Phobias are a type of anxiety in which a person has developed a dreaded fear of an object, place or circumstance. Individuals experiencing phobia have persistent, excessive, or unreasonable fear that can interfere with normal life routines. Common phobias include fear of closed in spaces, heights, tunnels, bridges, flying, animals and injuries involving blood. Someone with a specific phobia will go to great lengths to avoid situations associated with the fear. The cause of phobias is unknown however there maybe a genetic or learned component as they are more common among people who are related. Women have almost double the rate of phobias than men.

Some people have social phobia (also known as social anxiety disorder) that involves an intense fear of being in the presence of many people or in social situations with people who are not well known. People with social phobia may fear being judged or criticized and become intensely uncomfortable with attention from others. Social situations may cause blushing, trembling, sweating, confusion and other symptoms of anxiety and panic. People with social phobia can fear being humiliated or embarrassed to the degree that they isolate themselves, limiting their normal routines, activities and relationships with others. Social phobia, like other phobias, is treatable.

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