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Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias

Putting It All Together: Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 15:34

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to anxiety, fears, and phobias.

  • Fear is normal and useful, but millions of people suffer inappropriate fear in the form of phobias or panic attacks.
  • In some cases, fears and anxiety may produce physical symptoms.
  • Fears can be treated by a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a counselor with a special training in the field.
  • Panic may strike out of the blue for no apparent reason, bringing physical symptoms such a heart palpitations or digestive disturbances as well as feelings of dread, terror and impending death.
  • Agoraphobia involves fear of the world outside, usually follows panic attacks, and can interfere seriously with people's lives.
  • Specific phobias involve fear of one type of small creature, such as spiders, dogs, or cats, or of one type of situation, such a flying, looking down from heights, or being in enclosed spaces.
  • Social phobia involves an exaggerated fear of embarrassment and humiliation.

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