Overview Of Anxiety Disorder – Phobia
An anxiety disorder – phobia is an ongoing intense fear or anxiety of a certain object, animal, activity, or setting that poses little to no actual danger.
Causes Of Anxiety Disorder – Phobia
Specific phobias are a type of anxiety disorder in which a person may feel extremely anxious or has a panic attack when exposed to the object of fear. Specific phobias are a common mental disorder.
Common causes of anxiety disorder – phobia include the fear of:
- Being in places where it is hard to escape, such as crowds, bridges, or of being outside alone
- Blood, injections, and other medical procedures
- Certain animals (for instance, dogs or snakes)
- Enclosed spaces
- High places
- Insects or spiders
Being exposed to the feared object or even thinking about being exposed to it causes an anxiety disorder – phobia.
This fear or anxiety is much stronger than the real threat.
You may sweat excessively, have problems controlling your muscles or actions, or have a fast heart rate.
You avoid settings in which you may come into contact with the feared object or animal. For example, you may avoid driving through tunnels, if tunnels are your phobia. This type of avoidance can interfere with your job and social life.
Exams & Tests
The health care provider will ask about your history of phobia and will get a description of the behavior from you, your family, or friends.
Treatment Of Anxiety Disorder – Phobia
The goal of treatment is to help you live your daily life without being impaired by your fears. The success of the treatment usually depends on how severe your phobia is.
Talk therapy is often tried first. This may involve any of the following:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you change the thoughts that cause your fear.
- Exposure-based treatment. This involves imagining parts of the phobia working from the least fearful to the most fearful. You may also be gradually exposed to your real-life fear to help you overcome your anxiety disorder – phobia.
- Phobia clinics and group therapy, which help people deal with common phobias such as a fear of flying.
- Certain medicines, usually used to treat depression, may be very helpful for this disorder. They work by preventing your symptoms or making them less severe. You must take these medicines every day. DO NOT stop taking them without talking with your provider.
- Medicines called sedatives (or hypnotics) may also be prescribed.
- These medicines should only be taken under a doctor’s direction.
- Your doctor will prescribe a limited amount of these drugs to treat your anxiety disorder – phobia. They should not be used every day.
- They may be used when symptoms become very severe or when you are about to be exposed to something that always brings on your symptoms.
If you are prescribed a sedative, do not drink alcohol while on this medicine. Other measures that can reduce the number of attacks include:
- Getting regular exercise
- Getting enough sleep
- Reducing or avoiding the use of caffeine, some over-the-counter cold medicines, and other stimulants