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phobia

sam,

i have a massive phobia of christmas trees. they scare the hell out of me and i cant even enjoy christmas without worrying that the tree will fall down. my mum doesnt care so she puts one up anyway and its getting to the point where i am nearly 16 and im still drop dead scared of a tree. i dont know how to live around it or deal with it.

thank you

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Sam

Hi there,

Phobias can be difficult to live with, whatever they are. Fear of an object, or a situation, can have a big impact on a person’s life, but help and support is available.
People can have a whole range of different reactions to phobias, from feeling sick, to panic attacks and hot and cold flushes. This is the body reacting to the mind saying that there’s a danger.

Often when someone comes across the object or situation of their phobia, or even thinks about it, it can make them want to run away from it or avoid that situation. This can help people to feel calmer in that moment, but unfortunately by doing this the mind then continues to believe that it’s something to be scared of. And this doesn’t change that fear long term. Sometimes by avoiding the object of the phobia it can even make it worse.

Overcoming serious phobias can take time, but there is support out there. If a phobia has continued for a long time it can be helpful to talk to your doctor about it, so they could look at what might be able to help.

You may find it helpful to take a look at our anxiety page as there is a section on there about phobias. There is also a phobias page on Mind website with some techniques that can help you to make you feel more relaxed.

It can be really upsetting or frustrating when you have a phobia and others around you don’t understand how scared, stressed or anxious it makes you feel. It’s good to try to talk to people you trust about it and to explain fully how it makes you feel.

There are also some suggestions on what other young people have found helpful with their phobias on our messageboards.

Take care,
Sam

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