Center for Mental Health in Schools
Two types of phobia have been differentiated: specific phobia (simple phobia) and social phobia. Specific phobia is subtyped on the basis of the object feared. The natural environment (animals, insects, storms, water, etc.); blood, injection, or injury; situations (cars, airplanes, heights, tunnels, etc.); and other situations that may lead to choking, vomiting, or contracting an illness are all specific phobias.
In social phobia (social anxiety disorder), the persistent fear is of social situations that might expose one to scrutiny by others and induce one to act in a way or show anxiety symptoms that will be humiliating or embarrassing. Avoidance may be limited to one or only a few situations, or it may occur in most social situations. Performing in front of others or social interactions may be the focus of concern. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between social phobia and agoraphobia when social avoidance accompanies panic attacks. Avoidant disorder has been used to refer to social phobia occurring in childhood and adolescence.
Some of the common phobias are (add "abnormal fear of" to each entry):
achluophobia -- Darkness
acrophobia -- Heights
agoraphobia -- Open spaces or leaving the familiar setting of the home
ailurophobia -- Cats
algophobia -- Pain
androphobia -- Men
autophobia -- Being alone or solitude
bathophobia -- Depths
claustrophobia -- Closed spaces
cynophobia -- Dogs
demophobia -- Crowds
erhthrophobia -- Blushing; sometimes used to refer to the blushing itself
gynophobia -- Women
hypnophobia -- Sleep
mysophobia -- Dirt and germs
panphobia -- Everything
pedophobia -- Children
xenophobia -- Strangers
Reexperiencing the trauma may take several forms: recurrent, intrusive, and distressing recollections (images, thoughts, or perceptions) of the event; recurrent distressing dreams of the event; sudden feeling as if the event were recurring or being relived (including dissociative flashback episodes); or intense psychological distress or physiological reactivity if exposed to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble some part of the event.
The affected person tries to avoid thoughts or feelings associated with the event and
anything that might arouse recollection of it. There may be amnesia for an important aspect of the trauma. The person may lose interest in significant activities, feel detached or estranged from others, or have a sense of a foreshortened future.
The person may have difficulty failing or staying asleep, be irritable or have angry outbursts, experience problems concentrating, and have an exaggerated startle response.