Phobias

Friday, January 03, 2014

A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about phobias in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. It is a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no real danger.

There are many specific phobias. Acrophobia is a fear of heights. Agoraphobia is a fear of public places, and claustrophobia is a fear of closed-in places. If you become anxious and extremely self-conscious in everyday social situations, you could have a social phobia. Other common phobias involve tunnels, highway driving, water, flying, animals and blood.

People with phobias try to avoid what they are afraid of. If they cannot, they may experience:

Panic and fear

Rapid heartbeat

Shortness of breath

Trembling, and

A strong desire to get away

Phobias usually start in children or teens, and continue into adulthood. The causes of specific phobias are unknown, but they sometimes run in families.

Treatment options include medicines, therapy or both. Not all phobias need treatment, but if a phobia affects your daily life, a number of therapies are available.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.