specific phobia


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to specific phobia: social phobia

phobia

 [fo´be-ah]
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).

specific phobia

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
A phobia related to exposure to specific objects or situations

Examples Animals (e.g., snakes, rats), insects (e.g., spiders), heights, lightning, flying, most common in children
Specific phobias are not generally associated with mental disorders and often respond well to desensitisation therapy

specific phobia

Psychology A persistent, irrational fear of an object, activity or situation that compels a person to avoid it, evoking distress and functional impairment, disproportionate to the actual threat of a feared object or situation Examples Animals, insects, heights, lightning, flying, most common in children; SPs are not generally associated with mental disorders. See Phobia.

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.

spe·ci·fic pho·bi·a

(spĕ-sif'ik fō'bē-ă)
Persistent pattern of significant fear of specific objects or situations, manifesting in anxiety or panic on exposure to object or situation or in anticipation of them, which person realizes is unreasonable or excessive and significantly interferes with the person's functioning.
References in periodicals archive ?
2001) Specific Phobias, in Anxiety Disorders: An Introduction to Clinical Management and Research (eds E.
Specific phobia, panic disorder, social phobia and selective mutism.
This specific phobia is also termed vestiphobia (Latin: vestis, meaning clothing).
The CD in this condition presented two anxiety-reduction and management techniques common within CBT for specific phobia as "some strategies to help better manage both your mind and body's reaction to stressful and frightening situations.
Although driving phobia is defined as a specific phobia in the DSMIV (APA, 1994), Blanchard and Hickling (1997) point out some problems with classification: (a) anxiety may be better accounted for by another mental disorder; (b) anxiety may not invariably provoke an immediate anxiety response; (c) there may be times when driving does not evoke the particular triggers required for a phobic response; and (d) such response may not be regarded as fear as much as a situation that elicits anxiety and uncomfortable affect (Blanchard & Hickling, 1997; Taylor & Deane 2000).
Also, VRE was only compared to one alternative treatment, whereas there are several methods used to treat specific phobia in addition to exposure therapies.
These patients may meet criteria for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders diagnosis Specific Phobia Blood/ Injection Type (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994).
Specific phobia is characterised by a distinct and extreme fear associated with a single stimulus or situation, occurring invariably upon its presentation.
The DSM-IV diagnoses reported herein, and included in the AUDADIS-IV, were alcohol- and drug-specific abuse and dependence (excluding nicotine dependence), major depression, dysthymia, mania, hypomania, panic disorder with and without agoraphobia, social phobia, specific phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder.
A complete list of the anxiety disorders would also include agoraphobia, panic disorder, social phobia, and specific phobia.
Anxiety can be generalized in nature, or can involve a specific constellation of anxiety symptoms that are diagnostically distinguishable across the various anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, specific phobia, or social phobia (APA, 2000).