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What increases my risk for phobias?

The factors that may increase your risk for phobias are not entirely clear. There seems to be a relationship between your parents or family members having particular phobias and your likelihood to have the same phobias. Scientists are not clear whether this is due to genetic or environmental factors. It seems that traumatic events can be a contributing factor in the development of phobias as well.

Traumatic events often lead to specific phobia. Genes are also believed to play a role because the tendency to develop specific phobia runs in families.

Twice as many women as men develop specific phobia. People who have a close relative with specific phobia are at higher risk. A terrifying or deeply troubling experience, as well as a genetic predisposition, increases the likelihood of developing specific phobia.

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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.