Psychology.com
home Therapist Directory Professional Advice Self Discovery Self Help Library Articles Shop
Mental Health Topics

  Find a therapist with this specialty: (optional zip code)    

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Alzheimer's Disease

Antidepressants

Anxiety

Asperger's Syndrome

Autism

Bereavement/Grief

Bipolar Disorder

Compulsive Gambling

Coping with Chronic Illness

Child Behavior Disorders

Children Mental Health

Dementia

Depression

Developmental Disabilities

Dual Diagnosis

Eating Disorders

Learning Disorders

Memory

Mental Health

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Panic Disorder

Phobias

Postpartum Depression

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Prader-Willi Syndrome

Schizophrenia

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Suicide

Phobias

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. It is a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. There are many specific phobias. Acrophobia is a fear of heights. You may be able to ski the world's tallest mountains but be unable to go above the 5th floor of an office building. Agoraphobia is a fear of public places, and claustrophobia is a fear of closed-in places. If you become anxious and extremely self-conscious in everyday social situations, you could have a social phobia. Other common phobias involve tunnels, highway driving, water, flying, animals and blood.

People with phobias try to avoid what they are afraid of. If they cannot, they may experience:

  • Panic and fear
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling
  • A strong desire to get away

Treatment helps most people with phobias. Options include medicines, therapy or both.

For more information:

Anxiety Disorders (National Institute of Mental Health)

Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias (Nemours Foundation). Also available in Spanish

Phobias (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)