(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
- Brain chemicals
- Traumatic experiences
- Having intense feelings of panic and extreme anxiety when exposed to the fear
- Being afraid that you are 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 medication
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 March 6, 2013.
Phobias. Mental Health America website. Available at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/phobias. Accessed March 6, 2013.
Phobias and fears. Help Guide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/phobia%5Fsymptoms%5Ftypes%5Ftreatment.htm. Updated February 2013. Accessed March 6, 2013.
Specific phobia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated Novembe 9, 2012. Accessed March 6, 2013.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 02/2013 -
- Update Date: 03/06/2013 -