their feelings even though they often aware that their fear is irrational. They can have a number of uncomfortable physical reactions when they are in the presence of their phobia including sweating, chest pains, pins and needles and increased heart rate.
When dealing with a phobia the person will feel an uncontrollable sensation of anxiety and a feeling that their source of fear must be avoided at all costs. In moments when they are around their trigger they usually will not be able to function normally and it can stop them from following through on important tasks. The stress that they experience can even cause other mental health problems such as depression.
In order to overcome a specific phobia, the person must go through gradual exposure therapy and work through their anxieties. They will need to find strategies to handle their anxiety as they grow accustomed to the idea of their phobia and exposure to it in controlled situations. The only way to overcome phobias is to confront them slowly with the help of a professional therapist.