But people with specific phobias, or strong irrational fear reactions, work hard to While some phobias develop in childhood, most seem to arise unexpectedly. A specific phobia is a type of anxiety disorder defined as an extreme, irrational fear of or aversion to something. Find DSM criteria & treatment. The term "phobia" refers to a group of anxiety symptoms brought on by certain objects or situations. A specific phobia, formerly called a simple.
Your doctor may ask:. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Diagnosis Diagnosis of specific phobias is based on a thorough clinical interview and diagnostic guidelines. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic.
American Psychiatric Association; Specific phobias fact sheet. National Institute of Mental Illness. Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version. What are anxiety disorders? This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Specific phobias are an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of objects or situations that pose little real danger but provoke anxiety and avoidance. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic.
American Psychiatric Association; Specific phobias fact sheet. National Institute of Mental Illness. Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version.
What are anxiety disorders? Overview of fears and specific phobias in children and adolescents. Sawchuk CN expert opinion. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Two theories have been proposed to show this pairing. The most common theory is when a specific event that provokes fear or anxiety is paired with an emotional experience. An example of this would be in which a specific event such as driving is paired with an emotional experience such as an accident. As a result, a person is susceptible to a permanent emotional association between driving or cars and fear or anxiety.
Although a person may not experience a panic attack or meet the criteria for a panic disorder, they may develop a generalized fear that is expressed as having a specific phobia. A bimodal distribution of onset can be seen with specific phobias.
Animal phobia, natural environment phobia, and blood injection injury type of phobia tend to have a childhood peak, whereas, there is an early adulthood peak for situational phobia. Behavior therapy is the most effective treatment for phobias is behavioral therapy. This includes systematic desensitization and flooding. In methodical desensitization, the patient is exposed to a list of stimuli ranking from the least to the most anxiety provoking.
With this method, patients are taught various techniques to deal with anxiety such as relaxation, breathing control, and cognitive approaches. The cognitive behavioral approach includes reinforcing the realization that the phobic stimulus is safe. As the patient masters these techniques, they are taught to use them in the face of anxiety-provoking stimuli and induce relaxation.
As the patients become desensitized to each stimulus on the scale, they keep moving up until the most anxiety-provoking stimuli no longer elicit any fear or anxiety. Patients with a blood injection injury phobia are advised to tense their bodies and remain seated during the exposure to avoid the possibility of fainting from a vasovagal reaction.
Also, beta blockers and benzodiazepines can be used in patients when the phobia is associated with panic attacks. Flooding, also known as implosion, is another behavioral technique that can be used to treat specific phobias.
This technique involves increasing exposure to the stimulus to induce habituation and decrease anxiety. Other forms of treatment that may also be considered are virtual therapy in which patient is exposed to or interact with the phobic object or situation on the computer screen. This field of treatment is relatively new and requires more research.
Other treatment modalities include hypnosis, supportive therapy, and family therapy. The goal of all 3 forms of therapy is to help the patient recognize that the feared stimulus is not dangerous and to provide emotional support. Patients are advised to see a psychiatrist when symptoms are affecting their daily activities and quality of life.
The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other relevant areas of functioning. To access free multiple choice questions on this topic, click here.
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What are Specific Phobias?
A specific phobia is any kind of anxiety disorder that amounts to an unreasonable or irrational fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations. As a result. A phobia is an intense and unreasonable fear of a specific object or situation. This means having an extreme anxiety response towards something that is not. People with specific phobias are often aware that their fears are exaggerated or irrational, but feel their reaction is automatic or uncontrollable.