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  • Created on: 05-05-19 19:37

categories of phobias

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder. Phobias are characterized by a marked and persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable, cued by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation (e.g. flying, heights, seeing blood).

DSM-5 categories of phobia 

specific phobia - phobia of an object such as an animal or body part or a situation such as flying or having an injection 

social anxiety (social phobia) - phobia of a social situation such as public speaking or using a public toilet 

Agoraphobia - phobia of being outside or in a public place 

complex phobias - Genetics, Brain chemistry and life experiences play a part in the cause of complex phobias 

specific or simple phobias - early negative childhood experiences develop specific/ simple phobias for example locked in a dark room lead to fear of dark 

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behavioural characteristics of Phobias

Behavioral characteristics:

Panic when in the presence of phobic stimulus, e.g. crying/screaming/ running away and in a child a tantrum 

Avoids phobic stimulus which makes it hard to go about everyday life unless they make a conscious effort to confront their fears for example if you have a fear of public toilets limit your time outside impact your social life 

Endurance (stays in the presence of stimuli) but experiences high levels of anxiety (flooding)

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emotional characteristics of phobias

Emotional characteristics:

Anxiety - Fear= short term. Anxiety= long term and stops the person from having any positive emotions Emotional

for example, arachnophobia when in a place associated with a spider his anxiety levels will increase when in the presence of spider his fear will increase 

responses are unreasonable as the phobic stimulus is usually harmless (disproportionate to the danger posed by the phobia)

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cognitive characteristics of phobias

Cognitive characteristics:

Selective attention to the phobic stimulus so find it hard to focus when it is present

Irrational beliefs created in relation to phobic stimuli putting pressure on the person to perform well

Cognitive distortions make the person see the phobic stimulus in a different e.g. ugly/scary/evil

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categories of depression

The latest version of DSM recognizes the following categories of depressive disorders

Major depressive disorder: severe but often short term depression

Persistent depressive disorder: long term and/or recurring depression including sustained major depression

Disruptive depressive disorder: Childhood temper tantrums

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: Disruption to mood prior/during menstruation

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behavioural characteristics of depression

Reduced energy levels making them lethargic.

The tendency to withdraw from society. withdrawing from work 

In some case people with experience the opposite effect known as psychomotor agitation where they struggle to relax, this can include pacing the room.

Insomnia (reduced sleep) or Hypersomnia (oversleeping)

Appetite can increase or decrease.

Depression suffers are often easily irritable can lead to aggression toward others like iratioanlly ending a relationship and/or themselves and the want to self-harm.

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emotional characteristics of depression

Depression leads to a lowered mood. People with depression may describe themselves as ‘worthless’ and ‘empty’. Also behavioural but more pronounced than in daily life feeling lethargic and sad 

They may also experience anger. directed to themselves or to others This can lead to aggressive or self-harming behaviour.

Many sufferers experience lowered self-esteem. This can be extreme to the point of hating themselves.

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cognitive characteristics of depression

this is concerned with the ways in which people process information those with depression process information differently  

People may experience poor concentration, finding it hard to make seemingly straightforward decisions.

They may more attention to the negative aspects of a situation one positive. They tend to recall unhappy events over happy ones. 

When experiencing an unfortunate situation they tend to see it is an absolute disaster. This is called ‘black and white thinking’ or absolutist thinking.

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categories of OCD

OCD characterized by either obsessions (recurring thoughts and images) and/or compulsions (repetitive behaviour) most people with a diagnosis of OCD have both obsessions and compulsions 

Trichotillomania compulsive hair pulling 

Hoarding disorder the compulsive gathering of possessions and the inability to part with anything regardless of value 

excoriation disorder compulsive skin picking 

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behavioural characteristics of OCD

Behavioral characteristics:

Compulsions are repetitive these include hand washing/praying they are compelled to do so these also include tidying and grouping 

reduce anxiety around 10% just show compulsions behaviors are performed in an attempt to reduce anxiety but vast majority perform in an attempt to manage anxiety for example so washing hards due to fear of germs 

avoid situations that trigger their anxiety if hand washing will avoid trying to touch anything deemed as dirty but this can interfere with everyday function

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emotional characteristics of OCD

Emotional characteristics:

People have unpleasant/frightening obsessions and experience high levels of anxiety that accompanies both obsessions and compulsions they are unpleasant and frightening this can be overwhelming 

 Accompany depression low mood lack of enjoyment in activities 

Guilt and disgust over minor issues or disgust directed to something external like germs 

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cognitive characteristics of OCD

Cognitive characteristics:

Obsessive thoughts that recur and these vary but always unpleasant worries about dirt and germs 90% of OCD suffers the major cognitive feature of their condition  

Cognitive strategies to deal with obsessions this may help manage anxiety but then often appear weird to others

Insight into excessive anxiety they know that what they are doing is irrational and always think about the worst case scenario they tend to be hypervigilant they maintain constant alertness

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