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a persistent, irrational, intense fear of a specific object, activity, or situation (the phobic stimulus), fear that is recognized as being excessive or unreasonable by the individual himself. When a phobia is a significant source of distress or interferes with social functioning, it is considered a mental disorder (sometimes called a phobic disorder). Some typical phobias are: acrophobia (fear of heights), astraphobia (fear of lightning), cenotophobia (fear of new things or new ideas), claustrophobia (fear of closed places), hemophobia (fear of blood), and xenophobia (dread of strangers). Phobias are subclassified as agoraphobia, social phobias, and specific phobias. See also anxiety disorders. adj., adj pho´bic.
simple phobia specific phobia.
social phobia an anxiety disorder characterized by fear and avoidance of social or performance situations in which the individual fears possible embarrassment and humiliation, for example, fear of speaking, performing, or eating in public.
specific phobia an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent and excessive or unreasonable fear of a circumscribed, well-defined object or situation, in contrast to fear of being alone or of public places (agoraphobia) or fear of embarrassment in social situations (social phobia). Common specific phobias involve fear of animals, particularly dogs, snakes, insects, and mice; fear of closed spaces (claustrophobia); and fear of heights (acrophobia).
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
1. a persistent pattern of significant fear of specific objects or situations, manifesting in anxiety or panic on exposure to the object or situation or in anticipation of them, which the person realizes is unreasonable or excessive and which interferes significantly with the person's functioning;
2. a DSM diagnosis that is established when the specified criteria are met.
Synonym(s): simple phobia
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
simple phobiaSpecific phobia Psychiatry A phobia characterized by persistent irrational fears of a specific object, activity, or situation Examples Acrophobia, arachnophobia, agoraphobia, brontophobia, claustrophobia, emetophobia. See Phobia.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
spe·cif·ic pho·bi·a(spĕ-sif'ik fō'bē-ă)
A persistent pattern of significant fear of specific objects or situations, manifesting in anxiety or panic on exposure to the object or situation or in anticipation of them, which the person realizes is unreasonable or excessive and which interferes significantly with the person's functioning.
Synonym(s): simple phobia.
Synonym(s): simple phobia.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012