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What are fears and phobias?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Glen Elliott
Pediatrics - Psychiatry
8 doctors agree

In brief: Near synonyms

Phobia is greek for fear. Many people have at least mild phobias, for example, fear of the dark or of snakes or heights.
There is nothing wrong with being fearful--it can be a great survival tool; but, if one is so afraid of wasps that you never go outside or cannot cross a bridge, then fear causes impairment, which is when we begin to think of it as a disorder.

In brief: Near synonyms

Phobia is greek for fear. Many people have at least mild phobias, for example, fear of the dark or of snakes or heights.
There is nothing wrong with being fearful--it can be a great survival tool; but, if one is so afraid of wasps that you never go outside or cannot cross a bridge, then fear causes impairment, which is when we begin to think of it as a disorder.
Dr. Glen Elliott
Dr. Glen Elliott
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