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Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

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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.

Recommended Related to Anxiety Panic

Conquering Fear of Public Speaking

Steve Tingley’s promotion came with a new duty he dreaded. When the 52-year-old was appointed director of media services for a Madison, Wis., insurance company, he was expected to make presentations to other divisions and outside groups. “I’d break out in a sweat, get very nervous, stutter on the stage. I’d lose my concentration, and it all fell apart,” he says. Most of us feel a little twinge at taking the podium, but for some, the anxiety is debilitating. Estimates suggest as many as 35% of Americans...

Read the Conquering Fear of Public Speaking article > >

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on February 27, 2015

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