Anxiety, Phobias and Irrational Fears

20% of Australians will suffer a mental health problem at some stage in their life.
Source: ABC News February 10, 2006.

12% experience an anxiety disorder (some think this could be understated).
Source: The 9am Show, May 16, 2006.




This is a large topic.. there are numerous anxieties, phobias, fears, panics etc.  The first thing we recommend is to establish the extent and nature of your problem from an expert, before you can proceed to fixing it.

There are food additives and colorings (etc) that are associated with anxiety, restlessness and anxious thought processes.  Please refer to the Factsheets section on the Food Intolerance Website to find out more.

There are definitely natural solutions that help anxiety and phobias, including a daily walk, meditation, etc.

Please enter the word anxiety into the search bar at the top of the home page to retrieve all mentions of the word anxiety from this website.

Anxiety was also discussed at length in a number of the webinar training weeks of the Sleep With The Experts training program


We recommend you buy The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. After receiving the book, you can assess your situation from the very expert advice of Edmund J. Bourne
PH. D.  This self-help workbook contains self-diagnosis questionnaires, numerous strategies, definitions, life-events surveys, anxiety symptoms and much more.  Enough for you to get a very good start on where to proceed to from here.  The book is extensive, informative, but simply written and powerfully useful.  Good luck.

For those of you that know exactly what the problem is, and are dealing with it, we can also recommend the other products listed below including the book The Power of Tapping (which uses Emotional Freedom Techniques), and the Anxiety-Free Paraliminal CD.


General (or generalized) anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by excessive and uncontrollable worry about everyday things.  The frequency, intensity, and duration of the worry are disproportionate to the actual source of worry, and such worry often interferes with daily functioning.

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by chronic anxiety that persists for at least six months but is unaccompanied by panic attacks, phobias, or obsessions.  In additional to frequent worry, generalized anxiety disorder involves having at least three of the following six symptoms:  restlessness (feeling keyed up), being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, difficulties with sleep.  Source The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook


  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,
  • Anxiety Disorders,
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder,
  • Acute Stress Disorder,
  • Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder,
  • Anxiety Disorder due to a General Medical Condition,
  • Agrophobia without a history of Panic Disorder.


A phobia is a persistent and unreasonable fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that results in a compelling desire to avoid that dreaded object, activity, or situation.

They are different to everyday fears in that they are:

  • persistent (over a long period of time),
  • you know they are unreasonable (and that doesn’t help), and
  • you avoid the feared situation.


  • Simple Phobia
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social Phobia – (apparently about 13-14% of the population suffer from this)
  • Claustrophobia (dread of confined spaces)
  • Acrophobia (fear of heights)
  • Elevator phobia (fear of cables breaking, getting stuck, etc.)
  • Phobias of Thunder and/or Lightening
  • Fear of the dark
  • Fear of animals and insects (including spiders)
  • Fear of certain weather conditions (such as wind)… and many, many more.

Some of the more obscure phobias include fear of feathers, fear of balloons, fear of music, fear of bridges, fear of restaurants….

The reasons why people have certain phobias cannot be clearly stated, they often know they are irrational, but that doesn’t help with the fear, or dread, of a particular situation.? People with a particular phobia avoid those situations, and are aware of avoiding them all the time (24/7!).  Phobias can be VERY debilitating.

Phobias are a mental disability, and they can be treated – by graded desensitisation.  The brains of people with phobias have been studied and they do indicate specific activity around the phobia – their brains work differently.

Phobias can be genetic, they can also originate from a past trauma (whether remembered or not), they can be learned (e.g. from parents phobias), and they generally get progressively worse over time.  They do persist without treatment.

Ignoring a phobia won’t make it go away or improve.  Some phobias can lead to others if left untreated.  e.g.  A phobia about the wind might develop into a phobia about going outside, and perhaps social phobia (because of the avoidance of going out at all).

Deal with your children’s phobias early.  Do not let them develop.  There is some evidence, for example, that fear of the dark in children might be a forerunner to depression as they get older.  If phobias are treated early it will reduce the impact on their lives.

The topic of Anxiety and Phobias is broad and detailed.  We can do no better than to refer you to the excellent book The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook.

This book is one of the very best products we have in our catalogue.  It is detailed, simply written and direct.  It has many practical sections such as self-diagnosis questionnaires, numerous strategies, information, predisposing causes, a family background questionnaire, life events survey, anxiety symptoms, references to other expert reading, other surveys, explanations, affirmations, guidelines, plans of action, tips on how to be assertive, dealing with anger, self esteem, information on food allergies, how to optimize the anxiety-reducing effects of exercise, appropriate supplementation, and many, many other practical and helpful ideas.

We think it’s a must read for anyone, anxiety and phobias or not!  Pages 350 – 358 are specifically dedicated to sleeplessness (insomnia).  432 pages of fantastic information.  A contribution to society.

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook includes chapters on the following topics (and more):
Anxiety Disorders;  Major Causes of Anxiety Disorders; Recovery:  A Comprehensive Approach; Relaxation;  Coping with Panic Attacks; Help for Phobias;  Self-Talk;  Mistaken Beliefs;  Personality Styles that Perpetuate Anxiety;  Expressing Your Feelings;  Asserting Yourself;  Nutrition;  Medication;  Health Conditions that may Contribute to Anxiety.

Learning to Relax


Anxiety Disorders Alliance

Phone: (02) 9879 5351

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Anxiety Network International

This site covers panic disorder, social anxiety, disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, etc.

Obsessive Compulsive Foundation

Sane Mental Illness Helpline

Phone: Freecall 1800 688 382

Triumph over OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and Phobias (TOP)
Phone: (02) 9879 5351

Mental Health Information Service

Phone: (02) 9816 5688

Eating Disorders Foundation

Phone: (02) 9412 4499

The Anxiety Panic Internet Resource (TAPIR)

Search engine for anxiety, panic, trauma, stress, obsessive compulsive disorder, and so on.