A diagnosis is made via a medical professional’s evaluation based on specific criteria.
Medical professionals diagnose a specific phobic disorder when individuals have fear of or anxiety that involves all of the following:
- Is intense and has been present six (6) months or longer;
- Concerns a specific situation or object;
- Occurs immediately when the situation or object is encountered;
- Leads to avoidance of the situation or object;
- Is out of proportion to the actual danger; and
- Causes significant distress or significantly impairs functioning.