What is the difference between 'fear' and 'anxiety
Fear - an emotional, physiological, cognitive and behavioural response to an clear source (e.g. a specific object)
Anxiety - used to descrive the response to an unclear or diffuse source of danger
What characteristics are shared by all phobias?
- An unreasonable and exaggerated reaction cued by the presence or anticipation of the fear.
- The individual will show an immediate anxiety/fear reaction to the stimulus. This may be a panic attack in adults and clinging/crying in children.
- The individual recognises the behaviour is irrational (not always in children).
- The individual will endure the situation with extreme anxiety or will avoid it.
- The avoidance behaviour will disrupt daily routine and will result in the individual planning around the phobia.
- In individuals under 18, the phobia must last more than 6 months.
- The phobia cannot be better accounted for by another mental disorder.
What is meant by a specific phobia?
A specific phobia is an persistent and irrational anxiety towards a particular situation or object.
What type of phobia are males and females equally
What type of phobias is considered to be the most
Agoraphobia - because this means the individuals have trouble finding a job or shopping for vital provisions.
How does social phobia differ from agoraphobia?
Social phobia - fearful of showing signs of humiliation such as hand tremors or blushing when exposed unfamiliar people
Agoraphobia - fearful of having an unexpected panic attack and where escape from a situation may be difficult and/or embarrassing. Fear of losing control.
How can social phobia be distinguished from normal
A shy person may be excessively shy, but if it doesn't impair their lives then they wouldn't be diagnosed with social phobia.
Someone with social phobia may only have a fear of one aspect of social situations (eating in public) but may be diagnosed because their inense anxiety causes them problems in their daily lives.
What is meant by co-morbidity?
Co-morbidity is when certain disorders co-exist with each other. For example, social phobia and depression are usually linked.
- Social phobia is a predictor of depression and can make the symptoms more severe. If social phobia is accurately diagnosed, depression can be prevented (Kessler et al. 1999)
- Alcohol related disorders occur twice as often in those affected by social phobia as in those without (Schneier et al. 1991)
- 20% of those treated for alcohol abuse have social phobia (Randall et al. 2001)
- If left too long, risk of rapid relapse is high since psychosocial treatments may be difficult or impossible to attend.
What challenges to clinicians face when a patient
- If the individual has depression because of social withdrawal or avoidance or the other way round.