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Encyclopedia > Specific phobia
Specific(isolated) Phobia
Classification & external resources
ICD-10 F40.2
ICD-9 300.2

"Specific phobia" is a generic term for any kind of anxiety disorder that amounts to an unreasonable or irrational fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations. As a result, the affected persons tend to actively avoid direct contact with the objects or situations, and in severe cases any mention or depiction of them. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (most commonly known by the abbreviation ICD) provides codes to classify diseases and a wide variety of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or disease. ... The following codes are used with International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. ... // F00-F99 - Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-F09) Organic, including symptomatic, mental disorders (F00) Dementia in Alzheimers disease (F01) Vascular dementia (F011) Multi-infarct dementia (F02) Dementia in other diseases classified elsewhere (F020) Dementia in Picks disease (F021) Dementia in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (F022) Dementia in Huntingtons... The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (most commonly known by the abbreviation ICD) provides codes to classify diseases and a wide variety of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or disease. ... The following is a list of codes for International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. ... Anxiety disorder is a blanket term covering several different forms of abnormal, pathological anxiety, fears, phobias and nervous conditions that may come on suddenly or gradually over a period of several years, and may impair or prevent the pursuing of normal daily routines. ...

The fear or anxiety may be triggered both by the presence and the anticipation of the specific object or situation. A person who encounters that of which they are phobic will often show signs of fear or express discomfort. In some cases it can result in a panic attack. In most cases of adults, this kind of phobia is consciously recognized by the person; still, anxiety and avoidance are difficult to control and may significantly impair the person's functioning and even physical health. This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


Diagnoses criteria for specific phobia

All information about Diagnoses Criteria for Specific Phobia comes from the website http://www.mentalhealth.com/dis1/p21-an04.html

  • MarkeB and persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable, cued by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation (e.g., flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection, seeing blood).
  • Exposure to the phobic stimulus almost invariably provokes an immediate anxiety response, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally predisposed Panic Attack. Note: In children, the anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, or clinging.
  • The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. Note: In children, this feature may be absent.
  • The phobic situation(s) is avoided or else is endured with intense anxiety or distress.
  • The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared situation(s) interferes significantly with the person's normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.
  • In individuals under age 18 years, the duration is at least 6 months.
  • The anxiety, Panic Attacks, or phobic avoidance associated with the specific object or situation are not better accounted for by another mental disorder, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (e.g., fear of dirt in someone with an obsession about contamination), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (e.g., avoidance of stimuli associated with a severe stressor), Separation Anxiety Disorder (e.g., avoidance of school), Social Phobia (e.g., avoidance of social situations because of fear of embarrassment), Panic Disorder With Agoraphobia, or Agoraphobia Without History of Panic Disorder.

If the fear is just a reasonable fear that passes, then the fear is not a phobia. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term for certain severe psychological consequences of exposure to, or confrontation with, stressful events that the person experiences as highly traumatic. ... Separation anxiety disorder (or simply separation anxiety) is a psychological condition in which an individual has excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment (like a mother). ... Social anxiety, sometimes known as social phobia or social anxiety disorder (SAD), is a common form of anxiety disorder that causes sufferers to experience intense anxiety in some or all of the social interactions and public events of everyday life. ... Panic disorder is a diagnosed psychiatric mental condition that causes the sufferer to experience sporadic, intense, and often reoccurring panic attacks. ... Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder which primarily consists of the fear of experiencing a difficult or embarrassing situation from which the sufferer cannot escape. ...

Causes of specific phobia

All information about the Causes of Specific Phobia (except NOTE) comes from the textbook (2006,) Essentials of Abnormal Psychology:Fourth Edition

  • Direct experience
This is where the object that a person is afraid of is experienced directly. For example if a person is afraid of snakes and he/she got bitten by that snake, then he/she has just experienced a direct experience
  • Experiencing a False Alarm
This is actually experiencing a false alarm just as having a panic attack in the presence of the frightening object

NOTE - False Alarm experiences can be the catalyst for object selection in seemingly illogical phobias. While fear of such objects appears illogical, the significance of the selected object is that it allows a person, prone to unpredictable anxiety attacks, the ability to make the attacks more controllable or predictable. One such example is a girl who was afraid of cotton balls. By assigning these as the cause of her attacks and conditioning herself to believe it, she was able to reduce the trigger for her anxiety to one set of avoidable objects.

  • Observing someone
This is where a person observed another person getting attacked by a snake. Therefore, he/she is afraid of the snake this way. That person is afraid that what had happened to that person could also happen to them
  • Being Told
This is where a person is told about the dangers of a snake. The warning is so great and frightening to the person, he/she develops a phobia because of it.

Categories of specific phobias

According to the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the textbook (2006,) Essentials of Abnormal Psychology: Fourth Edition phobias can be classified under the following general categories: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by the American Psychiatric Association The poopDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the handbook used most often in diagnosing mental disorders in the United States. ...

  • Animal type
Phobias relating to animals, such as the fear of arachnids (spiders, mites, scorpions, etc.) (arachnophobia) and the fear of snakes (ophidiophobia), are considered animal type.
  • Natural environment type
A phobia falls into this category if the fear is cued by objects in the natural environment, such as heights (acrophobia), or water (aquaphobia) or even thunderstorms (astraphobia). This subtype generally has a childhood onset. If a person has the fear of water they are more likely to have another fear, like the fear of storms. These situations may be dangerous, so mild to moderate fear can be adaptive. If the fear is just a passing fear, such as being worried or cautious in dangerous or risky areas, it is not a phobia. These fears have to be persistent and cause distress or impairment. For example, avoiding a boat ride or a trip for fear of a storm.
  • Situational type
This kind of phobia includes those like the fear of small confined spaces (claustrophobia) and being "afraid of the dark," (nyctophobia).
  • Blood/injection/injury type
This situational phobia consists of a persistent, debilitating fear of blood (seeing it or expelling it, referred to as hemophobia), bodily injury of any type, and injection of one’s own body with a needle. Many people may have mild fears of these types of situations, but those with a blood/injection/injury type situational phobia are seriously impaired when even a thought of these situations occur. They may avoid certain situations, places, and careers in order to avoid their fear. A panic-type reaction can be triggered by the sight or even thought of any type of blood/injection/injury image. This reaction can be in the form of dizziness, fainting, etc. There is nothing physically wrong with a person with this type of phobia, but they still have these physical reactions. Generally, phobias cause distress, impairment, and are excessive of an expected response to a particular situation.
  • Other
Like the fear of the number 13 (triskaidekaphobia), and the fear of clowns (coulrophobia).

Orders See text. ... Though many arachnids are harmless, a person with arachnophobia may still panic or feel uneasy around one. ... blue: sea snakes, black: land snakes Superfamilies and Families Henophidia Aniliidae Anomochilidae Boidae Bolyeriidae Cylindrophiidae Loxocemidae Pythonidae Tropidophiidae Uropeltidae Xenopeltidae Typhlopoidea Anomalepididae Leptotyphlopidae Typhlopidae Xenophidia Acrochordidae Atractaspididae Colubridae Elapidae Hydrophiidae Viperidae For other uses, see Snake (disambiguation). ... Ophidiophobia or Ophiophobia refers to the fear of snakes. ... A person with acrophobia would fear such a height Acrophobia (from Greek , meaning summit) is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. ... Aquaphobia is a kind of specific phobia, an abnormal and persistent fear of water. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder that involves the fear of enclosed or confined spaces. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The English suffix -phobia is used to describe fear or hatred (the latter is often ignored) of a particular thing or subject. ... 13 (thirteen) is the natural number following 12 and preceding 14. ... The stall numbers at the Santa Anita Park Triskaidekaphobia is a fear of the number 13. ... A clown participating in a Memorial Day parade A clown today is one of various types of comedic performers, on stage, television, in the circus and rodeo. ... Coulrophobia is a mental condition concerning the fear of clowns. ...

Treatment for specific phobias

All information about the Treatment for Social Phobia comes from the textbook (2006,) Essentials of Abnormal Psychology:Fourth Edition

One of the ways in which specific phobia can be treated is by graduated exposure. Graduated exposure works by incrementally exposing the person to the feared stimulus. For example, if a person is afraid of snakes, then Exposure-Based Exercises can be implemented so that he/she will be less afraid and more comfortable around snakes. First a therapist can introduce the phobic client to a snake about 10 feet away. The next session the therapist may introduce the same snake 5 feet away from the client. In the next session, the therapist may gradually decrease the distance that the snake is to the client. When he/she is comfortable, the client is invited to actually touch the snake. Eventually the client may choose to put the snake upon his/her body. Exposure-Based-Treatment is a good way to treat specific phobias. However, it can also be detrimental if done improperly. If exposure therapy is conducted in a manner that re-traumatizes the client, he/she may develop a more fearful mentality about the object.

Another form of treatment is systematic Densensitization. This a treatment where the patient is gradually introduced to the objects or the situations they feared so their fear will gradually extinguish. The client is introduced slowly and the client rates their anxiety level from 0-100, zero being almost faint. This teaches the person to relax when the object is introduced to them.

See also

The English suffixes -phobia, -phobic, -phobe (of Greek origin) occur in technical usage in psychiatry to construct words that describe irrational, disabling fear as a mental disorder (e. ... Social anxiety is an experience of fear, apprehension or worry regarding social situations and being evaluated by others. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Phobias (351 words)
Phobias can be described as a constant, overwhelming and disabling fear of exposure to specific objects, activities or situations, which represent little or no actual danger to the sufferer.
Whilst specific phobias can cause anxiety and even panic to happen on exposure to them, they are not caused by generalized anxiety or an underlying anxiety disorder.
Phobias are symptoms of an anxiety disorder and NOT stand-alone disorders.
  More results at FactBites »



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