Phobia is an extreme version of fear. But one fact that differentiates a line between fear and phobia is irrationality. Fear is a natural response to a threat or a danger, which is very normal and obvious. But the same fear becomes a phobia when the intensity and irrationality are higher. When the person is exposed to a phobia arising situation, he/ she is more likely to experience anxiety and panic attacks in response to the situation. Often these people with phobia reach a point where they realize their fear is irrational, but still, they fail to help it. The impact of phobia can affect a personâ€™s daily socio-occupational functioning.
Specific phobia Disorder:
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has listed the symptoms of specific phobia, which involves;
Intense fear or anxiety of an object or situation (Children may express in ways of crying or irritation).
Fear or anxiety immediately after being exposed to phobic objects or situations.
Avoidance or endurance of the phobic situation or object due to intense fear or anxiety.
The fear or anxiety is incongruent with the actual danger of the situation.
This fear, anxiety, and avoidance last for minimum of 6 months.
It affects the everyday socio-occupational functioning of the person.
These are the symptoms sufficient to diagnose a person with specific phobia disorder.
Specific phobias are categorized into five different types based on the type of objects and situations causing fear and they are,
Animal phobia: It is one of the most common types of phobia that people experience. It includes phobia of dogs, snakes, rats, and spiders.
Natural environmental phobia: It involves the fear of the different natural environmental factors such as water, light, rain, thunder, etc.
Situational phobia: This is another common form of phobia, it involves the fear of being alone in a room, sitting on the front seat of a car or bus, traveling in an airplane, being in the crowd, closed elevators, etc.
Blood-Injection-Injury Phobias: This type of phobia involves the fear of being injured, expose to blood, exposure to injections, medical tests etc.
Other phobias: These mainly involves fear of loud noises, and fear of clowns (costumed characters, such).