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Health Tip: Understanding Phobias

(HealthDay News) -- A phobia is an anxiety disorder that produces a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little danger, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Phobias can range from a fear of highway driving to a fear of blood.

When people are anxious and extremely self-conscious in social situations, they may have a social phobia.

People with a phobia try to avoid what they are afraid of. If they cannot avoid the fear, they may experience panic, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling and a strong desire to leave the phobic situation.

Treatment options include medication, therapy or both.

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