By Veronica Oquendo

Phobias are defined in psychology as an intense and irrational fear of a specific object or situation. Currently, 9.1% of U.S. adults suffer from a specific phobia. Some of the most common phobias include: Acrophobia (heights), ophidiophobia (snakes), and Mysophobia (germs and dirt. The DSM-5 divides the phobias into 5 categories:

Natural/Environment Type: Thunder and lighting (astraphobia), Water (aquaphobia)

Injury Type: Injections (tryanophobia), Accidents (Dystychiphobia)

Animals or Insects: Spiders (arachnophobia), Dogs (cynophobia)

Situational: Enclosed Spaces (claustrophobia), Flying (aviophobia)

Other: Vomiting (emetophobia), Choking (Pseudodysphagia) 

Although, not all fears are considered phobias, it would need to fit the criteria of being: unreasonable and excessive, have an immediate anxiety response, have recognition that the fear is irrational and not required, avoidance or extreme distress, and be life limiting, have at least a six month duration, and not be caused be another disorder. Exposure to the phobia has been known to cause severe panic attacks. Treatment for phobias include: psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), medication management, exposure therapy, stress management techniques, and support groups.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a specific phobia, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s