Specific Phobia, also called simple phobia, is the experience of excessive and persistent fear of a specific object or situation. When exposed to the feared object, you may have a panic attack or anxious reaction which leads to avoidance of the feared object. Typical phobias include needles, blood, vomit, heights, tunnels, bridges, airplanes, water, spiders, snakes, and dogs. In children, the anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, or clinging, and children may not recognize that the fear is excessive.
Treatment of specific phobias is two-fold. It includes learning anxiety management skills, followed by exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is based on the idea that fear gradually reduces with time spent in the feared situation, a process called habituation. In therapy, you will gradually experience the feared objects until the fear goes away and no longer interferes with your life.
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