- An unreasonable sort of fear that can cause avoidance and panic. Phobias are a relatively common type of anxiety disorder. For example, extreme fear of spiders is called arachnophobia, and fear of being outside is known as agoraphobia. Phobias can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy using exposure and fear reduction techniques. In many cases, anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication proves helpful, especially during the early stages of therapy. The word "phobia" is from the Greek "phobos" (fear).
* * *Any objectively unfounded morbid dread or fear that arouses a state of panic. The word is used as a combining form in many terms expressing the object that inspires the fear. [G. phobos, fear]- animals zoophobia.- being beaten rhabdophobia.- being buried alive taphophobia.- being dirty automysophobia.- being locked in clithrophobia.- being stared at scopophobia.- blushing ereuthophobia.- cats ailurophobia.- children pediophobia.- choking pnigophobia.- climbing climacophobia.- corpses necrophobia.- crowds ochlophobia.- dampness hygrophobia.- dawn eosophobia.- daylight phengophobia.- deserted places eremophobia.- dogs cynophobia.- dolls pediophobia.- drugs pharmacophobia.- eating phagophobia.- electricity electrophobia.- everything panphobia.- filth rhypophobia.- forests hylephobia.- germs microphobia.- ghosts phasmophobia.- girls parthenophobia.- God theophobia.- heights acrophobia.- human companionship anthropophobia, phobanthropy.- ideas ideophobia.- insects entomophobia.- jealousy zelophobia.- machinery mechanophobia.- many things polyphobia.- marriage gamophobia.- microorganisms microphobia.- minute objects microphobia.- mirrors spectrophobia.- missiles ballistophobia.- moisture hygrophobia.- movements kinesophobia.- nakedness gymnophobia.- names nomatophobia, onomatophobia.- neglect of duty, omission of duty paralipophobia.- night nyctophobia.- novelty neophobia.- parasites parasitophobia.- phobias phobophobia.- places topophobia.- pointed objects aichmophobia.- poverty peniaphobia.- precipices cremnophobia.- pregnancy maieusiophobia.- rain ombrophobia.- religious objects, sacred objects hierophobia.- responsibility hypengyophobia.- robbers harpaxophobia.- school p. a young child's sudden aversion to or fear of attending school, usually considered a manifestation of separation anxiety.- sea thalassophobia.- sharp objects belonephobia.- sin hamartophobia.- sinning peccatiphobia.- snakes ophidiophobia.- social p. 1. a persistent pattern of significant fear of a social or performance situation, manifesting in anxiety or panic on exposure to the situation or in anticipation of it, which the person realizes is unreasonable or excessive and interferes significantly with the person's functioning; 2. a DSM diagnosis that is established when specific criteria are met.- speaking laliophobia.- specific p. 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 specific criteria are met. SYN: simple p..- spiders arachnephobia.- stairs climacophobia- stealing kleptophobia.- strangers xenophobia.- sun heliophobia.- thirteen triskaidekaphobia.- touching, being touched aphephobia, haphephobia.- traveling hodophobia.- uncleanliness automysophobia.- vaccination vaccinophobia.- vehicles amaxophobia, hamaxophobia.- voices phonophobia.- walking basiphobia.- wind anemophobia.- women (females), gynephobia.- worms helminthophobia.- writing graphophobia.
* * *pho·bia 'fō-bē-ə n an exaggerated and often disabling fear usu. inexplicable to the subject and having sometimes a logical but usu. an illogical or symbolic object, class of objects, or situation compare COMPULSION, OBSESSION
* * *n.a pathologically strong fear of a particular event or thing. Avoiding the feared situation may severely restrict one's life and cause much suffering. The main kinds of phobia are specific phobias (isolated fears of particular things, such as sharp knives), agoraphobia, claustrophobia, social phobias of encountering people, and animal phobias, as of spiders, rats, or dogs (see also preparedness). Treatment is with behaviour therapy, especially desensitization, graded self-exposure, and flooding. psychotherapy and drug therapy are also useful.
* * *pho·bia (foґbe-ə) [Gr. phobos fear + -ia] 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 having it. 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); in DSM-IV phobias are classified with the anxiety disorders and are subclassified as agoraphobia, specific phobias, and social phobias. For a list of specific phobias (e.g., triskaidekaphobia), see Appendix 4. phobic adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.