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Understanding Phobias -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of a Phobia?

At the heart of a phobia, there is anxiety. There are three main types of phobias:

  • Specific phobia, a persistent, irrational fear of particular objects or situations, such as snakes, spiders, heights, blood, flying, or elevators.
  • Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder, a persistent, irrational fear of situations where you may be scrutinized or criticized or embarrassed by other people.
  • Agoraphobia, a fear of leaving home, being alone, or being away from home in a situation where you feel trapped or helpless.

If you have a phobia that interferes with a normal social or working life, it's time to get treatment. The right kind of therapy can often lessen your anxiety and may diminish or even remove the phobia.

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Understanding Phobias -- Treatment

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:  Desensitization Flooding -- prolonged exposure to a fearful situation or experience Graded exposures Biofeedback  Attending phobia clinics and support groups has also helped many people overcome their fears.   In addition, medication may help some people overcome their...

Read the Understanding Phobias -- Treatment article > >

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on April 12, 2014

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