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Phobias are persistent, irrational fears. A phobia may be of an object or situation, with a strong desire to avoid the fear and, in some cases, an inability to function at normal tasks (such as a job or a social situation).

Phobias are among several anxiety disorders, which also include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. Unlike general anxiety disorders, a phobia is usually connected with something specific.

Last reviewed: August 2016

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Phobic disorders (phobia, fear disorder) information | myVMC

Phobic disorder causes irrational, uncontrollable fear to a trigger. It is a common psychological anxiety disorder which often begins in late childhood.

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Specific phobias

People with specific phobias are often aware that their fears are exaggerated or irrational, but feel their reaction is automatic or uncontrollable

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Social phobia

Social phobia can be generalised into a fear of social situations

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Find out more about childhood phobias, what you can do to overcome your child's fears and when you may need to consult a professional for your child's phobia.

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Do you have an overwhelming and irrational fear of something? You may be suffering from a phobia. Learn more about phobias.

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When you have a baby, it is normal to feel some fear or anxiety. However, some women have a very specific fear, or phobia, related to having a baby.

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Specific phobia is an intense and ongoing fear of a particular object or situation.

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