23 September 2021


Phobias are persistent and extreme fears that present as a traumatic reaction to an otherwise safe event or situation. A phobia may be indicated by a strong desire to avoid the situation and, in some cases, an inability to function at your normal level while completing tasks (such as a job or a social situation).

Phobias are a common anxiety disorder, other anxiety disorders include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and generalised anxiety disorder. What makes phobias particularly interesting, is that usually a phobia relates to something specific. People can be affected by phobias specific to certain animals, mainly spiders, snakes, and sharks, or to situational events like travelling on aeroplanes, or by sea, a fear of heights, or a fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia). Sometimes phobias can be caused by a previous traumatic experience. Phobias range in presentation from the mild to the extreme, and while they can seem life threatening, they most often can be resolved. There are a range of behavioural and cognitive therapies available to manage phobias and general anxiety issues. If you feel you have issues with anxiety that may be problematic, talk to your G.P. We have several services on the Island that may be utilised to help you manage anxieties, we also have access to telehealth resources. Anxiety plays an important functional role in our wellbeing, sometimes it can get a little out of hand, and that’s o.k.,


As always, check for any danger to yourself, or the casualty.

If the patient is unconscious, call triple zero (000) immediately.

If the patient is not breathing, begin CPR.

For more information about phobias and other anxiety disorders




If you are interested in becoming a St John volunteer or, for more information about St John Norfolk or first aid training, please email norfolk.island@stjohnnsw.com.au or james.garden@stjohnnsw.com.au