Diagnosis of Specific Phobic Disorders

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.

Also, medical professionals rule out other mental disorders that can cause similar symptoms, such as agoraphobia, social anxiety, or a stress disorder.

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