A child with a specific phobia has an excessive and irrational fear of a particular thing, like being afraid of animals or storms. The object of a specific phobia must be something not normally considered dangerous, and avoiding that object will cause significant impairment to the child’s ordinary functioning. It is common for individuals to have multiple phobias.
Specific phobias are commonly classified in five categories:
- Animal Type, if the phobia concerns animals or insects
- Natural Environment Type, if the phobia concerns objects such as storms, heights or water
- Blood-Injection-Injury Type, if the phobia concerns receiving an injection or seeing blood or an injury
- Situational Type, if the phobia concerns a specific situation like flying, driving, tunnels, bridges, enclosed space or public transportation
- Other Type, if the phobia concerns other stimuli such as loud sounds, costumed characters, choking or vomiting