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What are Phobias?

Phobias are persistent fears that are consistently avoided. Encountering the phobic object can yield prominent anxiety, dizziness, racing heart, shortness of breath, nausea or shaking. Phobias interfere with normal life functioning. Similar to other anxiety disorders, phobias are maintained through the short-term relief that the avoidance behavior elicits. Treatment involves encountering the phobic object or situation repeatedly in a hierarchical progressive fashion. Common phobias include:

  • Airplanes

  • Driving

  • Dogs

  • Elevators

  • Enclosed spaces

  • Heights

  • Insects

  • Blood

  • Injections

It is recommended that the treatment principles discussed in this article be attempted under the care of a qualified mental health professional.

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