How well phobia treatment will work depends partly on the severity of the phobia. Though some phobias are never completely cured, therapy can help many people learn to function effectively. Types of therapy include:
Attending phobia clinics and support groups has also helped many people overcome their fears.
In addition, medication may help some people overcome their phobia.
Therapies for Phobia
For specific phobias,...
Having involuntary and persistent thoughts that appear to be senseless (such as an overwhelming fear of dirt or persistent worry about a past event) and cause anxiety or distress
Knowing that these thoughts come from one's own imagination, not from outside factors (not true for children) but still unable to control the thoughts
Symptoms of compulsions include:
Repetitive acts such as hand washing, checking and rechecking locks or electrical appliances, cleaning and recleaning, preoccupation with symmetry or repeating words. These acts may be mental behaviors such as counting or praying.
Recognition that the repetitive behavior is excessive or unreasonable (this may not be true for children).
Depression and distress as attempts to deal with compulsions fail.
Symptoms of OCD in Children:
Mute behavior with agitated depression
Gradual decline in schoolwork, secondary to impaired concentration
Withdrawal and social isolation accompanied by delusional thinking
Mood swings from anxiety to despair
Ritualistic or compulsive behaviors as noted above
See Your Doctor About OCD If:
You are experiencing some of the OCD symptoms listed above, seek help from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.
If your child is anxious or depressed or has fears of aggression, sexual behavior, contamination, or disorderliness, seek help from your child's health care provider or a mental health professional.