Fears and Phobias Explained in 7 Tweets

By ABC News

Apr 30, 2014 2:31pm
GTY spider phobia sr 140430 16x9 608 Fears and Phobias Explained in 7 Tweets

When a fear interferes with daily life, it can be a phobia. (Image credit: Getty Images)

By Alok Patel, M.D.

We all have fears right? Whether we avoid spiders or can’t abide by the dark, our evolutionary instincts take over and we avoid whatever spooks us. When the urge to avoid affects daily living, the fear is rebranded as a phobia.

One in 10 Americans will develop a phobia during at some point, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It occurs when an individual experiences uncontrollable anxiety around a trigger, avoids it (or endures it with overwhelming distress), and has symptoms persisting for at least six months.

This week’s ABC News Health tweet chat, moderated by chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser, explored the diagnosis and treatment of phobias. Behavioral specialists, patients, and the public chimed in an effort to better understand the complex condition.

If you missed out, fear not. Here are the highlights.

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