Specific phobias, which are defined as an intense, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation, are the most common type of anxiety disorder. Specific phobias typically develop in childhood or adolescence and are twice as common in females than males. Common phobias include: insects, animals, thunder, medical procedures, flying, heights, and elevators. While it may temporarily reduce anxiety, avoidance maintains anxiety over time.
- Persistent, excessive fear of a specific object or situation
- Exposure to the feared object or situation evokes immediate, extreme distress.
- The feared object or situation is either avoided or endured with severe distress
Recommended Treatment For Phobias
Treatment of specific phobias is very successful, with exposure therapy being the treatment of choice. Exposure therapy involves gradually increasing exposure to the feared object or situation through a series of incremental steps until anxiety is no longer experienced.