specific-phobiaAn individual who suffers with specific phobia will become very fearful or anxious about a specific object or situation, for example: fear of flying, heights, animals, shots or blood.Specific phobia often include: animals, dogs, insects, spiders; natural environment, storms, heights, water: blood injury phobia, injection, invasive medical procedures; situational, airplanes, elevators, enclosed places; other-this category can be a large variety of stimulus, situations that may lead to chocking, vomiting, loud sounds or costumed characters.

The individual with specific phobia when faced with the phobic object or situation:

  • Almost always experience immediate fear or anxiety.
  • Will actively avoid or if unable to avoid endure with intense fear or anxiety.
  • The fear anxiety experienced is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the specific object or situation.
  • The fear and avoidance is always present and lasts for 6 months or more.
  • The fear interferes with the normal flow of a person’s life including work, school, social and/or occupation.
  • The fear experienced is not better explained by having obsessive compulsive disorder, separation anxiety, efforts to avoid panic like symptoms related to agoraphobia, post traumatic stress disorder or social anxiety disorder.

It is not uncommon to have more than one specific phobia at a time.

Specific phobia can cause an increase in physiological arousal and individuals with blood injection phobia often demonstrate a vasovagal fainting or near fainting response.

Specific phobia sometimes develops following a traumatic event, like when someone is bitten by a dog or gets stuck in an elevator.

Specific phobia usually develops in early childhood, with the majority of cases developing prior to age ten with the median age being between 7 and 11 years.  Specific phobia can of course develop at any age.

Young children may express their fear by crying, tantrums, freezing, or clinging they do not generally understand the concept of avoidance.

If you are someone you care about is suffering with specific phobia in Philadelphia, Montgomery County, PA, the Main Line, or the surrounding area, please call me for an evaluation.

Very Best to You,

Harold