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SPECIFIC PHOBIA

Approximately 1 in 10 individuals suffer from phobias. Interestingly, these appear to cluster around particular "themes", and there are many common phobias. The most common are:

  • Animal: dogs, spiders, snakes

  • Natural Environment: storms, heights, water

  • Blood-Injection-Injury: seeing blood or receiving an injection

  • Situational Type: bridges, tunnels, elevators, enclosed places


For many individuals the phobic stimulus is easy to avoid. You don't like snakes? Well, move to a city and you won't have to worry about it. Don't like dogs? Keep a cat! When the feared object is easy to avoid, people with phobias may not feel they need treatment. In certain cases, however, specific phobias can become impairing. Individuals may go to excessive lengths to avoid exposure to the feared object or situation. In these cases, treatment is recommended. This is particularly important because individuals with a single Specific Phobia are likely to develop additional phobias within the same subtype. In other words, an individual with a fear of bridges is likely to also develop a fear of tunnels and elevators.

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC PHOBIA?

Everyone is afraid of something, but phobias are excessive and persistent fears that are specific to certain objects or situations. To most people these fears seem irrational, while others cannot seem to face their fears or overcome them. 


Cognitive behavioral therapy is extremely effective in treating specific phobias. For more information on treatment programs for specific phobias, please see the treatment page, email us at abhcfsu@psy.fsu.edu or call us at (850) 645-1766.