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What are the symptoms of phobias?

The symptoms of phobias can depend upon what triggers the intense fear and panic. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, fainting, anxiety, and an inability to think clearly. They can further include an unwillingness or inability to function normally in social situations or to be in the presence of the source of the fear without panic. Examples of common phobias are fear of spiders, fear of heights, and fear of being trapped in social situations.

Katherine Lee
Social Work
These are some physiological and emotional symptoms of phobia:

• Anxiety
• Panic attacks
• Shortness of breath or smothering sensation
• Chest pain or discomfort
• Feeling of choking
• Sweating
• Nausea or stomach distress
• Fear of fainting
• Fear of losing control of going crazy
• Feeling of unreality or of being detached from yourself
• Feeling unsteady, dizzy, lightheaded, or faint
• Hot or cold flashes
• Trembling or shaking
Symptoms of specific (simple) phobia include:
  • Extreme fear of animals, objects, or situations that pose no significant threat
  • Immediate onset of anxiety upon encountering the particular animal, object, or situation
  • In some cases, panic attack (marked by shortness of breath, sweating, palpitations, chest pain, or a smothering sensation) upon exposure
  • Altering behavior to avoid the fear-provoking object or situation

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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.