Understanding Phobias -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on September 12, 2020

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.

WebMD Medical Reference



American Psychiatric Association. 

Waters, R., Phobias: Revealed and Explained, Barron's Educational Series, February 1, 2004.

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