A specific phobia is an excessive and unreasonable fear of an object or a situation. When a person is exposed to the object or situation he or she may experiences anxiety, crying, physical symptoms, and avoidance of the object or situation. The individual knows that the fear is unreasonable or excessive. Nevertheless, the impairment or distress related to the specific phobia is to the point that it is problematic.
They are very common, affecting 11% of individuals at some point during their lives.