Phobic Disorders!

  • Created by: amy
  • Created on: 22-04-13 18:51

Phobic Disorders!

Clinical characteristics :)

For a phobic disorder to be classed clinically as a phobic disorder the individual who's suffering from it has to meet certain characteristics!

  • The phobic stimulis must cause a out of proportion fear
  • There should be immediate anxiety in response to the stimulus
  • There should be a realisation that the phobia is irrational
  • The reaction given should be out of control
  • The phobia must get in the way of day to day life
  • There should also be some physiological responses;
  • Anticipatory fear
  • Poor concentration
  • Dry mouth
  • A need to pee or poop
  • Breathing problems
  • Muscle tension
  • Red in the face (social phobics particularly)
  • Headaches

3 Types of Phobias!

Specific phobia!

  • Anxious when faced with particular stimulus
  • Can be natural/environmental type, animal type, situational type or medical type

Social phobia!

  • Anxiety kicks in when in social situations where the individual has to "perform an action" infront of people
  • Might be things like getting on a bus, presentations in college or ordering food etc


  • Anxious when anywhere that can't be left easily
  • Causes extreme anxiety and panic attacks!
  • Individual seeks a "safe place"
  • Can lead to public avoidance :(

Issues for classification :(

  • Fear is completely normal response to certain things
  • Often phobic disorders can link with other conditions like depression, so which one is the primary problem?!
  • DSM IV and the ICD 10 define phobic disorders very differently, boo!
  • Cultural differences!
  • Being diagnosed means that there is a "label" left behind on the individual and they might have to disclose information at certain times even when they don't want to (for example if they're applying for a job they'd have to tell the employer but this might lead to a judgement being formed by the employer...)
  • Classification overlooks individual differences! More focused on just classifying people rather than looking at them as individuals
  • Reliability with classification, 1 psychologist might say 1 thing, another might say another, who's right?

Biological explanations of Phobic Disorders!


Most evidence for genetic's playing a part in phobic disorders comes from twin studies, surely if 1 twin has it the other one should as well yes? Evidence also


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