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Specific Phobia

Elizabeth Winter, M.D., O. Joseph Bienvenu, M.D., Ph.D.
Specific Phobia is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide.

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  • Irrational fear of an object or stimulus out of proportion to the danger the phobic stimulus actually represents, leading to avoidance and distress or impairment
  • Common subtypes
    • Blood-injection-injury (BII): e.g. fear of needles, violent imagery, giving blood
      • Marked by a biphasic physiological response that frequently leads to syncope: initial sympathetic-mediated response of increased heart rate and blood pressure rapidly followed by a vasovagal-mediated response of decreased heart rate and blood pressure
    • Animal: e.g. fear of spiders, dogs, snakes
    • Natural environment: e.g. fear of the dark, lightning, water
    • Situational: e.g. fear of tunnels, flying, bridges
    • Other: e.g. fear of vomiting, clowns, "space" (falling)

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Last updated: October 31, 2017


Winter, Elizabeth, and O. Joseph Bienvenu. "Specific Phobia." Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide, 2017. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787054/1/Specific_Phobia.
Winter E, Bienvenu O. Specific Phobia. Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. 2017. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787054/1/Specific_Phobia. Accessed July 17, 2019.
Winter, E., & Bienvenu, O. (2017). Specific Phobia. In Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787054/1/Specific_Phobia
Winter E, Bienvenu O. Specific Phobia [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. ; 2017. [cited 2019 July 17]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787054/1/Specific_Phobia.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Specific Phobia ID - 787054 A1 - Winter,Elizabeth,M.D. AU - Bienvenu,O. Joseph,M.D., Ph.D. Y1 - 2017/10/31/ BT - Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787054/1/Specific_Phobia DB - Johns Hopkins Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -