- Fear is the normal response to a genuine danger.
- Phobias are where the fear is irrational or excessive
- Abnormally fearful response to an imagined danger or one that is irrationally exaggerated.
- Emotional and physical reactions to feared objects or situations.
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- A marked and persistant fear that is excessive or unreasonable, cued by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation.
- Exposure to the stimulus almost invariably provokes an immediate anxiety response such as a panic attack.
- The person recognises that the fear is excessive or unreasonable (may be absent in children
- This is not the case in the DSM5
- The phobic situation is avoided or endured with intense anxiety or distress.
- The avoidance, anxious anticipation or distress in the feared situation interferes significantly with the person's normal routine, occupation, social activities, or relationships and there is marked distress about having the phobia.
- In individuals under 18 years they must have had the phobia for at least six months.
- In the DSM5 all people must have had it for over 6 months.
- The anxiety, panic attacks or phobic avoidance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder, such as obsessive compulsive disorder or post traumatic stress disorder.
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