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Social Anxiety Disorder. National Health Service. Symptoms of Agoraphobia. More in Phobias.

Prevalence of Specific Phobia Among Adults

Phobic reactions to what triggers your social phobia may include:. Maladaptive thoughts during a phobic reaction to agoraphobia can include:. I'm losing my sanity. I might lose control and have an obvious phobic reaction in public and others may stare. I won't be able to get out of here if I start to have a phobic reaction. Certain behaviors are characteristic of agoraphobia, including:. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback!

Email Address Sign Up There was an error. What are your concerns? Hypnotherapy can be used alone and in conjunction with systematic desensitization to treat phobias. The phobia may be caused by a past event that the patient does not remember, a phenomenon known as repression. The mind represses traumatic memories from the conscious mind until the person is ready to deal with them. Hypnotherapy may also eliminate the conditioned responses that occur during different situations. Patients are first placed into a hypnotic trance, an extremely relaxed state [44] in which the unconscious can be retrieved.

This state makes patients more open to suggestion, which helps bring about desired change. Phobias are a common form of anxiety disorder , and distributions are heterogeneous by age and gender. Between 4 percent and 10 percent of all children experience specific phobias during their lives, [12] and social phobias occur in one percent to three percent of children and adolescents.

A Swedish study found that females have a higher incidence than males In popular culture, it is common for specific phobias to have names based on a Greek word for the object of the fear, plus the suffix -phobia. Creating these terms is something of a word game. Few of these terms are found in medical literature. The word phobia may also refer to conditions other than true phobias. For example, the term hydrophobia is an old name for rabies , since an aversion to water is one of that disease's symptoms.

A specific phobia to water is called aquaphobia instead. A hydrophobe is a chemical compound that repels water. Similarly, the term photophobia usually refers to a physical complaint aversion to light due to inflamed eyes or excessively dilated pupils , rather than an irrational fear of light. A number of terms with the suffix -phobia are used non-clinically to imply irrational fear or hatred. Examples include:. Usually these kinds of "phobias" are described as fear, dislike, disapproval, prejudice , hatred , discrimination or hostility towards the object of the "phobia".

Xenophobia is often used for irrational hate as well. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the clinical psychology. For other uses, see Phobia disambiguation. See also: Social anxiety disorder. Main article: List of phobias. The Psychiatric Clinics of North America. March Archived from the original on 27 July Retrieved 27 July CNS Drugs.

Archived from the original on 14 July Retrieved 26 July Depress Anxiety. Diseases of the Human Body. Philadelphia, PA: F. Davis Company. Washington D. Archived from the original on Retrieved Psychological Medicine. Fear and Courage. Molecular Psychiatry. Retrieved April 25, Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

What causes phobias?

Phelps Psychological Science. Archived PDF from the original on Psychological Review. National Institutes of Health. A review with emphasis on the neurobiological influences". Nord J Psychiatry. Bear; Barry W. Connors; Michael A. Paradiso, eds. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain 3rd ed. Trends Cogn Sci. Neural Plasticity. Whalen; Elizabeth A. Phelps, eds. The Human Amygdala. New York: The Guilford Press.

Phobias - specific phobias, agoraphobia, & social phobia

Retrieved 19 February Behaviour Research and Therapy. Antony; David H. Barlow Mastering your fears and phobias. US: Oxford University Press. You and Neurosis. Child-focused treatment of anxiety. Kazdin, J. Weisz Eds. Treatment of social anxiety disorder. Reinecke, F. Dattilio, A. Freeman Eds. Journal of Anxiety Disorders.

British Medical Journal. Many childhood fears are natural and tend to develop at specific ages. For example, many young children are afraid of the dark and may need a nightlight to sleep.

Specific Phobia

In most cases, they will grow out of this fear as they get older. These include fear of choking, fear of getting a disease such as cancer, and fear of clowns. Social phobia , also called social anxiety disorder , is fear of social situations where you may be embarrassed or judged. If you have social phobia, then you may be excessively self-conscious and afraid of humiliating yourself in front of others. Fear of public speaking—an extremely common phobia—is a type of social phobia.

Other fears associated with social phobia include fear of eating or drinking in public, talking to strangers, taking exams, mingling at a party, or being called on in class. Agoraphobia was traditionally thought to involve a fear of public places and open spaces, but is now believed to develop as a complication of panic attacks.

You may also avoid cars, airplanes, subways, and other forms of travel. In more severe cases, you might only feel safe at home. The symptoms of a phobia can range from mild feelings of apprehension and anxiety to a full-blown panic attack. Your fear will also be higher if getting away is difficult. The symptoms of blood-injection-injury phobia are slightly different from other phobias.

When confronted with the sight of blood or a needle, you experience not only fear, but also disgust. Like other phobias, you initially feel anxious as your heart speeds up. However, unlike other phobias, this acceleration is followed by a quick drop in blood pressure, which leads to nausea, dizziness, and fainting.

Phobias: Causes, Types, Treatment, Symptoms & More

Although a fear of fainting is common in all specific phobias, blood-injection-injury phobia is the only phobia where fainting can actually occur. On the other hand, if you have a severe phobia of crowded spaces, living in a big city would pose a problem. Self-help strategies and therapy can both be effective at treating a phobia. As a general rule, self-help is always worth a try. However, if your phobia is so severe that it triggers panic attacks or uncontrollable anxiety, you may want to seek additional support.

Therapy for phobias has a great track record. Not only does it work extremely well, but you tend to see results very quickly—sometimes in as a little as one to four sessions. Just having someone to hold your hand or stand by your side as you face your fears can be extremely helpful.

The most effective way to overcome a phobia is by gradually and repeatedly exposing yourself to what you fear in a safe and controlled way. The phobia begins to lose its power. Make a list. Make a list of the frightening situations related to your phobia. Build your fear ladder. Arrange the items on your list from the least scary to the most scary. When creating the ladder, it can be helpful to think about your end goal for example, to be able to be near dogs without panicking and then break down the steps needed to reach that goal.

Work your way up the ladder. If possible, stay in the situation long enough for your anxiety to decrease. If a step is too hard, break it down into smaller steps or go slower. The more often you practice, the quicker your progress will be. Go at a pace that you can manage without feeling overwhelmed. And remember: you will feel uncomfortable and anxious as you face your fears, but the feelings are only temporary.

If you stick with it, the anxiety will fade.


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These physical sensations can be frightening themselves—and a large part of what makes your phobia so distressing. However, by learning how to calm yourself down quickly, you can become more confident in your ability to tolerate uncomfortable sensations and face your fears. Perform a simple deep breathing exercise. By breathing deeply from the abdomen, you can reverse these physical sensations and feel less tense, less short of breath, and less anxious.