Can phobias develop at anytime?

Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine

Yes, phobias can develop at any time.

Watching someone react fearfully to a situation or a traumatic event that occurs as a result of a particular situation can trigger a phobia.

Situational phobias may arise during childhood or may arise suddenly during adolescence or adulthood, sometimes occurring unexpectedly during a situation that previously did not elicit anxiety. 

Other factors that may trigger the development of a situational phobia are genetics and brain chemicals.

The exact cause of phobias is not known. However, it is possible that a recent traumatic event or circumstance can contribute to the development of a phobic response. To get a sense of how severe your symptoms are and the best way to treat them, see a mental health professional.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.