Social Phobia

A person with social phobia fears being watched or humiliated while doing something in front of others. The activity is often as mundane as signing a personal check or eating a meal. The most common social phobia is the fear of speaking in public. Many people have a generalized form of social phobia, in which they fear and avoid interpersonal interactions. This makes it difficult for them to go to work or school or to socialize at all. Social phobias generally develop after puberty and, without treatment, can be lifelong.

Specific Phobia

As the name implies, people with a specific phobia generally have an irrational fear of specific objects or situations. The disability caused by this phobia can be severe if the feared object or situation is a common one. The most common specific phobia in the general population is fear of animals—particularly dogs, snakes, insects, and mice. Other specific phobias are fear of closed spaces (claustrophobia) and fear of heights (acrophobia). Most simple phobias develop during childhood and eventually disappear. Those that persist into adulthood rarely go away without treatment