Phobias

"The treatment should be performed by a doctor expert in children with OCD, in coordination with a psychologist for psychotherapy".

DR. FELIPE ORTUÑO SÁNCHEZ-PEDREÑO
CODIRECTOR. PSYCHIATRY AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT

A phobia is a fear of situations or things that are not dangerous and that most people do not find disturbing.

Fear is something very common in people. It is a natural reaction or adaptive experience to situations or objects that involve real danger.

There are fears that at one age are normal and as a child grows up they disappear and therefore do not require any specific treatment.

When this fear occurs in front of situations or objects that do not imply a real danger nor is it evolutionary, then we find ourselves before a fear that is no longer adaptive and is what we call phobia.

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What are the symptoms of phobias?

The severe anxiety that appears in front of a situation to which patient has phobia is manifested by:

  • Physical symptoms: sweating, abnormal breathing, accelerated heartbeat, tremors, chills, chest pain, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, etc.
  • Psychological symptoms: distorted thoughts regarding the situation or stimulus.
  • Behavioral symptoms: avoidance of the situation or feared stimulus.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Distorted and disproportionate thoughts before the stimulus.
  • Sweating.
  • Abnormal breathing.
  • Acceleration of the heartbeat.
  • Tremors, chills.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have some kind of phobia

Types of phobias

There are three categories of phobias known as

  • Agoraphobia: fear of being in situations where the person cannot escape or ask for help such as: stores, churches, elevators, etc.
  • Social phobia: fear of being seen or judged while performing a social activity such as teaching a class, eating in front of others, etc.
  • Specific phobias: fears of particular objects or situations such as phobia of animals, heights, etc.

When do they appear?

Most phobias start in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. They can be caused by a stressful situation, a traumatic event or they can also be imitated by a family member who has a phobia and a child ends up making it his or her own.

When a person faces the feared stimulus (animals, heights, exams, social meetings, etc.) a severe anxiety appears that manifests itself with physical and psychic symptoms.

How are phobias diagnosed?

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The diagnosis of a phobia is based on the clinical evaluation by the specialist in Psychiatry.

It presents quite characteristic signs and symptoms, which makes it unnecessary, in many cases, to perform any other diagnostic test.

  • Diagnostic interview.
  • If it is suspected that it may have an organic cause, it is advisable to carry out other tests such as magnetic resonance, analytical tests and assessment by other specialists.
  • Psycho diagnostic tests.

How are phobias treated?

Behavioral therapy is one of the most effective treatments for phobias, sometimes it may be necessary to combine it with psychopharmacological treatment to reduce the physical symptoms that accompany the phobia and help the person to cope with the situation.

The psychotherapeutic treatment consists of:

  • Progressive exposure to phobic stimuli.
  • Training in anxiety management techniques.
  • Cognitive restructuring aimed at combating the catastrophic ideas that these people may present.

Where do we treat it?

IN NAVARRE AND MADRID

OUR MEDICAL TEAM

Specialists from the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology

Through a multidisciplinary work, the Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology assists patients in a comprehensive way: it identifies the main causes of the disease and provides an individual approach with the most appropriate and effective treatments. 

Thanks to the experience of its team, it is able to offer the most advanced biological therapies, as well as an adequate psychotherapeutic orientation. In this way, the patient is helped to solve both personality problems and alterations in interpersonal and family dynamics.

Organized in specialized units

  • Child Psychiatry.
  • Adolescent Psychiatry.
  • Adult Psychiatry.
  • Family therapy.
  • Psychiatric hospitalization.
  • Clinical psychology.
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Why at the Clinica?

  • Integral evaluation of the patient.
  • Personalized diagnosis.
  • Multidisciplinary team.

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