A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. The phobia typically results in a rapid onset of fear and is present for more than six months.
The impact of a phobia can range from annoying to severely disabling. People with phobias often realize their fear is irrational, but they’re unable to do anything about it. Such fears can interfere with work, school, and personal relationships.
The American Psychiatric Association identifies three different categories of phobias: social phobias, agoraphobia, and specific phobias. When people talk about having a phobia of a specific object such as snakes, spiders or needles, they are referring to a specific phobia.
What are phobia symptoms and signs?
Symptoms of phobias often involve having a panic attack — in that they include feelings of intense fear, dread, or terror, despite understanding that those feelings are out of proportion to any real threat — in addition to physical symptoms like tremors, sweating, “mind going blank,” nausea, rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing, and an overwhelming desire to withdraw from the situation that is causing the phobic reaction. Also, extreme measures are sometimes taken to prevent or leave the situation.
While listing all of the phobias that may exist is not possible, it can be helpful to look through a list of some of the more commonly…