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    Specific Phobias

    Specific Phobias

    Topic Overview

    A specific phobia is an extreme fear of a specific object or situation that is not harmful under usual conditions. People with specific phobias may be afraid of:

    • Common objects, such as animals or insects. For example, they may fear dying after being bitten by a spider (arachnophobia).
    • Natural events. For example, they may fear thunder and being struck by lightning (astrapophobia), drowning in water (hydrophobia), or falling from high places (acrophobia).
    • Common situations. For example, they may fear being closed in (claustrophobia) or they may fear crashing when flying in an airplane.
    • Seeing blood (hemophobia). People who have this phobia often faint when they need to give a blood sample, have an operation, or are in pain.

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    Credits

    By Healthwise Staff
    Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
    Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
    Last Revised June 13, 2013

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