(Specific Phobia; Simple Phobia)
- Agoraphobia —Fear of being trapped in places or situations where escape could be difficult or impossible
- Social phobia —Fear of social situations and being judged or evaluated by others
- Specific phobia—Fear of a specific object or a situation
- You have an immediate family member with a phobia.
- You have a significant stressful event in your past such as trauma, family difficulties, or physical illness
- Having intense feelings of panic and extreme anxiety when exposed to the phobia
- Being afraid that you are going to be hurt, losing control, going crazy, or dying
- Having a feeling of unreality or being detached from your body
- Being aware that the fear is abnormal, but not being able to control your reaction
- Feeling the desire to flee from your fear or taking extreme steps to avoid it
- Experiencing fear that interferes with your daily activities
- Racing, pounding, or skipping heartbeat
- Difficulty catching your breath
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Lightheadedness, feeling faint
- Tingling or numbness in parts of the body
- Hot or cold flashes
- Shaking or trembling
|Physical Effects of Anxiety|
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- Exposure therapy—confront your fear in a planned and controlled way with a therapist. It may begin with thinking about the fear and slowly progress to being exposed to it. You may also learn relaxation techniques. These help to reduce panic and anxiety.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy —work with your therapist to learn strategies to cope with your fear. You learn to change your beliefs and thoughts surrounding the fear and how it affects your life.
- Anti-anxiety medications
American Psychiatric Association http://www.psychiatry.org
Anxiety and Depression Association of America http://www.adaa.org
Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada http://www.anxietycanada.ca
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org
Phobias. American Psychiatric Association website. Available at: http://www.psychiatry.org/phobias . Accessed June 4, 2013.
Phobias. Mental Health America website. Available at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/phobias . Accessed June 4, 2013.
Phobias and fears. Help Guide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/phobia%5Fsymptoms%5Ftypes%5Ftreatment.htm . Updated May 2013. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Phobic disorders. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric%5Fdisorders/anxiety%5Fdisorders/phobic%5Fdisorders.html . Updated November 2012. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Specific phobia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated March 13, 2013. Accessed February 24, 2014. Agoraphobia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated November 8, 2012. Accessed February 24, 2014. Social anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated July 1, 2013. Accessed February 24, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 06/20/2013 -