Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Phobias Overview

What are phobias?
A phobia is an irrational or unreasonable fear of an object, location, or situation. Phobias may trigger panic attacks. Common types of phobias include fear of open spaces, fear of closed spaces, fear of heights, and fear of social situations.

What are the symptoms of phobias?
The most common symptom of phobias is excessive, unwarranted fear, triggered by an object, location, or situation that is not dangerous. Additional symptoms of phobias include excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, tremors, dizziness, tingling around the mouth, hot flashes, and rapid breathing.

How does the doctor treat phobias?
Treatment for phobias includes mental health counseling, support groups, regular exercise, anti-anxiety medications, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and tricyclic antidepressants.

Continue to Phobias Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Phobias References
  1. Kendler KS, Myers J, Prescott CA. The etiology of phobias: an evaluation of the stress-diathesis model. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002 Mar;59(3):242-8. [11879162]
  2. Mineka S, Ohman A. Phobias and preparedness: the selective, automatic, and encapsulated nature of fear. Biol Psychiatry. 2002 Nov 15;52(10):927-37. [12437934]
  3. Muris P, Merckelbach H, de Jong P, Ollendick TH. The etiology of specific fears and phobias in children: a critique of the non-associative account. Behav Res Ther. 2002 Feb;40(2):185-95. [11814182]
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