Clinical Characteristics of disorder



Behavioural (what we do)

  • Panic: Range of behaviours including crying, screaming or running away.
  • Avoidance: Considerable effort to avoid encountering the phobic stimulus. This can make it hard to go about everyday life, especially if the phobic stimulus is often seen e.g. public places.

Emotional (how we feel)

  • Anxiety and Fear: Fear is the immediate experience when a phobic encounters or thinks about the phobic stimulus. Fear leads to anxiety. 
  • Unreasonable Responses: Widely disproporionate to the threat posed. An arachnophobic will have a strong emotional resonse to a tiny spider.

Cognitive (how we think)

  • Selective attention: finds it hard to look away from the phobic stimulus e.g. pogonophobic (fear of beards) cannot concentrate on a task if there is a beared man in the room.
  • Irrational beliefs: Social phobias may involve beliefs such as if I blush people will think I'm weak or I must always sound intelligent.



  • Anxiety Levels: Reduced levels of energy making them lethargic…


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