Being exposed to the feared object, or even thinking about being exposed to it causes an anxiety reaction.
The person avoids situations in which contact with the feared object or animal may occur -- for example, avoiding driving through tunnels, if tunnels are the subject of the phobia. This type of avoidance can interfere with job and social functioning.
The person may feel weak or cowardly and lose self-esteem when avoiding the object of the phobia.
The health care provider will ask about your history of phobia, and will get a description of the behavior from you, your family, and friends.
Taylor CT, Pollack MH, LeBeau RT, Simon NM. Anxiety disorders: Panic, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 32.
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