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People with a phobia are deathly afraid of a specific object or situation, and make attempts to avoid it at all cost.

The anxious reaction is so strong that it can result in a panic attack. Even the thought of or being near the dreaded fear triggers intense anxiety, and is anticipated with terror. Although you may recognize that the fear is excessive, the feared object or situation is still intolerable. Some common phobias in children include insects, animals, blood, injections, doctors, dentists, elevators, moving vehicles, clowns and other odd looking people or characters, thunder and lightning, choking, vomiting, natural disasters, nighttime, and monsters. Phobias affect about 6.3 million Americans, and typically begin in childhood.

Associated Features

  • Medical/dental fears include blood, medical/dental procedures, needles, surgery, hospitals, medical personnel
  • Deters sufferers from getting the medical and dental attention they need until they are in severe pain
  • Fears of natural environment include heights, water, sun, natural disasters, storms
  • Situational phobias include elevators, planes, closets, crowds, enclosed places
  • Anxiety in children may be expressed as crying, tantrums, freezing, or clinging
  • Phobic situations are avoided or endured with intense anxiety

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