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This content is taken from the University of Groningen, University of Cambridge & University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)'s online course, Young People and Their Mental Health. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds TINEKE OLDEHINKEL: Phobias can develop at a very young age. Toddlers can already have extreme fears, especially for certain animals and thunderstorms. We don’t know very well what causes a phobia. Everyone can get one, but some people are more likely than others to develop a phobia. If you are fearful in general, you are also more likely to get a phobia. Suppose you have a phobia. How do you get rid of it? Sometimes phobias disappear as time goes by. Then you grow over it. If that doesn’t happen, you can be treated. In general, phobias can be treated very well. The usual treatment of phobia consists of slowly getting used to what you fear. Imagine that you are afraid of spiders.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second In that case, you might first see a picture of a tiny spider again and again until that doesn’t scare you anymore. Then the spider gets a bit bigger, and the picture may become a movie, and so on, until you are used to being close to a spider or even touch a spider without freaking out.

How do you get a phobia and how do you get rid of it?

In this video Tineke Oldehinkel explains that some people are more susceptible to getting a phobia than others, and that most of the times a phobia can be treated well.

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Young People and Their Mental Health

University of Groningen

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