Specific Phobia

     Specific Phobia is characterized by an intense fear of a specific object or situation. Common phobias are a fear of flying, heights, certain animals or receiving an injection. The person with specific phobia is aware that their fear is excessive or unreasonable, however the fear response is so intense the person is compelled to avoid the feared object or situation, or tolerate it with extreme discomfort. When presented with the fearful object or situation the person will experience an immediate anxiety response which may even take the form of a panic attack. 

      The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress experienced in the fearful situation significantly interferes with a person's normal functioning. It may affect their work, or social activities, or personal relationships. For example, someone with a fear of flying may be unable to go on vacations with family or friends, or may be limited in their career choices out of concern that they may have to travel. The person with a specific phobia  will often feel that their life is limited by their phobia.

There are several classic types of phobia:

Animal Type - commonly spiders, dogs, snakes, rats and birds.

Natural-Environment type - heights, earthquakes, water.

Blood-Injection type - seeing blood or giving blood.

Situational type - planes, elevators, enclosed places.

Other type- situations that may lead to choking, vomiting, or contracting an illness.

     Treatment for specific phobias is similar to that of treatment for other anxiety disorders. It involves the gradual exposure of a person to the frightening object or situation. This can be done in small, incremental steps. For example, some-one who has a fear of spiders may start first, with tolerating the anxiety of just looking at a black and white picture of spiders, then maybe a color picture, and then an animation of spiders, before they consider actually seeing and then touching a live spider.

 

If you are interested in an initial evaluation

feel free to call;

Karron at 310 285 2280 or send an e-mail