Fear is a normal reaction to a perceived threat. A phobia, however, is an abnormal dread of an object or circumstance that has little or no basis in reality. While phobias may be sparked by real-world events such as spider bites, plane crashes, or elevator accidents, the worries gradually grow out of proportion to reality.

The distress caused by a phobia may impair many elements of a person’s life, including relationships, employment, and social activities. When a phobia becomes debilitating, it is time to seek help at a professional phobia treatment center, such as Psyclarity Health.


A phobia, by definition, is an unreasonable dread of a specific item, animal, circumstance, or activity. While this dread is irrational and unwarranted, it does not make it any less overpowering for the individual.

People who suffer from phobias will go to great lengths to avoid the source of their fear, even if it means severely restricting their life and daily activities.

Phobias are also usually linked to substance abuse. Substances such as drugs and alcohol may be used to alleviate the extreme responses associated with a phobia or to alleviate the compulsive dread associated with confronting the object of fear.


Although phobias come in many forms, the two most prevalent are specific phobias and social phobias.


Specific phobias frequently co-occur with various mental health conditions, including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Specific phobias are illogical or unjustified worries caused by the presence of a particular object (or scenario) that may or may not offer a real threat. For instance, claustrophobia is a relatively widespread fear of being confined in an enclosed place. Individuals with claustrophobia have an intense fear of enclosed and small spaces, restricted movement, and suffocation.


Social phobias manifest themselves differently in each individual. Specific scenarios worry certain people, such as being in crowded settings with other people or speaking at a public gathering. Other people may experience social phobia symptoms as a generalized, all-consuming fear of interacting with others, regardless of the context.


Agoraphobia is characterized by a fear of wide-open spaces and social interactions. People with agoraphobia are so terrified of social settings that they withdraw into their houses for months or even years at a time. Panic disorder is a common mental illness among agoraphobic individuals, as panic attacks can exacerbate their fear of social situations.


The fear of public speaking, or glossophobia, is one of the most common phobias in the world. Even people who are selfassured and confident in other contexts may be scared of public speaking. Glossophobia is particularly debilitating for individuals who are required to speak in front of an audience or make public presentations in their professional life, such as politicians or teachers.


There are various common phobias, such as:


Is the fear of spiders.


Is the fear of being submerged in water.


Is the fear of natural weather
occurrences, such as thunderstorms and


Is the fear of injuries or blood.


Is the fear of experiencing vomiting and choking, and is also the fear of dirt and


Is the fear of animals.


Is the intense fear of heights.


Is the irrational fear of clowns.


Is the fear of nighttime and darkness.


A significant number of the American population suffers from phobias. Some phobia statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health include the following:

In any given year, around 8.5 percent of American people have symptoms of a specific phobia. Most of the people in this group are aged between 45 and 59.

Over 32% of Americans who have a specific phobia seek treatment in the form of therapy or at a phobia treatment center.


Among the countless recognized phobias, a handful are particularly common. The most prevalent phobias, according to Current Opinion in Psychiatry, are animals, heights, enclosed spaces, being alone, and being wounded.

However, just because these phobias are more common, it does not necessarily mean that they are more severe than less common phobias.


Phobias are frequently associated with the following risk factors; anxiety disorders (particularly if they are hereditary), age, gender, and economic status.


Specific phobias, like other anxiety disorders, frequently co-occur with drug addiction.
Alcohol and drugs may be used to alleviate a person’s intense, persistent fears. Substance abuse helps to dull the anxiety momentarily.

A neuropsychological assessment is frequently necessary to differentiate between anxiety disorder symptoms and the side effects of drug or alcohol addiction.


Each phobia has its own set of diagnostic criteria. There are, nevertheless, some overlaps.

Diagnostic criteria that are universally applicable to all phobias include the following:

• The fear usually has a severe impact on the sufferer’s quality of life
• The person will take extreme measures to avoid the feared object or
• Obsessive thoughts that include dwelling on future events that might
include the feared object or situation


Several successful therapies and phobia treatment alternatives are available to assist people suffering from a phobia.

At Psyclarity Health facilities, we employ numerous therapy techniques to treat phobias.

• Initially established for the treatment of depression, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been extended to treat anxiety disorders and even phobias. This type of therapy seeks to alter the recurrent thinking patterns that contribute to self defeating actions and skewed perceptions. For example, someone who has a specific phobia may learn to replace persistent anxieties about a scenario or item with positive, comforting self-talk.

• Exposure treatment involves progressively exposing the patient to the object of fear in a controlled atmosphere. The ultimate objective is to expose the patient to the phobia in a natural, real-world setting.

• Specific phobias and other anxiety disorders have been successfully treated with antidepressants classified as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Benzodiazepine medications may also be prescribed on an as-needed basis for those who have panic attacks only in certain circumstances. However, benzodiazepines must be used with caution and only as prescribed because of the great potential for abuse and dependency.

• Guided meditation, yoga, exercise therapy, music and art therapy, and massage treatment are just a few of the calming activities that can assist individuals with particular phobias to reduce stress and minimize anxiety symptoms.

If you or a loved one are suffering from a phobia, Psyclarity Health can help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you at one of our phobia treatment centers.