Anxiety Clinic

Specific Phobias

What is a specific phobia?

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.

Types of specific phobias:

  • Fear of animals (snakes, dogs, spiders, mice, etc.)
  • Fear of things in the natural environment (heights, storms, water, etc.)
  • Fear of blood or injections
  • Fear of certain situations (airplanes, elevators, dentists, driving)
  • Miscellaneous other fears (situations that may lead to gagging, vomiting, or contracting an illness, etc.)

How common are specific phobias?

They are very common, affecting 11% of individuals at some point during their lives.