(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
Agoraphobia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 9. Updated November 8, 2012. Accessed February 24, 2014.
Anxiety and stressor-related disorders. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric%5Fdisorders/anxiety%5Fand%5Fstressor-related%5Fdisorders/overview%5Fof%5Fanxiety%5Fdisorders.html. Updated November 2012. Accessed June 4, 2013.
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/conditions/phobias. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Phobias and fears. Help Guide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/phobias-and-fears.htm. Updated May 2013. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Social anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 9. Updated July 1, 2013. Accessed February 24, 2014.
Specific phobia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 9. Updated March 13, 2013. Accessed February 24, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015 -
- Update Date: 06/20/2013 -