What is a Specific Phobia?
A Specific Phobia is an irrational fear of a specific situation, place, object, or animal that causes the individual distress. The individual’s avoidance of the situation or thing can lead to difficulties in the person’s ability to live his/her daily life, even leading to interference with occupational or relationships. For example, a person’s with a fear of heights may be unable to accept a job in a high rise office building. Many individuals are fearful of these situations, but in order to receive a diagnosis of a phobia, the fear has to be persistent and lead to significant interference in one’s life.
There are many different categories of specific phobias, including animals, natural environment, blood-injection-injury, and situational.
What are Symptoms of a Specific Phobia?
Common symptoms of specific phobia include avoidance behaviors or anxiety associated with the phobia as well as physical reactions and sensations when exposed to or thinking about the phobic object or situation, including sweating, rapid heartbeat, tight chest or difficulty breathing.