Phobia

Alex Herrera Per.2 10/16/15

Definition

An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.

Slogan

Don't be scared, be brave

Causes

Mental health professionals suspect many causes, including frighting experiences in childhood , imbalances in the brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters .

Main Symptoms

Social phobia sufferers avoid contact with other people or situations they find frightening, such as social gatherings or school events. People who harbor specific phobias avoid what they fear;They may decline to travel by airplane or crossing bridges.

Age/Gender specifics

Some 15 million Americans suffer from social phobia while 19 million harbor specific phobias ; women and men are afflicted with social phobia in equal numbers, but women are more likely to harbor specific phobias probably due to pressures placed on them by society as well as hormonal imbalances.Most phobias manifest themselves in childhood.

Background Info.

  • American Family Physician magazine reports that most cases of social phobia develop between the ages of 11 and 19 and that people over the age of 25 rarely exhibit their first symptoms of social phobia.
  • According to Time the magazine ,55% of social phobia sufferers are women, Also, women make up as much as 90% of specific phobia sufferers.

Treatment

Most people who harbor phobias respond well to cognitive-behavioral therapy , which introduces them to small doses of what frightens them so that they can gradually overcome their fears. Antidepressant drugs are also effective.

Types of Phobias

Phobias fall into two general categories, Specific and Social Phobias, Social phobia is overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness about everyday social situations.Specific phobias are intense and irrational fears about otherwise harmless things such as spiders, airplane flights or elevators.

American Psychiatric Association

Phobia & Anxiety Treatment Center

Phobias - Symptoms, Treatments & More...