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.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Official website of the Johns Hopkins Antibiotic (ABX), HIV, Diabetes, and Psychiatry Guides, powered by Unbound Medicine. Johns Hopkins Guide App for iOS, iPhone, iPad, and Android included. Explore these free sample topics:

Johns Hopkins Guides

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --


  • 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)

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --

Last updated: October 31, 2017