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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is a phobia?
A phobia is an exaggerated fearful response to a situation, object or activity. A phobia is associated with severe anxiety.
What causes phobias?
There is no single factor that causes phobias to develop, but they are thought to be due to an interaction between genetics and the environment.
Will phobias clear on their own?
Some simple phobias may become less disabling with age; however, many phobias will be lifelong unless properly treated.
Can phobias be prevented?
There is no known prevention for phobias, although children typically learn their coping skills from their parents. If parents demonstrate effective coping skills, their children are less likely to develop phobias.
What is the outlook for phobias?
With proper treatment, especially exposure therapy, there is an excellent prognosis for phobias.
Are phobias serious?
Although they can be debilitating, most phobias will not cause long-term problems if proper medical treatment is sought.
What increases the chances of developing a phobia?
1. Being female (females are twice as likely as males to develop phobias); 2. Having a family history of phobias, and; 3. Having a history of panic attacks.
How common are phobias?
Phobias are among the most common mental health conditions and are estimated to affect about one in 10 people.
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 17 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Votes: 1048 (Click smiley face below left to rate)