One of the most common and treatable psychiatric conditions.
Marked by fear or anxiety in the presence of a specific object or situation.
Assessments are based on self-reports, clinical interviews, and behavioral observations.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, especially exposure therapy, is considered first-line treatment for patients with frequent symptoms.
Therapy can also be delivered through self-help, computer-assisted, and/or therapist-assisted modalities.
Patient motivation and available resources are important to consider when reviewing treatment options.
Phobias involve intense fears of specific objects or situations that are triggered upon actual or anticipated exposure to phobic stimuli. Situations in which phobic cues are present are usually avoided or endured with intense anxiety. Excessive fears can cause functional impairments or lifestyle disruptions.
History and exam
- somatization disorder
- anxiety disorders
- mood disorders
- first-degree relative with phobia
- twin with phobia
- aversive experiences
- stress and negative life events
- female sex
- white ethnicity
- parental anxiety and overprotectiveness
- negative affectivity and behavioral inhibition
- cognitive/attentional bias
Instructor of Psychiatry
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins Hospital Anxiety Disorders Clinic
Johns Hopkins University Medical Institute
AH declares that she has no competing interests.
Dr Amy Huberman would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Eve Friedl, Dr E. Blake Zakarin, Dr Craig N. Sawchuk, and Dr Bunmi O. Olatunji, previous contributors to this topic.
Clinical Training Program
Department of Psychology
University of Arkansas
JML declares that he has no competing interests.
Institute of Living
DFT declares that he has no competing interests.
Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer