Anxiety Disorders Phobias

Social Phobias

People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched or judged by others. They can appear as extremely shy or aloof, and are in constant fear of being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. This fear may be so severe that it interferes with work, school, or everyday social events. Physical symptoms often accompany the intense anxiety of social phobia and can include: blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking.

People with social phobia can usually interact easily with family and a few close friends, but meeting new people, talking in a group, or speaking in public can cause extreme anxiety.

Social Phobia Test
You frequently had stomach or headaches as a child or teenager.
Disagree
Agree
You find social situations uncomfortable.
Disagree
Agree
You avoid or dread social situations.
Disagree
Agree
You are uncomfortable writing in public or being the center of attention.
Disagree
Agree
You worry people will find you unintelligent, uninteresting or somehow negatively judge you.
Disagree
Agree
You blush easily and are worry someone will notice and comment.
Disagree
Agree
You tremble, sweat, and have palpitations when having to perform in public.
Disagree
Agree
You often feel lonely and wish you could be more outgoing and self-confident.
Disagree
Agree
You drink or self-medicate prior to a social engagement.
Disagree
Agree
You worry about upcoming events, and become more worried as the date approaches.
Disagree
Agree
You have or do make up excuses to get out of a social or work obligation due to your anxiety.
Disagree
Agree
You are more comfortable with children or adults much older than yourself.
Disagree
Agree
Your symptoms become worse when you are with someone of authority or perceived authority.
Disagree
Agree
You are preoccupied with the need to be near a bathroom at all times.
Disagree
Agree
You suffered from separation anxiety as a child.
Disagree
Agree
You feel more comfortable with people when you are more familiar with them.
Disagree
Agree
Aerophobia

Aerophobia is the fear of flying or a fear of breezes and fresh air, though it is most commonly associated with the fear of flying. As with many phobias, this fear can interfere with personal relationships with family or with work, particularly when the sufferer is unable to travel for pleasure or business. Aerophobia can also cause many physical problems in the sufferer. These symptoms can begin at the mere thought of flying, upon entering an airport, spending time in an airport, or when about to board the airplane. Symptoms can include the following: shortness of breath, heart palpitations, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, dizziness and shaking. Some sufferers experience a mild form of anxiety, with less severe symptoms, while others can develop full panic attacks that can be very distressing for the person and those around them.

Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is characterized as having anxiety or panic about being in places or situations from which escape might be perceived as difficult, or embarrassing, or in which one may not be able to get help. People who suffer from agoraphobia might feel anxious about being home alone, leaving home, crowded places such as malls or stores, driving, being on a bridge, and or any other place where it may seem difficult to get out or leave.

The degree to one which displays agoraphobic behavior can vary. Some seem to live essentially normal lives, while avoiding certain anxiety producing situations while others are totally housebound or restricted to what they consider their safe zone. A safe zone is an area or situation that brings about the least amount of anxiety for the sufferer. People with agoraphobia often have the need for a companion. If you have agoraphobia, avoidance behaviors often quickly multiply and daily life can become more and more difficult outside the safe zone.

Claustrophia

Claustrophobia is the fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces or rooms. It is typically classified as an anxiety disorder and often results in panic attack, and can be the result of many situations or stimuli, including elevators crowded to capacity, windowless rooms, and even tight-necked clothing. The onset of claustrophobia has been attributed to many factors, including a reduction in the size of the amygdala, classical conditioning, or a genetic predisposition to fear small spaces.

One study indicates that anywhere from 5-7% of the world population is affected by severe claustrophobia, but only a small percentage of these people receive some kind of treatment for the disorder.

Other Phobias

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, phobias affect approximately 10% of adults. There are a number of explanations for why phobias develop. Whatever the cause, phobias are a treatable condition that can be overcome with cognitive and behavioral therapy techniques.

Listed below are some other common phobias:

  • Claustrophobia - fear of closed spaces (affects around 5 percent of population)
  • Acrophobia - fear of heights (this fear can lead to panic attacks and avoidance of heights)
  • Mysophobia "germaphobia" - fear of dirt and germs (this phobia is often related to obsessive compulsive disorder because it involves an obsession over cleanliness)
  • Aquaphobia - fear of water
  • Carcinophobia - fear of cancer
  • Arachnophobia - fear of spiders
  • Ophidiophobia - fear of snakes
  • Necrophobia - fear of dying or the dead
  • Cynophobia - fear of dogs
  • Astraphobia - fear of thunder and lightening
  • Trypanophobia - fear of injections or medical procedures
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