Specific Phobias

If your fears of specific objects or situations have become extreme or unreasonable and are interfering in your daily life, you may have developed a specific phobia.

Phobias can include fears of:

  • Flying
  • Heights
  • Water
  • Animals/Insects
  • Needles/Doctors/Blood
  • Vomiting
  • Costumed Characters

Although many people have fears of these things, a phobia develops when the fear starts to cause problems in your daily life. For example someone with a spider phobia may stop using a specific bathroom in the house after seeing a spider in the bathtub. Over time they may even avoid using any bathroom in the house without another family member checking it first to make sure there are no spiders.   Like many of the other anxiety disorders, people with specific phobias also know that their fears are somewhat unreasonable. This realization however generally does not do much to reduce their anxiety in the feared situation. Because of this, many people feel embarrassed by their unreasonable fear and avoid telling people outside their family.

Treatment

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps people to face their fears in a gradual and supportive way. CBT is one of the most effective treatments for phobias, most people report feeling significantly less fearful after only 12 sessions or less.