A phobia is a fear which is unreasonable in its degree or nature, yet so powerful that the person tries to avoid the feared object or situation or becomes extremely anxious, even panic-stricken, if forced to confront it. The person suffering from the phobia often becomes anxious simply at the thought of the feared object or situation.
Fears include situations, natural phenomena and objects, with the fear being excessive or unreasonable in some way.
Specific Phobias and Other Phobias
Some phobias have been classified in categories of their own. For example, agoraphobia, which is the fear of being in a place or situation from which escape may be difficult or help may not be available in the event of sudden illness or a panic attack has been given a category all of its own.
An individual who has a specific phobia disorder experiences significant and persistent fear when in the presence of, or anticipating the presence of the place, situation or object of fear. It is possible to have more than one type of phobia.
• An out of proportion fear within the environment
• Exposure to the phobic stimulus provokes an immediate anxiety response, which may result in a panic attack.
• Recognition that the fear is out of proportion.
• The phobic situation(s) is avoided or endured with intense anxiety or distress.
• The avoidance, anxious anticipation or distress in the feared situation(s) interferes significantly with the person’s life, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.
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