What is specific phobia? Specific phobia is one of the anxiety disorders listed in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).
A specific phobia is characterized by an intense fear of a particular object or situation. This fear is often so intense that being exposed to the feared object or situation will induce a panic attack. Most often, the person with the phobia will avoid that object or situation altogether.
Subtypes of specific phobia include: animal (such as dogs, snakes, or insects), natural environment (such as storms, heights, or waters), blood-injection-injury (such as needles or seeing blood), and situational types (such as flying, elevators, or tunnels).
Learn more about specific phobia from About.com’s Guide to Phobias.