A phobia is an excessive and irrational fear reaction. If you have a phobia, you may experience a
deep sense of dread or panic when you encounter the source of your fear. The fear can be of a
certain place, situation, or object. Unlike general anxiety disorders, a phobia is usually connected to
something specific.
The impact of a phobia can range from annoying to severely disabling. People with phobias often
realize their fear is irrational, but they’re unable to do anything about it. Such fears can interfere
with work, school, and personal relationships.
All phobias can limit your daily activities. They may cause severe anxiety and depression. Complex
phobias, such as agoraphobia and social phobia, are more likely to cause these.
You may often avoid coming into contact with the thing that causes you fear and anxiety. If you have
a fear of spiders (arachnophobia) you may not want to touch a spider. You may not even want to
look at a picture of one. Sometimes a person can develop a phobia where they fear experiencing
anxiety itself.
People with phobias often have panic attacks. Panic attacks can be very frightening and distressing.
The symptoms are often sudden and occur without warning.