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.
- The fear or anxiety is extreme compared to the actual danger that can be caused by the object or situation.
- The fear or anxiety must last for at least 6 months.
- 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)