phobia

(redirected from phobic)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to phobic: phobic disorder, phobia

phobia:

see neurosisneurosis,
in psychiatry, a broad category of psychological disturbance, encompassing various mild forms of mental disorder. Until fairly recently, the term neurosis was broadly employed in contrast with psychosis, which denoted much more severe, debilitating mental disturbances.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Phobia

An intense irrational fear that often leads to avoidance of an object or situation. Phobias (or phobic disorders) are common (for example, fear of spiders, or arachnophobia; fear of heights, or acrophobia) and usually begin in childhood or adolescence. Psychiatric nomenclature refers to phobias of specific places, objects, or situations as specific phobias. Fear of public speaking, in very severe cases, is considered a form of social phobia. Social phobias also include other kinds of performance fears (such as playing a musical instrument in front of others; signing a check while observed) and social interactional fears (for example, talking to people in authority; asking someone out for a date; returning items to a store). Individuals who suffer from social phobia often fear a number of social situations. Although loosely regarded as a fear of open spaces, agoraphobia is actually a phobia that results when people experience panic attacks (unexpected, paroxysmal episodes of anxiety and accompanying physical sensations such as racing heart, shortness of breath).

The origin of phobias is varied and incompletely understood. Most individuals with specific phobias have never had anything bad happen to them in the past in relation to the phobia. In a minority of cases, however, some traumatic event occurred that likely led to the phobia. It is probable that some common phobias, such as a fear of snakes or a fear of heights, may actually be instinctual, or inborn. Both social phobia and agoraphobia run in families, suggesting that heredity plays a role. However, it is also possible that some phobias are passed on through learning and modeling.

Phobias occur in over 10% of the general population. Social phobia may be the most common kind, affecting approximately 7% of individuals. When persons encounter the phobic situation or phobic object, they typically experience a phobic reaction consisting of extreme fearfulness, physical symptoms (such as racing heart, shaking, hot or cold flashes, or nausea), and cognitive symptoms (particularly thoughts such as “I'm going to die” or “I'm going to make a fool of myself”). These usually subside quickly when the individual is removed from the situation. The tremendous relief that escape from the phobic situation provides is believed to reinforce the phobia and to fortify the individual's tendency to avoid the situation in the future.

Many phobias can be treated by exposure therapy: the individual is gradually encouraged to approach the feared object and to successively spend longer periods of time in proximity to it. Cognitive therapy is also used (often in conjunction with exposure therapy) to treat phobias. It involves helping individuals to recognize that their beliefs and thoughts can have a profound effect on their anxiety, that the outcome they fear will not necessarily occur, and that they have more control over the situation than they realize.

Medications are sometimes used to augment cognitive and exposure therapies. For example, beta-adrenergic blocking agents, such as propranolol, lower heart rate and reduce tremulousness, and lead to reduced anxiety. Certain kinds of antidepressants and anxiolytic medications are often helpful. It is not entirely clear how these medications exert their antiphobic effects, although it is believed that they affect levels of neurotransmitters in regions of the brain that are thought to be important in mediating emotions such as fear.

phobia

[′fō·bē·ə]
(psychology)
A disproportionate, obsessive, persistent, and unrealistic fear of an external situation or object, symbolically taking the place of an internal unconscious conflict.

phobia

Psychiatry an abnormal intense and irrational fear of a given situation, organism, or object
References in periodicals archive ?
Workplace Phobic Anxiety in the Job Demands-Resources Model.
Brandt T, Strupp M, Novozhilov S, Krafczyk S, 2012, Artificial neural network posturography detects the transition of vestibular neuritis to phobic postural vertigo.
The body is constituted as one's own precisely through this encounter with itself as a phobic object.
(2001) suggests that blood phobic persons may be predisposed to vasovagal syncope in other non-phobic situations.
In a recent study on 850 young Israeli conscripts, the prevalence of fears and specific phobic symptoms was 49.1 and 8.7%, respectively.
Unaccustomed to oxygen in its ecologic niches and unable to harness its energy, life in deep ocean became oxyphobic, or phobic. The primordial precursors of phobic life evolved around vents of the deep ocean that seeped hydrocarbons--methane gas being the best recognized form--enriched with sulfur and iron compounds.
There are 9 explicitly defined factors in the SCL-90: somatization, obsessive-compulsive disorder, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, and psychosis.
He goes on a strange holiday with strange friends, Rufus an unidentified creature and Oscar the water phobic crocodile.
The technique works by allowing the traumatised individual with a phobic response or a post-traumatic stress disorder to process the memory template causing the problem.
Its purpose is to enable students who are consistently inactive in class discussions (and who might be called "classroom-specific social phobic") to develop the ability to take a more active role in the classroom.
Gillian Pullman-Hill of Creative Support Ltd, said: "I really was computer phobic until I took this course.
A phobic response occurs when the dog reacts out of proportion to the strength of the stimulus, for example by trying to escape from a darkening sky that predicts a thunderstorm.