More than two million Britons suffer from phobias and although they are often ridiculed and belittled, they can dominate sufferers lives.
Tina Crawford, a 38-year old television researcher had such a phobia of butterflies and moths that she planned a winter wedding, knowing she'd be less likely to face the insects at that time of year.
"I kept the windows shut in summer and was frightened to go out of the house," she was cited as saying in the Daily Express. Simply looking at a butterfly in a picture was enough to cause the mum of one to be sick.
Her fear was so dominate it even influenced her holiday destinations. "We even arranged holidays to cold places, where there was less chance of coming across them," she added.
Phobias are intense fears that appear irrational to others, but interfere with the sufferers daily life. The exact cause of phobias are still unknown, but experts believe they are a combination of genetics, environmental triggers and learnt behaviour. It is estimated that one in 10 Britons will suffer from a phobia at some point in their lives and women are twice as likely to be affected than men.
Common phobias include a fear of heights, clowns, spiders and snakes, but there are also the more unusual fears of buttons, balloons, coat hangers and fruit. There are a number of treatments available for phobia sufferers including hypnotherapy, acupuncture, regression therapy and in more extreme cases prescribed medication.
Hypnotherapy and regression therapy offer patients the most long term solution. In the sessions, therapists talk through past experiences involving the phobia, in an effort to understand what triggers the patients fear.