What is it?
Specific phobias are an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of objects or situations that pose little real danger but provoke anxiety and avoidance. Unlike the brief anxiety you may feel when giving a speech or taking a test, specific phobias are long lasting, cause intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally at school or in social settings.
Specific phobias are among the most common anxiety disorders, and not all phobias need treatment.
What causes specific phobias in a child?
Much is still unknown about the actual cause of specific phobias. Causes may include:
These factors may increase your risk of specific phobias:
What are the symptoms of specific phobias in a child?
A specific phobia involves an intense, persistent fear of a specific object or situation that's out of proportion to the actual risk. There are many types of phobias, and it's not unusual to experience a specific phobia about more than one object or situation. Specific phobias can also occur along with other types of anxiety disorders.
Common categories of specific phobias are a fear of:
Each specific phobia is referred to by its own term. Examples of more common terms include acrophobia for the fear of heights and claustrophobia for the fear of confined spaces.
No matter what specific phobia you have, it's likely to produce these types of reactions:
Key points about specific phobias in children
Specific Phobias are a type of mental health problem, specifically linked to anxiety. A specific phobia can show in children, usually around 10 years old.
The cause of specific phobias can be biological, medical, genetical or environmental.
Symptoms seem irrational and an annoyance but must be addressed early, especially in childhood.
A psychological evaluation is needed to determine the cause and specific phobia.
Treatment includes therapy and medicines.