Specific Phobias are characterized by intense, excessive fear of certain objects or situations that have lasted for at least 6 months. Common phobias include dogs, heights, escalators, elevators, tunnels, water, flying, injections, and injuries involving blood. In children and adolescents, the anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, or clinging. Specific Phobias affect more than 1 in 10 children and adolescents.
Many teens describe their fear as irrational, believing that the intensity of the fear is much greater than the danger associated with the thing – however, younger children may not recognize that their fear is excessive or irrational. Although some kids are able to interact with feared situations or objects, many with specific phobias avoid any contact as a way of reducing their fear and worry. This avoidance can cause individuals to alter their lives in meaningful ways (e.g. taking a longer route to school to avoid walking by a certain dog, not going to the doctor for a long time to avoid having to get a shot).
Specific Phobias can actually be associated with considerable life impairment, reduced quality of life, and interference with family, school, and peer functioning. If you think your child may suffer from a specific phobia, please call us at 305-348-7836, or email us at TheMintProgram@gmail.com. We can help!