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This section will teach you a little about each of the disorders that we diagnose and treat.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder With and Without Agoraphobia
- Specific Phobia
- Health Related Anxiety
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Trichotillomania and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Specific phobias occur in about 5-12% of the adult population and are found in 7-9% of children. Twice as many females suffer from specific phobia as do males. These phobias tend to start in childhood and last a lifetime unless treated using exposure therapy. Specific phobias occur when a child or adult develops a sudden irrational fear of a discreet situation or thing that causes intense fear and avoidance. Only about 30% of those who suffer from specific phobias had a traumatic onset in which a frightening experience, e.g. being bitten by a dog, triggers a specific phobia. For most, the fear just occurs unexpectedly.
Specific phobias can be about any situation or be associated with any object. Examples of typical phobias that patients report are fear of heights, elevators, flying, being in enclosed spaces, fear of dental procedures or needles, fear of persons wearing masks or costumes, fear of spiders, fear of snakes and fear of bugs. In order to be diagnosed, the phobia has to interfere with the patientís ability to do necessary daily tasks or causes them to plan their life around avoiding things that trigger their fear.
Treatment of specific phobias is very successful, with exposure therapy being the recommended treatment. Exposure therapy can take place in weekly sessions, in intensive daily sessions, or in a single session. Some specific phobias can be successfully treated in a single several hours long session when the patient has the determination to overcome their fear rapidly. Gradual and prolonged practice of situations related to the phobia help you or your child to overcome the fear and phobic avoidance. Our staff will help you to practice the situations that your phobia makes difficult, whether it be driving, flying, riding elevators, or completing medical or dental procedures. Staff at AATC have specialized experience in helping patients overcome medical or dental phobias so that patients can successfully complete medical tests, procedures, surgeries or vaccinations that they have been avoiding.
LEARN MOREClick here to listen to Dr. Karen Cassiday discuss treatment for specific phobias at AATC.
For more detailed information about specific phobias and the science behind the treatment that AATC offers, visit: