Specific Phobia

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A specific phobia is a type of anxiety disorder where one would experience intense or irrational fear of  a specific object, situation, activity or person. The specific object or situation always produces fear or anxiety and the person actively seeks to avoid the object or situation.

  1. The fear or anxiety is extreme compared to the actual danger that can be caused by the object or situation.
  2. The fear or anxiety must last for at least 6 months.
  3. The fear or anxiety causes impairment in your everyday functioning.

There are five different types of specific phobia.

  • Animal phobias (snakes, spiders, dogs)
  • Phobias of the Natural Environment (heights, hurricanes, thunderstorms, darkness, germs)
  • Situational phobias (airplanes, driving over a bridge, going to the dentist, MRI machine).
  • Body based phobias (fear of seeing blood, receiving a blood test or shot, childbirth, medical procedures)
  • Other Types (e.g., phobic avoidance of situations that may lead to choking, vomiting, or contracting an illness; in children, avoidance of loud sounds like balloons popping)


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