Main Features of Diagnostic Criteria for Specific Phobia in the DSM-IV-TR:
- Marked and persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable, cued by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation (e.g., flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection, seeing blood).
- Exposure to the phobic stimulus almost invariably provokes an immediate anxiety response, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally predisposed panic attack.
Note: In children, the anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, or clinging.
- The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable.
Note: In children, this feature may be absent.
- The phobic situation(s) is avoided or else is endured with intense anxiety or distress.