A phobic disorder involves extreme, persistent and irrational fear with lack of control, which is strongly out of proportion with the danger.
ÃÂ·The feared situations are avoided or responded to with great anxiety
ÃÂ·Possibly recurrent, unexpected panic attacks
ÃÂ·Individual recognises the fear experienced is excessive
ÃÂ·The phobic reactions interfere significantly with the individuals working or social life
ÃÂ·Exposure to the feared stimulus nearly always produces a high level of anxiety
With panic attacks, substance abuse should be ruled out as a cause.
ÃÂ·Agoraphobia - Fear of open spaces or public places. Panic disorder starts first; fear of having another attack makes the individual feel insecure.
ÃÂ·Social Phobias - extreme concern about one's own behaviour and the reactions of others
ÃÂ·Specific phobias -e.g. zoophobias (animals).
BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS OF PHOBIC DISORDERS
Torgersen (1983) - 31% concordance for panic disorder with agoraphobia in MZ twins versus zero concordance in DZ twins. None of the MZ twins shared the same phobias.
Solyom et al. (1974) - 45% of phobic patients had a family history of the disorder compared with 17% of 'normal' controls.
Ost (1989) - 64% of blood phobics had at least one close relative who also suffered from it.
ÃÂ·Related individuals may acquire phobias through imitation
ÃÂ·Genetic explanations suggest that some individuals are predisposed to form phobias but life experiences are important too.
Biological preparedness - Selligman (1971)
People have an innate predisposition to develop certain fears
De Silva (1988) - 88 phobic patients in Sri Lanka tended to exhibit biologically based fears.
Can't explain fears of harmless situations or things, such as slugs
PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS OF PHOBIC DISORDERS
Freud (1909) - phobias arise, when anxieties are displaced on to the phobic object. Symbolises initial...