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Phobia

A phobia is an excessive and irrational fear reaction. If you have a phobia, you may experience a deep sense of dread or panic when you encounter the source of your fear. The fear can be of a certain place, situation, or object. Unlike general anxiety disorders, a phobia is usually connected to something specific. The impact of a phobia can range from annoying to severely disabling. People with phobias often realize their fear is irrational, but they’re unable to do anything about it. Such fears can interfere with work, school, and personal relationships.

Symptoms of phobias

The most common and disabling symptom of a phobia is a panic attack. Features of a panic attack include:

  • pounding or racing heart
  • shortness of breath
  • rapid speech or inability to speak
  • dry mouth
  • upset stomach
  • nausea
  • elevated blood pressure
  • trembling or shaking
  • chest pain or tightness
  • a choking sensation
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • profuse sweating
  • a sense of impending doom