Simple phobias specific phobias monophobias

Simple phobias are common in both childhood and adult life; only the more severe cases tend to come to the attention of psychiatrists or psychologists. Anxiety is focused on a single phobic stimulus such as spiders, cats, air travel, or vomiting, although almost anything can form the nucleus of a phobia. Sometimes the condition has an obvious explanation, as in the case of a young woman bitten by a dog who became preoccupied with fear of dogs and altered her whole lifestyle to avoid possible contact with them; a 'maladaptive learned response'. Other phobias have no identifiable cause. Behaviour therapy is the treatment of choice, and consists of gradually increasing exposure to the feared phobic stimulus.

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