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Anxiety / Phobia-Related Disorders

Phobias are intense, overwhelming, and irrational fears of something that poses little or no threat to a person in their everyday life. Approximately 19 million people in the United States suffer from phobia-related disorders, ranging from mild to severe. Phobias are a form of anxiety disorder and can be effectively treated.

Most people think of childhood phobias, such as monsters under the bed, as being common. However, most phobias start between 15-20 years of age, can run in families and affect both men and women, although more often women. A phobia can be so severe that the person suffering from it may be physically disabled, self-isolating, and emotionally impaired. Here are some types of phobias:

pulling on sweater Specific Phobias

This is a fear of a specific thing, object, or idea (here are a few common examples)

  • Flying
  • Heights
  • Snakes
  • Doctors/Dentists
  • Spiders

Social Phobias

These phobias have to do with our social interactions with others and are NOT the same thing as shyness or bashfulness.

  • Public Speaking (the #1 fear many people give)
  • Fear of using public facilities
  • Fear of Authority Figures (police, government, bosses)
  • Meeting new people
    Eating in public
  • Agoraphobia – fear of not being able to escape, especially in a crowded or environment.

Agoraphobia typically occurs after a person has experienced several panic attacks, that have occurred seemingly, without warning or trigger. It is the fear of the panic attacks that soon manifests itself and the sufferer soon chooses not to put themselves into a situation where a panic attack might occur. However, since the panic attacks were entirely random, the agoraphobic can’t control their environment, so they will tend to self-isolate more and more to prevent anxiety and panic attacks.

Treatment for Phobia-Related Disorders

Dr. Andrew Martin, PsyD, treats Phobia-related disorders with cognitive therapy, relaxation techniques and coping techniques to help patients first successfully manage and then, overcome their anxiety and associated phobias.

Call 757-596-1900 for an appointment. You do not have to be an OSC patient to schedule an appointment with Dr. Martin for Psychological Services.

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