Phobic Disorder

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What is a Phobia?

A Phobia is an extreme fear, that is considered irrational, of a particular activity or thing that is harmless.

Types of Phobia

Considered to be sub-types of Anxiety Disorder according to the DSM-IV, there is three main types of Phobia.

1. Social Phobia
Fears that involve other people or social situations that may cause embarrassment by scrutiny by others, or performance anxiety.

2. Agoraphobia
Anxiety involving being in places where escape may be difficult or embarrassing. Such as fear of enclosed spaces, or fear of leaving a "safe" area.

3. Specific Phobia
Persistent, irrational, fear of a specific stimulus, subjects will avoid that stimulus at all costs.

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  • Medication: Used to eliminate frequency of panic attacks, does not eliminate the phobia.
  • Therapy:Three types of Therapy.
    • Behavior Therapy: helps sufferers recognize fear as irrational or faulty so that the phobia no longer bothers the person.
    • Cognitive Therapy: Helps change your way of thinking to positive instead of negative, your way of perceiving becomes more clear and apparent.
    • Interpersonal Therapy: Helps users to learn how to express feelings in such a way that you can talk with others about the phobia to get over the phobia.
The downside of therapy is that it may not work and is very expensive.

How does this interfere with everyday life?
Phobias can interfere greatly with life, depending on what the phobia. If it is a phobia of say, a tiger, you generally won't encounter that stimulus everyday life. If its say, a fear of people, it can interfere because you will encounter that stimulus everywhere.

8.7 to 18.1% of Americans have a phobia. The majority being women, men are only about 1/2 as likely to have a phobia as a women.
This is also the number one mental illness for women of all ages, and the 2nd most common mental illness for men.

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