• Phobias

    phobias and social anxiety

    Some of the things we fear exist nowhere but where fear happens.

    - Mokokoma Mokhonoana

  • Phobias and Social Anxiety

    Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder rooted in specific, excessive, unrealistic fears of particular objects, situations, people, or animals. They are most commonly divided into two categories: social phobias and specific phobias.

    Social Anxiety and Phobia

    People with social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, feel a paralyzing, irrational self-consciousness about having to interact in social situations. They have an intense fear of being observed or of doing something horribly wrong in front of other people. Their fear goes well above and beyond the mild social discomfort many feel when they are in the spotlight—this disorder can lead to stress and avoidance that can be debilitating to an individual’s routines and daily obligations.

    This condition may develop in children, as depicted in the story of Grace; as well as adults, as portrayed in the story of Marcy.

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    If you find yourself or your child avoiding common social situations and panicking at the thought of a friendly get-together or outing with friends, your social discomfort may be above the threshold of the milder anxiety that many feel as they anticipate socializing with others. Human connection is an important aspect of our overall mental health and wellbeing. Genetic testing can help you determine how to move towards those connections with ease, rather than fear.

    Specific Phobias

    Specific phobias are exactly what they sound like: an outsize fear of one particular thing that triggers an anxiety or panic attack, whether the trigger is an inanimate object, feeling confined in a space, an animal, environmental factors, or an uncomfortable social situation. People suffering from a specific phobia are overwhelmed by exaggerated fears, which they are unable to control. Examples of specific phobias include fear of flying, fear of heights, and fear of open spaces, as well as fear of spiders, clowns, doctors, dentists, and other singular triggers.

    While pop culture has made light of phobias, the fear people who suffer from phobias experience can be intense and overwhelming, in some instances leading to suicidal thinking and behaviors. Some individuals take drastic measures to avoid their triggers in a way that can cause undue burden to their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Our team of psychiatrists have the tools to help you work through and desensitize yourself to these experiences once and for all.

    The story of Rachel illustrates how we evaluate and treat someone with this condition.

    Our offices are conveniently accessible from the following communities:

    Maryland (MD):
    Bethesda 20814 - Bethesda 20816 - Bethesda 20817 - Chevy Chase 20815 - Colesville 20904 - Cabin John 20815 - Glen Echo 20812 - Gaithersburg 20855 - Gaithersburg 20877- Gaithersburg 20878 - Gaithersburg 20879 - Garrett Park 20896 - Kensington 20895 - Montgomery Village 20886 - Olney 20830 - Olney 20832 - Potomac 20854 - Potomac 20859 - Rockville 20850 - Rockville 20852 - Rockville 20853 - Silver Spring 20903 - Silver Spring 20905 - Silver Spring 20906 - Silver Spring 20910 - Takoma Park 20912 - Wheaton 20902

    Washington DC:
    Crestwood 20011- North Capitol Hill 20002 - Cathedral Heights 20016 - American University Park 20016 - Columbia Heights 20010 - Mount Pleasant 20010 - Downtown 20036 - Dupont Circle 20009 - Logan Circle 20005- Adams Morgan 20009 - Chevy Chase 20015 - Georgetown 20007 - Cleveland Park 20008 - Foggy Bottom 20037 - Rock Creek Park - Woodley Park 20008 - Tenleytown 20016

    Northern Virginia:
    McLean 22101- McLean 22102 - McLean 22106 - Great Falls 22066 - Arlington 22201 - Arlington 22202 - Arlington 22203 - Arlington 22205 - Falls Church 22041 - Vienna 22181 - Alexandria 22314