What are you afraid of? Dr Dawn Harper sheds light on listeners' phobias

What are you afraid of? Dr Dawn Harper sheds light on listeners' phobias

Dr Dawn Harper

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dr Dawn Harper became a medical agony aunt this morning as she helped some of our listeners with their phobias on the Paul Ross Full Set Breakfast show. 

The doctor and TV presenter was on the show to do the newspaper review when Paul spoke to two callers, Ivan from Lewisham and Alicia from Staffordshire. Ivan suffers from a fear of heights, which started on his first flight when he was 14 years old.

In addition to a fear of flights, Alicia has a fear of planes themselves. On one occasion, she burst into tears when a plane flew overhead as her train passed Birmingham International Airport.  

Dr Harper said:  "Often we can identify a particular event, it may be deeply buried in your subconscious, but there is often an event [that causes these phobias]. It may be Alicia heard something as a child and has a deep-rooted anxiety."

Alicia told Paul and Dr Harper she's had those fears for as long as she could remember, and her mother shares the exact same phobias. 

"I do think we learn a lot of behavior from our parents," Dr Harper added. "I always say to people, 'your kids will do what you do much quicker than they'll do what you say'. It may be Alicia doesn't want to go on holiday on a plane, but this sounds like it's greater than that. If this is impacting her just being near a plane, then it's affecting her daily quality of life."

She advised Alicia that psychotherapy and hypnotherapy might work to manage this phobia.