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There are three types of phobias recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

  • Specific phobia (simple phobias) Intense fear of a specific trigger. Most common identified specific phobias in the U.S. include fears of driving, being confined in close spaces, water, flying, spiders, heights, driving a car, vomiting, becoming ill, tunnels, escalators, blushing, and animals.
  • Social phobia, or social anxiety – Social anxiety is a fear of being in public, being singled out and judged in social situations. Large gatherings or unstructured settings are difficult for those with social anxiety.
  • Agoraphobia – Intense anxiety related to being in a place from which you might feel trapped or that there is no escape. The fear relates to an anticipated situation

Cognitive Symptoms

The majority of phobias include the following symptoms:

  • Sensations of uncontrollable anxiety when exposed to the fear
  • Feeling that the source of fear must be avoided at all cost
  • Not being able to function when exposed to the fear
  • Acknowledgement that the fear is irrational

Physical Symptoms

A person is likely to experience physical feelings of panic. These sensations can include:

  • Sweating
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Trembling
  • Feeling hot or chilled
  • Chest pains or tightness
  • Choking sensations
  • “Butterflies in the stomach”
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion or disorientation

Phobias can be caused by a variety of reasons including genetics or family history, negative experiences, or brain function.

There is no one approach that is guaranteed to work for all phobias. Various approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mind/body approaches, relaxation, exposure therapy, and EMDR. Medication can also be useful. Talk to a provider to find a solution that works for you.

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"This is a great facility for first-time guests as well as long-term clients. I have been to other counselors for both myself and my son for varying reasons and, by far, Calli surpasses them all.

If someone h…..."

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