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A phobia is an excessive fear of an object or situation. It’s a fear that lasts for at least 6 months. It is a type of anxiety disorder.
These are some different types of phobias:
The cause of a phobia may be both genetic and environmental. A child may develop a phobia if he or she has a fearful first encounter with an object or situation. But experts don’t know if this exposure is needed. Some children may be more likely to develop a phobia.
Each child may have different symptoms when exposed to a phobia. But these are the most common:
A child who has at least 4 of the symptoms may be having a panic attack. These symptoms may look like other health problems. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
A child psychiatrist or other mental health expert can diagnose a phobia. He or she will do a mental health evaluation of your child.
Panic disorder may be hard to diagnose. Your child may need a number of tests in a variety of settings.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Phobias can be treated. Your child may need:
Experts don’t know how to prevent phobias in children and teens. But spotting and treating them early can ease symptoms and enhance your child’s normal development. It can also improve his or her quality of life.
All children have fears at some point in their life. When untreated, phobias can become a lifelong issue. So treatment is important.
Here are things you can do to help your child:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
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