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Only women?[edit]

Why is there a phobia, gynophobia, listed for an irrational fear of women, without a corresponding phobia of men? I mean, there are obvious reasons why there is no "heterophobia" listed, but sexism goes both ways. I'm pretty sure that theres about as many people (if not more) who are irrationally afraid of men as irrationally afraid of women. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:25, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

I do believe there is a term for the fear of men. It's called Arrhenphobia. Gorozco1 (talk) 10:24, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Maybe Its to do with men traditionally approaching women and fear of rejection, also if she's attractive guys can be stimulated causing their voice to deepen adding a fear of not being able to speak. David0288 (talk) 20:58, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

For all the listers out there[edit]

The place for lists is in the article -phob- and not elsewhere... Thanks. Undead Herle King (talk) 22:24, 19 March 2008 (UTC)


The article about Caligynephobia (fear of beautiful women) was also deleted last month for lack of sufficient and reliable sources. Quite a number of men, including homosexual men, seriously struggle with this condition. Caligynephobia is also called venustraphobia. --Richontaban 17:51, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Police Phobia[edit]

Just a couple of weeks ago, the article about Police Phobia was deleted for lack of sufficient and reliable sources. I understand that phobias are "irrational fears". Is it possible for anyone to be irrationally fearful or afraid of the police, or even the brutally oppressive secret police? Of course most people do not fear the police or secret police, but if the circumstances and conditions in a person's life merit so, it is possible for that person to fear the police just as much as strangers or women, or light. Astynomiaphobia (Greek αστυνομια astynomia "police" + φοβία phobia "fear") is a sixty-seven (67) year old name for what is occasionally regarded as an irrational fear of police and law enforcement; it is not a neologism. Policophobia has been used more as informal, vulgar and humorous term; its not really a scientific term. The composer of the article should have written that there is much debate and controversy over the existence of a specific phobia for police and secret police, and that only very few psychologist have conducted original research on astynomiaphobia and that only a minority of psychologists and psychiatrists actually use the term in their respective fields. Once psychologists conduct more original research on the "specific phobia" of police, and begin publishing their findings in books and on the internet, then Wikipedia can finally carry an article about Police Phobia or Astynomiaphobia. Of course if such a specific phobia actually exists in its own right, then it would probably add to the burden of the government's prosecutors, because defendants would be able to use astynomiaphobia (fear of police) as a defense in court under certain circumstances. --Richontaban 17:50, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Old talk[edit]

Could we please distinguish in the article and the list between psychologically-recognized phobias (not that I think the APA is god, or anything, but they at least have a process) and political terms like 'xenophobia' and 'homophobia'? The article is already admitting a distinction in the current last sentence, 'In some cases, however, a fear or hatred is only based on ignorance', but it's not very clear. --MichaelTinkler

WHat is NIMH? -- Tarquin

It's the National Institute of Medical Herbalists... I mean of Mental Health. --Camembert

What happened to the list of phobias that was once linked from this page? It now links to "-phobia" on Wiktionary, which does list some, but not very many. Wiktionary was copying the list over from Wikipedia, but now these have gone (although they can probably be recovered from the history). — Paul G 08:41, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It's at -phobia, not on wiktionary. -- User:Docu

First sentence unclear to me[edit]

"Psychologists use the term phobia, which comes from the Ancient Greek word for fear (φόβος, fobos), for a number of psychological conditions that can seriously disable their carriers."

Don't understand this sentence. It can seriously disable not only the carriers of psychologists. It may even enhance their carriers if they specialize on the treatmen of phobias.

Or is this a joke?

Geraldstiehler 11:31, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

And again: It's not only psychologists using this term. Physicians and even the WHO do as well. Geraldstiehler 10:29, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Fixed. Ortolan88 19:37, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Much better now! Thanks

Not what I'd call an authoritative list[edit]

The list of phobias is in serious need of editing by someone qualified on the subject. It's full of duplicates, ambiguities, and a few entries that might have been just a joke. ("Fear of the band CKY"? Is that for real?) It's also desperately in need of some basic alphabetizing. Could some professional please spend a few minutes cleaning this up?

  • I agree. A good look in the dictionary, will help. For starters: The correct words are triskaidekaphobia and paraskavedekatriaphobia. Uncle G 11:39, 2005 Mar 26 (UTC)
  • I am wondering what happened to 'claustrophobia'. I was under the impression that this was the fear of enclosed spaces. However, the list states otherwise...
    • Huh? The list states "Claustrophobia - Fear of confined spaces." What's up? mikka (t) 8 July 2005 23:39 (UTC)


Any ideas who/when first used this term in (a) medical (2) non-medical senses? In general, the history of the term usage is missing. mikka (t) 23:39, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

non-clinical phobia[edit]

I was surprised with negative reaction to my separation of part of this aricle into a separate one. I did this for the simple reason of disambiguation: I found it strange that the article, e.g., Homophobia links to a medical article "phobia", which could suggest that homophobia is kind of disease (which may well be the intention of those who coined the term. I am aware that the phobia article has the section "non-medical usage of the term", but it is somewhere down the flow an not ery prominent. Therefore I did what is normal in wikipedia: I performed disambiguation. And was baffled with the vote: Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Phobia (attitude)

My POV is very simple: the two usages are radically different, and this is even reflected in dictionary definitions, despite some people who evidently didn't take pain to look into one. What is the opposite? I see two possibilities.

  1. Usages are basically the same (which would I find really strange)
  2. The first usage is "normal", the second one is abuse. Which I disagree as well. The language simply "re-used" the term to describe a certain notion, which otherwise (in every "pseudo-phobia" article I listed) reuires several words: "fear or hatred", "fear and discrimination", etc.

Now, some don't like the word "attitude". What is this then? It is not disease. It is not an emotion: all articles mention discrimination or some similar actions. This is conveniently described by the word "attitude" IMO. Of course, I am not a native English speaker. You are welcome to suggest another word here. mikka (t) 15:14, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't mind the word "attitude", I just don't think it's appropriate in this context. What is described by phobia (attitude) is already covered at prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance. Meanwhile, such "phobias" are covered already in -phobia. That English would reuse a word, however, with completely opposite meanings, is not that shocking. Look up "cleave" sometime. :-) Kol tov. Tomer TALK 15:27, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)

That's my point exactly: all three are conveniently described by a single word: "phobia".
There is no regular word "-phobia". What you/we understand under "-phobia" is covered in dictionaries under "phobia". Not to say that -phobia article is one big joke and needs cleanup, together with -philia. These articles are part of series of articles about english suffixes, -philia not only puts oranges and orangs into one basket, it throws in a couple of orcs as well. mikka (t) 15:43, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Seeing that the main article is at -phobia, I condensed the non-clinical section, eliminating some of the trivia based materials. Perhaps some of the removed material could be added back, but preferrably to -phobia if possible. --MegaHasher 06:04, 7 February 2006 (UTC)


At the VfD I see someone sugested the word prejudice as a kind of synonym or additional meaning for "-phobia". IMO it is incorrect. A "-phobia" may be a result of a prejudice, but it may also be a result of mis-judgement, negative experience. Slapping the sticker "prejudice" is not better. If one would follow this logic, then nearly all our negative opinions are effectively prejudice, unless proved in the court of law, since our experience is inherently limited. (Even if they are based on opinion of experts, this does not free us from prejudiced of experts themselves).

Summary: "-phobia" may be a result of prejudice, but not prejudice itself. mikka (t) 15:31, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think you are confusing the what the various "non-clinical" phobia terms actually mean and how they are ysed. For example, homophobia may actually be a real phobia (there are some studes into this) and fear of homosexuals has been used as legal defenses in other situations. However, homophobia is also now used to simply describe prejudice against homosexuals without refernence to fear. Similarly, islamophobia is defined as prejudice against Islam and muslims without reference to fear or anxiety (although that is a possible sub-text). Axon 10:03, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

NLP Pseudoscience Efficacy[edit]

The sentence regarding the efficacy of neuro-linguistic programming varies significantly with the extensive discrediting found in the NLP article. Phobia should be updated to regard this, and ideally, the references listed should be tracked down and verified.

Well well, I got the same reflection from the treatments section, but the trouble is much more intricate than that, considering CBT stays in the same section. CBT is generally regarded as serious, however much I oppose, but the paragraph about CBT in the treatment signals what bugs me about CBT (except a backwards anatomical description of brain in comparison to what neuroscience says):
...Gradual desensitisation treatment and CBT are often successful, provided the patient is willing to endure some discomfort and to make a continuous effort over a long period of time.
indicates reporting methodology biasing of measured and alleged success of the methods. And, by my cult experience, it signals New-Age rationalization: it didn't work because you didn't will it to work, therefore the premises for the success wasn't fulfilled. Read: mind-control circularity, I'm selling bogus, which is good for you if you will it to be good for you.
Now, if NLP should be removed, then CBT should be removed. Otherwise NLP stands as any methodology. My little reading about NLP is that it is ordinary mental training without any success pressure, except it uses a weird language. NLP can stand, if CBT can stand. Said: Rursus 13:38, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Science is the key here, guys, of which all methods including NLP and CBT are everything but.--Spectatorbot13 (talk) 21:19, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Hello, I added sources with empirical findings of the CBT expossure treatment. If somebody still has doubts, he may check and he is going to find many research papers that investigated the expossure treatment. Science is the key you said. NLP has not enough research.- S. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:45, 16 August 2009 (UTC) (sorry because I'm not familiarized with editing)I'm a psychology student, and can explain why the patient has to endure discomfort in the cognitive behavioural treatment. It's about expossure and the patient must endure the anxiety caused by the feared object or situation, so that habituation can occur . That's why discomfort is inevitable. The equation of NLP to CBT doesn't seem to be a good argument, because the NLP treatment is very different. CBT has tons of scientifical research, NLP doesn't. Simply check google scholar and you will find. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:01, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

CBT may be researched extensively, but it is yet to be proven as being effective. It wasn't effective for me. Until the disorder itself is biologically identified in the brain, which may never happen, any kind of behavioral therapy will never be proven to work for everyone. I've endured much stress and haven't benefitted in any way, in fact I think it even made me worse than before. Because now the more intense experience and memories I've had will stay with me longer, and the next time I come across my phobia I would freak out more psychotically than before.
This CBT bullshit is no different than medieval, cruel pseudoscientific practices such as bloodletting, water dunking and such. It's abuse, period.--Spectatorbot13 (talk) 05:10, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Phobias are a learned non adaptative behaviour, they are not a brain damage result. Did you check the links I left? There werre links to many researchs, it seems you want to talk without researching, based on opinions and not science, please investigate it a bit before talking. Or go to an university and ask, there's a lot of research. --- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:06, 16 August 2009 (UTC) The "it has not been effective for me" is a ridiculous argument. Efectivity is studied in randomized customized trials, with large groups of patients, and the treatment group is compared to a placebo group. Efectivity is not 100% but it's about 90%. Your arguments show us you know very little about scientifical research. Also they show you are very agressive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:12, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Relationship with Anxiety Disorder topic[edit]

Anxiety disorder is an umbrella topic for phobia, and yet the sub-topic of phobia has so much content that it threatens to take over the whole thing. In DSM-III-R (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder) anxiety disorders are defined as:

This means the word 'phobia' by itsef is not a diagnosis, and the agoraphobia/socialphobia/specific phobia classification in this topic is a layman's classification. One way of fixing this topic is to point out the proper classification under anxiety disorder, and leave detailed information in the proper sub-topics.

This re-organization would cut out the redundant information, and the dictionary like contents. --MegaHasher 07:36, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

More phobias[edit]

I could submit over 100 phobias onto this article. Link9er 14:17, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Don't, there are probably hundreds of thousands of them. Can you imagine what this article would look like if we tried to include them all? All people have some kind of fear, some quite irrationally so, and it might well be a never-ending list. Just a general idea of the kind of fears there are will do. Dieter Simon 23:02, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed there is far too many - my phobia is rather stupid and pathetic, but can't find a name for it (any help appreciated) - engines failing to start!!! How do I get some help - i live in fear everytime I get into a car --wozza 16:18, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Irrational test[edit]

I believe the traditional diagnosis does not require the fear to be irrational. As long as the fear interferes with normal life, a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made. For example, a life guard with a fear of sharks that interferes with job function can be diagnosed with Specific Phobia. --MegaHasher 17:09, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

The Specific Phobia diagnosis does require it to be irrational, even if it does not interfere with daily living. A lifeguard afraid of sharks in the ocean is experiencing a rational fear and is not phobic. If he/she experiences it in a community pool, that is a phobia. Often, people will seek help for phobias when it interferes with their daily living. When the businessperson is required to take airplane transportation and goes to see a psychologist for treatment it has now become a clinical issue, even though it was always irrational. --Annalisa579 17:06, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

I'd argue that the use of the word 'fear' is incorrect; I'd want to replace it with 'aversion'. I'm a behaviour therapist and most phobias I treat don't involve the fear of a consequence, they're more like revulsion. So spider phobia, snake phobia and vomit phobia all involve seeing the phobic object as horrible rather than dangerous. If the person sees the thing as dangerous, then I'd call it a fear, and I'd say that it's rational (even though the feared consequence might be unlikely, or the fear reaction might be disproportionate). Rational (in this sense) means 'having a reason', not 'being right'. --Alec.brady 21:54, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Phobia vs. Addiction[edit]

Is it reasonable for phobia to be considered the opposite of addiction?--J. Daily 00:02, 6 February 2006 (UTC)


In the cited articles, due to classifications issues, and co-occuring conditions, between 8.7% and 18.1% was the best I could come up with. Specific phobia: 8.7%, Social Phobia: 6.8%, Agoraphobia: unknown, any anxiety disorder: 18.1%. --MegaHasher 07:40, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Phobia list[edit]

Misc phobia list should go into the -phobia topic please. -MegaHasher 07:05, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

More prominent link to -phob-[edit]

Considering that most use of the suffix "-phobia" is non-clinical, and the main place that people encounter the word "phobia" in general, and considering that all related informatrion is contained in a totally separate article that is not linked to until far down the page, I created a "see also" at the top to further disambiguate. Bobby P. Smith Sr. Jr. 08:39, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Biased list of phobias[edit]

The author's list of only a few, select phobias seems to be biased. Instead, as complete a list of phobias as possible should be provided, preferably with internal links to other Wikipedia pages that would provide a detailed explanation of the individual phobias.

The list of phobia you talked of were chosen by the author to best illustrate the point of phobia terms used in class discrimination or biased context. Regular misc. phobia list should go into the -phobia topic. -MegaHasher 17:50, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

It would be great if someone could provide some info about hemophobia. I know it is significantly different than other phobias in terms of etiology, symptomology, etc, but I don't know enough to write it up. It likely deserves its own paragraph.--Annalisa579 17:06, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Similar Problem[edit]

The article at Pica (disorder) has a similar problem to the one this article used to have: namely, the confusion of real disorders (like the eating of clay) with what appear to be joke ones ("gooberphagia, the pathological consumption of peanuts"). Is there anyone here with any sort of familiarity with pica that would like to contribute? I'm not a doctor and Google doesn't seem like it would be too helpful a source in these cases, since the joke ones spread via the internet anyway. Recury 02:43, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Candidates for Phobia[edit]

What I learned in my college psych class was that there was a relatively small list of stimuli that could be sources of phobia, for example thunder, or dogs, etc. The explanation for this was that apparently certain phobias were hard-wired in us thru evolution, and dated back to a time when something like a wild dog would be an actual threat. Thoughts?--Nick 06:01, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, there are certain stimuli in which we (humans) are primed to fear. For instance, no one "learns" to be afraid of loud noises (such as that of thunder). It is when that unlearned (called "unconditional stimulus") stimulus is paired with some other benign stimulus many times that leads to a person responding to the once benign stimulus with the same fear as the unlearned, instinctual one. Fear of dogs can be an example of generalization. One could be frightened by a single dog bearing it's teeth (instinctual response) and then subsequently fear all dogs because it is linked with the bearing of teeth. That is how some phobias develop. --Annalisa579 17:06, 12 August 2006 (UTC)


I remember reading about one of the first descriptions of a phobia by Hippocrates of a man who became terrified if he heard the sound of a flute (aulophobia). I am not sure where this would fit into the article though. Bibliomaniac15 19:27, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

List of Phobias[edit]

I prepared a complete list of phobias, and added it, its an official list that I had from my Psychology class. Enjoy. -BASIK

If your class teaches that "Angrophobia- Fear of anger or of becoming angry" then I am afraid you are wasting your parents' money. `'mikka (t) 15:57, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
In the list, it states:
{Phobia}, fear or dislike of {criteria].
This is fundementally incorrect, surely, as a phobia is "an irrational fear of", it has nothing to do with a dislike (which is just opinion/attitude) or, as I've also seen elsewhere, a "hatred" of, which again, can stem from a phobia, but doesn't define "phobia".

links to -phob in the phobia list[edit]

The links in the phobia list are confusing, some phobia names link to more specific information about that particular phobia, others are not links, and the majority seem to link to the -phob wiktionary page. Why the inconsistency? I think the links to -phob should be changed either to existing pages about the specific condition or have the links removed, with a prominent link to -phob placed somewhere else (which it already is).

The inconsistency makes it seem like the terms which are links all have pages about the specific conditions, when in fact most of them don't, and it's impossible to tell which terms do or do not have more info.


I want somebody to go through this article and decide whether its appropriate to include this in the list of Phobias. Baragalophobia is the fear of Drought. It is a mental condition experienced by people due to the fear of impending Drought. Introduction Baragalophobia is a fear psychosis experienced by generations of men since the dawn of civilisation and begining of settled communities with agriculture as the main occupation. Drought has affected almost all the regions of the world with varying intensity. Good rainfalls are essential for survival of many communities even today. The failure of rains trigger mass fear among the community people about the impending drought and failure of crops and thus their very survival. Prevalence Baragalophobia is prevalent in the regions of the world which are mainly dependent on good rains for food production. Usually the people who suffer from this type of Phobia are from Asia and African countries. Manily rural people, small time farmers and Nomads suffer from this. The Monsoon Most people in Southeast Asia are dependent on good monsoon rains for their agricultural activities and failure of Monsoon rains means the whole year is lost without being able grow anything and a vicious sycle of lack of food for people, lack of fodder, shortage of labour, poverty and economic slump occurs. Appeasement of Rain Gods The mass fear of drought triggers the desperate people to do all sorts of things. The farmers in India perform Pooja's and sacrifices to appease the rain gods. They also perform marriage between Donkeys with the belief that the marriage will bring Rains. Some communities are known to perform animal sacrifices and Frog Marriages. Many farmers commit sucide due the fear of drought and hence impending hardships coming with failure of crops.--Ganesha1 16:52, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Section deletion[edit]

I'm not convinced the following material should be in the article as it is written, but it has been deleted twice now without discussion even in the summary line. Rather than reverting the change again, I'm posting it here.

Types of Phobias[edit]

Any Latin prefix can end with the suffix "phobia", and naming a personal fear, for example, acrophobia, or fear of heights. The root word here is "acro" which is translated in Latin as "height" or "high").

Aleta 19:56, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

You got it upside down, colleague. We don't have to waste our time in discussing useless things some well-meaning teenagers add to articles. If you see something salvageable, say so, othewise please don't waste other people's time. There is still enormous amount of real work to do in wikipedia. `'mikka 20:03, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


The Emetophobia page needs more work doing on it. I keep adding an article about typical behaviour and some external links but it keeps getting deleted. JFBurton 19:44, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Is Phobia a state of mind - OR a Disease - I heard its a state of mind - Similar to Trance, Subconciousness etc[edit]

Phobia comes from fear that is induced from childhood or pre birth. It’s a state of mind as per my feelings. It’s not a disease precisely. It heals when you overcome your fear. Its not like you get healed of your phobias by some medicine. As I am not a psychologist I don’t know if there is any medicines for Phobia. As I know phobias were healed by counseling or by taking people to the root cause.

States of Mind 1) Conscious 2) Subconscious 3) Trance 4) Sleep 5) Wake 6) Awareness

And Phobia suits all conditions of State of mind

State of Mind is said to be – 1) Induced. 2) Can be controllable or uncontrollable depending on the person’s will power. 3) It’s a Feeling more than existent.

Statistics of specific fears[edit]

ok, this page states that 704 of 1000 adults (18-70) chosen at the time had a specific fear. i'm not sure if a specific fear is supposed to be different from a phobia, and i'm not sure what the rest of the article at nih is about. but this contradicts the statistics shown in the article if there are no differences between specific fears and phobias.. 20:31, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

The quoted study appears to be a sampling of "specific phobias". Difference in measurement methodologies could lead to different figures. MegaHasher 23:27, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Clinical phobias?[edit]

Most psychologists and psychiatrists classify most phobias into three categories:

Social phobias - fears involving other people or social situations such as performance anxiety or fears of embarrassment by scrutiny of others, such as eating in public. Social phobias may be further subdivided into the general social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, and specific social phobias, which are cases of anxiety triggered only in specific situations....

This is in error. It is correct that there are three categories but none of those are Social phobias (plural), it's social phobia (no plural). Also the subtypes of social phobia are not the general social phobia and specific social phobias they are generalized social phobia and specific social phobia (again no plural) also known as social phobia; subtype: generalized or subtype: specific . Thunder2k (talk) 18:00, 17 February 2008 (UTC)


Can phobias actually be considered a mental illness? After all, almost everyone on this earth has a fear of something. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:04, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, phobias are metal illnesses, while fears are not. `'Míkka>t 01:13, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
A phobia is defined as an unrealistic fear of something. It's all right to have a general disgust towards insects, or be reasonably paranoid that some of them may have vemon, but when you FREAK OUT when coming across one (like myself) then that's a neurotic response, much more than a simple fear.--Spectatorbot13 (talk) 21:16, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

To Greyo: rationale for reverting your edit[edit]

My summary didn't go through, so I'll type it here: no bias intended, Greyo, NO method is proven to cure a phobia. Nobody knows what a phobia scientifically is and how to cure it. Cognitive behavioral therapy does not work for everyone (did not work for me) and frankly, it's abuse to force someone to be exposed to something that causes them a lot of stress.--Spectatorbot13 (talk) 21:16, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

"It did't wor for me, terefore it is not going to work for NOBODY." That's an overgeneralization, based on unsufficient evidence. It's making an universal law based in 1 case. Please check research papers, go to google schoolar, or check the links of the article. Otherwise you are imposing your opinions in a very anti-scientifical way. Please spectator13, read this paper: E. B., Foa; Blau, J. S., Prout, M., & Latimer, P. (1977). "Is horror a necessary component of flooding (implosion)?". Behaviour Research and Therapy (15): 397-402. It's about research of the insect phobia treatment.

Mr. Anonymous, I don't have time to purchase the book you are talking about, nor am I going to spend money on something that I doubt will tell me anything new. In addition, if you want to add a reference to wikipedia, it has to be accessible. Referencing an information page about a book isn't much help since it is paid-for access. Instead, you should cite specific sentences from the book that you believe support the statement.
Also, I am not imposing my views nor am I aggressive. I am, however, a tough skeptic and I only believe things that are backed up by irrefutable evidence, which CBT lacks. Let me put it in a way you'll understand: treating a bacterial infection is a scientific process, because we can identify the problem and we know which chemical solutions will get rid of the bacterial entities in the body. It will work for everyone, and if it doesn't work then there is an explanation why it doesn't and the doctors would know this ahead of time before prescribing the treatment.
But nobody precisely knows what a phobia is to begin with, so treatment is very limited. If the clinical trial you mentioned worked for 90% of the patients, and it is not known why it didn't work for the other 10%, then this alone proves that the methods are not scientific. A theory must be possible to test before it can be categorized as scientific.
It is understandable that behavioral rehabilitation works for many people, but everybody is different and exceptions change the rules, either for the treatment method or the psychological disorder. I certainly don't adjust to something when being exposed to it too many times. Much like no matter how how many times I drink a cup of cherry juice, I will never learn to like it. Maybe my brain is wired in a way that the neurons are too stubborn and are less adept on adjusting to new stimuli, unlike most people. You will never know until you cut open my head and do experiments. Of course, if anything happens to me, you'll be criminally negligible, so obviously we wouldn't wanna go there.--Spectatorbot13 (talk) 20:11, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your answer. It's the first time i comment in an article, that's why I'm annonymous, but I'll soon register an account. Scientifical papers are accesible to anyone who has acces to an university database. If scientifical papers are unaccesible for people who has not acceso to an university or scientifical database, then scientifical papers are not good sources? Many researchs are only in scientifical databases. Still I mentioned in reference 9 a book which amazon let's you check some pages, and those pages talk about specific phobias.

Mental disorders are not caused always by brain disfunctions. They may be caused either by dysfunctional thoughts (it's not the case of phobias) or by classical conditioning (phobias) . By classical conditioning, it means that 2 different stimuli were associated by simultaneity. Like the association of state of fear and and a harmless object, and after the first association, the harmless oject starts evoking the fear.

Research in psychological treatments shows a high effectivity of the expossure treatment. It's true, as you say, that it does not work for everybody, but it works for a lot of people. In the book by Cavallo, in chapter 1, Barlow writes that they have an effectivity of 90%. You may be outside that 90%, and it does not contradict the findings. A test doesn't have to prove 100% effectivity to probe something and be scientifical. Many investigations that don't get 100% effectivity ARE scientifical. For example, many drugs to treat ilnesses are not 100% effective, yet the research behind that is scientifical.

Phobias are not not-liking drinking cherry juice, but about an irrational fear about a harmless object. It would be a phobia if you see a cherry juice and you panic, not if you dislike it. I dislike hot dogs and i don't have a hot dog phobia. I wish you find a way to overcome your phobia if you desire to overcome it. (now i'm going to create a wikiaccount) -- (talk) 20:35, 16 August 2009 (UTC) already registered, not annonymous anymore, I'm sorry for my writting mistakes. Please answer now to this account if you wish.--Serj198 (talk) 20:43, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

The issue is not whether the researching of CBT was valid, but whether CBT itself was a scientifically found treatment, which it isn't. Evolution, for example isn't scientific either. Even though the research that aims to understand evolution is scientific, evolution itself isn't. Discovery of dinosaurs has only proven that dinosaurs once existed, not evolution.
Same thing with CBT. The main problem is not being able to do proper experiments on humans, so you can only derive psychological disorders and symptoms from their behavior. We know that people go into panic attacks when they come across their specific phobia, but we can't conclude WHY. I would be careful about your "classical conditioning" generalization, because it certainly is not why I am afraid of spiders. I go into a nearly psychotic meltdown when I come across one, and it is not because I had any traumatic incident involving them or because I think they are dangerous. I'm aware they are harmless. Personally I think I have a chemical imbalance somewhere that triggers a panic attack upon seeing certain visual patterns. It isn't the spider per se that causes this. Patterns such as the pores of mushrooms also trigger it, so I think it's the squirmy way their legs move. I don't know, and there's no way to know. But it shows that "phobia" is a broad generalization.
So, I'll leave the reference you added but I'm gonna change the wording slightly, because it still lacks a scientific status. Saying that 90% of people reported feeling better in one clinical trial is fine as it is.
Oh, and FYI I do wish to cure my phobia and would do anything for one, but I know that logically it is impossible, because you can't cure something you can't identify in the first place, and a true cure would most likely involve direct surgery on the brain to adjust the chemical imbalance that's causing the phobia. This may become a reality in a couple decades, but as of now it is pure fantasy.--Spectatorbot13 (talk) 23:05, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Science is a methodology, and the disciplines that follow that metodology are scientific. Science is not about truth, but about probabilities. The 90% quote is from a book. It's based on meta-analysis of different clinical trials. The results are not simply what people reports, the investigators must evaluate the phobia symptoms even if the patient reports that he improved. The phobia symptoms are the ones in DSMIV, and they must not be present to inform in a trial that the patient canot be diagnosed anymore as presenting a phobia.

Regarding your symptoms, I would tell you that even a sane brain can associate a pattern like the spider legs moving to a panic reaction. Learning theories study that stuff. Learning has a biological basis, of course. I just want to point that psychological experiences modify the brain and viceversa.

Conditioning may happen by association of memories, even if you never experienced a trauma in front of a spider.

Expossure, in treatments is gradual and controlled, that's why it's not like expossure by surprise. For example in a spider phobia, the first item would be perhaps the word "spider", after that, when that word does not cause anxiety anymore, the expossure goes to the next item, maybe a spider picture, and so on.... (I cannot log in again in the user I registered0) Serj198 -- (talk) 00:05, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I've adjusted the wording now. Hopefully it is neutral.
You are wrong about the idea that science is about probabilities, I don't know where you got that from. If I am receiving a vaccine to cure a disease, the efficacy has nothing to do with probability. If it doesn't cure my problem, then either my problem was not assessed properly or I have a biological phenomenon such as a specific blood type that reduces the efficacy of certain antigens. Science is the discipline that enables a theory to be testable. Rolling dice and fortune telling has no place in it.
The reason why CBT is not testable is because the problem (phobia) is attempted to be treated via secondary channels (behavioral) which is limited and not completely verifiable. That's why it doesn't work for everyone, and there's no way to precisely know why it didn't work for the other 10% subjects.
About the treatment you describe, I've already gone thru it. I've made good progress initially but got stuck at one stage, and when the therapist wanted to put me on medication to lower anxiety, I refused, as I was already dependent on a shitload of mood-regulating meds that I never needed in the first place. Then I was told that I wasn't trying hard enough, and he implied that it only works if I want it to work. I realized at that point that the sessions are useless, so I said goodnight.--Spectatorbot13 (talk) 02:16, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

The edition is ok, I don't care anymore about the article. I think it was a good decision to refuse taking more meds if you are already taking so many. And sometimes is a bad therapist's tactic to blame the patient when things don't work. When you got stuck, it might have been caused by the inhability of the therapist, and not because of you. I wish you to eventually overcome your phobia.

I disagree when you talk about treatments being testable. You are saying that behaviours are not testable. But the statistics are used to evaluate crime in a city, to evaluate how much somebody con move an arm, to evaluate a lot of behavioural variables, and it's done in a scientifical way. Being testable means that you can define a dependent variable and modifiyng independent variables you see how that affects the dependent variable.

I suggest that a third party intervenes in our conversation, and evaluate what he thinks about science and methods and about if treatments evaluations are scientific. -- (talk) 20:33, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Hi, as the discussion is no longer about improving the article, it's off topic so I posted a response on your Serj198 talk page.--Spectatorbot13 (talk) 18:30, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Rational Fear?[edit]

Phobia is many times defined as an irrational fear. So what is the correct term for a rational fear? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:01, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Terms for prejudice or discrimination -- Non Neutral POV section[edit]

I would like to suggest that this section is largely non-neutral. Usage of "phobia" under the guise of "a neutral negativity" is frequently used as a way of name-calling and head-gaming. For example, "homophobia" is often asserted to be a neutral term (as suggested in this section), but for those labeled with the term it seems more like thinly-disguised name-calling (the homophobia article itself recognizes this controversy). That is, when used this way, "phobia" allows the user to essentially get away with calling someone "irrational" and "fearful" for simply holding a less-than-fully-supportive perspective, regardless of the rationale. Thus, legitimizing the use of "phobia" as "a neutral negativity" here in this section is non-neutral because is promotes name-calling and bullying under the guise of neutrality.

This idea may be difficult to see, especially when the user of "phobia" in this way has him/herself suffered historically from overt name-calling. However the "covertness" of name-calling in this way does not make it neutral, it simply makes it "covert", a head game, still non-neutral. Here's another example which may be more obvious: In the southern U.S., prior to the 1960's or so, some terms for blacks were perceived as neutral by the users of the terms, but they were not neutral terms. "Plausible deny-ability" makes the name-calling plausibly neutral, but not actually neutral.

I know this is a hot issue. I will wait for comment before making changes. I may simply add words suggesting that the usage in this way, while possibly intended to be neutral by the user, can sometimes be intended as a "name-calling-under-the-guise-of-neutrality", or words to those effect. (talk) 18:32, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Want to Join Me?[edit]

Hello, I'm a psychology undergraduate at UC Berkeley and have taken an interest in the renovation of this page. Because of this page's importance, I feel its neglect doesn't do the field of psychology justice so if you would like to collaborate with me join me! Gorozco1 (talk) 06:15, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm not qualified, but it's good that you'll be improving the article. A comment: the DSM is a copyrighted work, right? If so, the material quoted from it is anything but brief (and constitutes a significant proportion of the article), which means it's a WP:COPYVIO and must be replaced with a summary. Rostz (talk) 13:21, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Roosevelt University PSYC 336 Project[edit]

Rough Draft[edit]

Article Outline[edit]

1. Areas involved
   a. Amygdala
   b. Lef insula
   c. Anterior cingulate cortex (or other cortexes-- medial prefrontal, extrastriate visual)
   d. Hippocampus
2. Neural circuit of fear
   a. Auditory info--> Basolateral region (amygdala)--> Central nucleus--> Cerebral cortex, Hypothalamus, and Gray matter
3. Activation of amygdala
   a. How stimuli activates it and releases hormones
    i. Types of stimuli
    ii. Types of hormones
   b. Hormone effect on body response
    i. Sympathetic nervous system-- Fight or flight response
   c. Conditioning of amygdala to threatening stimuli
    i.Disrupted by damage
    ii. What happens when stimulated
    iii. Neurons learn to respond to stimuli assoc. with fear

Our article will be focusing on the neuroscience of phobia, specifically the brain regions involved during fear. The outline consists of three main sections, the first being a discussion on the general brain structures and regions involved in fear acquisition. The second section shows the network of these structures and details how sensory information comes into the brain, is processed, and results in a fear response. The third section is specifically focused on the amygdala and the role it plays in phobic responses. This details how it responds to stimuli, the hormones involved, and the behavioral responses that occur when this area is damaged or lesioned. Hpilla15 (talk) 16:16, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

One question you should be thinking about as you do this -- though it's hard to address -- is why some types of stimuli are much more prone to cause phobias than other types of stimuli. For example, phobias to spiders and snakes are very common, phobias to guns are very rare, despite the fact that guns are a far more serious danger nowadays. The answer must surely be that spiders and snakes have been threats to our primate ancestors for millions of years, while guns have not. But how does that come into play at the level of brain circuitry? You might look at for a starting point. Looie496 (talk) 17:32, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for the suggestion and the link! Hpilla15 (talk) 16:44, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Instructor's comments[edit]

  • Group, I like your outline
  • Regarding your references below, you have a number of primary sources. For this topic, there should be plenty of secondary sources available. Remember your textbook is also an appropriate source. Aim to reference only secondary sources that are reliable in your article.
  • Keep up the good work!

Neuropsychprof (talk) 16:59, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

A reflist[edit]

  • Alpers, G. W. (2009). "Attention and amygdala activity: an fMRI study with spider pictures in spider phobia". Journal of Neural Transmission. 6. 116: 747–757. doi:10.1007/s00702-008-0106-8. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  • Straube, T. (2005). "Neuropsychobiology". Common and District Brain Activation to Threat and Safety Signals in Social Phobia. 52 (3): 163–168. doi:10.1159/000087987. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  • Behar, M. (2008). "Paging Dr. Fear". Popular Science. 1. 272: 50–86.
  • Davis, M. (2005). "Facilitation of Extinction of Conditioned Fear by D- Cycloserine". Current Directions In Psychological Science (Wiley- Blackwell). 4. 14: 214–219. doi:10.1111/j.0963-7214.2005.00367.x. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  • Gersley, Erin. "Phobias: Causes and Treatments". Allpsych Journal. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  • Ohman, Arne (17). "Has evolution primed humans to "beware the best"?". PNAS. Stockholm, Sweden. 104 (42). Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Check date values in: |date=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  • John P. Aggleton, ed. (2000). The Amygdala: A Functional Analysis (2 ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198505019.
  • Mark F. Bear, Barry W. Connors, Michael A. Paradiso, ed. (2007). Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain (Third ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9780781760034.
  • Tillfors, Maria (15). "Why do some individuals develop social phobia? A review with emphasis on the neurobiological influences". Nord J. Psychiatry. Taylor & Francis. 58 (4). doi:10.1080/0839480410005774. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Check date values in: |date=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  • Etkin, Amit (2011). "Emotional processing in the anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex". Trends Cogn Sci. 15 (2): 85–93. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2010.11.004. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  • Akirav, Irit (15). "The Role of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex-Amygdala Circuit in Stress Effects on the Extinction of Fear". Neural Plasticity. 2007. doi:10.1155/2007/30873. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Check date values in: |date=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  • Paul J. Whalen and Elizabeth A. Phelps, ed. (2009). The Human Amygdala. New York: The Guilford Press.

Hpilla15 (talk) 20:41, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

A comment on this list: Popular science can be used as a source of inspiration, but it is not a reliable source. So if they for instance write about LeDoux, you have to find LeDoux's article or book and use that as the source for your text. With friendly regards, Lova Falk talk 17:32, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Note: I've taken the liberty of reformatting the list to make it easier to read. Looie496 (talk) 18:13, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Comments from Smallman12q[edit]

  • You don't need to define the components of the brain so much. You can briefly introduce a cortex, and wikilink to it. Complete articles on the subject are only a click away.
  • Add more wikilinks.
  • You mention several cortexes and their roles. Has anything more specific, such as certain neurotransmitters or abnormal solute concentrations, been implicated in phobias?

Smallman12q (talk) 22:56, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Max Frazier Comments[edit]

  • I really like the overall presentation of your page. There is great detail and it seems well and thought out. However, i would like a bit more from some of the sections that seem a bit light. Non-psychological conditions was one that I would like to see further developed. I don't possess to much knowledge on phobias and that particular section sparked a lot of my interest. I looked at some of your references and the seemed to be pretty good as well. I could see their work in the information presented. Not in a bad way, just that i know your information has a home, and is truthful. Any-who, great job guys.! -Tothemax4 —Preceding undated comment added 17:35, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Comments from alymp17[edit]

  • In the amygdala section, the grammar needs to be fixed a little. “an” instead of “a”
  • What is horseshoe paired? It is written in “Hippocampus” section. Actually, the whole hippocampus section needs to be revised because a lot of it isn’t understandable/correct grammar.
  • “Disruption” not “Distruption” in the section title!
  • Other than those specific items, your article flows very well. It is well-integrated and it was even difficult for me to find what was yours and what was from other people because so many people helped contribute! Just listen to what the other people have posted on the site, do not forget to include the words of those who posted before you.
  • Good job so far, though, guys. Alymp17 (talk)

Comments from VWBeetle23[edit]

  • Your additions to the article are very thorough and that shows an extensive knowedge of the subject which is great!
  • I would agree that making links to other wiki pages on the structures themselves would make it all the better
  • I see that although many of the structures are related to fear itself, is it possible to show how they play a role in the powerful fear of the phobia, which is more specfic?
  • The flow is good, but perhaps seperating the structures and making the sections of damage and those thereafter seperate would help show the different points in better organization.
  • Apart from that, great job!!!

VWBeetle23 (talk) 01:51, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Comments from sbenduha[edit]

  • Citations are needed at the end of Neurobiology's first paragraph, end of the Amygdala section, and in the Hippocampus section.
  • Consider moving 'Amygdala's Role in Memory and Learned Fear Responses' to the Amygdala section, or just below it, so there is a more cohesive understanding of the amygdala.
  • I think a bit more can be expanded in the 'Left insula' section, particularly explaining more about 'detecting and interpreting threatening stimuli' or with the 'correlation between increased insular activation and anxiety.' If possible I think providing an example here, or more information from the study would be helpful for clarification purposes.
  • I would include hyperlinks to the different cortex's and lobes in that brain that are discussed. (cerebral cortex, frontal lobe)
  • Very good article though! Interesting, has smooth flow, and has clearly been critiqued and perfected over time.

sbenduha (talk) 08:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)


Hi Hpilla15 and Schandler91! Thank you both for your contributions to the Neurobiology section. It would be really nice if you could take your Wikipedia editing one step further and integrate what was written before with the text that you have added. Because at this moment they are like two separate parts... With friendly regards, Lova Falk talk 17:33, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Comments from Aalwaraqi[edit]

  • I like the flow of your article and how you show knowledge of the subject and the different parts of the brain that relate to fear.
  • There should be a bit more wiki links added into your article which would cut out some of the information that isn't needed as much as the details about your topic. Make more room for the relevant information, thus making your article not drone on for so long. It will keep your article more organized and prevents from talking too much about definitions. It will give you more structure.
  • Watch the grammar. When you have errors it takes away the significance of your article. Remember to spell check.
  • Other than a few minor errors that can be quickly fixed, you guys are on the right track and doing good work. keep it up!

Aalwaraqi (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:26, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Comments from Tturner4411[edit]

  • Some of the grammar is sub-par. The article needs to be better edited to be taken seriously.
  • More organization is in order. You could do this by using wiki links.

Tturner4411 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 16:11, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Comments from ilsetap08[edit]

It is very understanding to read, but should be broken up more to explain the results afterwards. You guys show a great deal of information making it easy to read. I enjoyed reading this article and learning so much more information apart from our class. ilsetap08Ilsetap08 (talk) 17:42, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Comments from Daniadams9121[edit]

I like the organization of the article. You guys did a good job with that. Make sure to check your grammar though, it could stand to be improved. It was a very easy to read article and I think that is very important, great job there. Make sure to explain the results more afterwards. I really enjoyed reading the neurobiology section of this article and I think you guys did a great job. With a few minor adjustments this article is going to look great! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Comments from NikolazSalinas[edit]

Great organization with the article guys. You guys did an amazing job with giving the background of what a phobia is and what causes them and all that jazz. The only thing I would say to add is like different type of phobias. Like add a list of phobias like near the end of the page. I mean that is just a minor thing I don't know if it needs to be added but it seems like it wold be nice. The Diagnosis section was well written and really enjoyed that. Everything seems to be fine and awesome so that is good, great grammar and spelling. keep up the good work! — Preceding unsigned comment added by NikolazSalinas (talkcontribs) 18:58, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Instructor's feedback[edit]

  • I know you gals didn't write the first 2 paragraphs in the Neurobiology section. Because you're working on this section, be bold and edit so the section flows well. For example, the first paragraph can be deleted (doesn't provide info not included elsewhere; repetitive with some sections above). The amygdala is not located behind the pituitary. Add amygdala's relationship to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the discussion on fight-or-flight response.
  • Amygdala: "The amydala associates itself with fear by decoding emotions, and threatening stimuli" need to be more specific. I recommend that you merge into this section the info in The amygdala's role in memory and learned fear responses (i.e., conditioning). It is not clear what the end of this paragraph (i.e., "When it comes to fear...") is trying to communicate. I recommend that you give an example of a classical conditioning scenario that explains the amygdala's role in classical conditioning.
  • Anterior cingulate, extrastriate, and medial prefrontal cortices: I recommend that you remove the extrastriate info from this paragraph. The reason is the strastriate region is in the occipital lobe, which does not fit with your opening sentence in this paragraph. It's great that you're including processing of fearful expressions and extinction!
  • Hippocampus: Hippocampus does not help with maintaining posture. The role of the hippocampus in phobia is not clear. Perhaps you discuss its role in modulating fear responses via the HPA axis. The last sentence of this paragraph is poorly written. Please clarify your message. Remember you are only allowed one grammatical error in the entire edited section (i.e., Neurobiology). This sentence alone has multiple grammatical errors.
  • Disruption by damage: I think it would be better if you integrate the info in this section into relevant sections above. For example, put Kluver-Bucy syndrome and Urbach-Wiethe disease in the section on amygdala. However, do note that these are conditions involving medial temporal damage, which includes the hippocampus (it's a good idea to put the hippocampus section immediately after the amygdala section). By the way, Urbach-Wiethe disease is not defined by damage to the amygdala, which you incorrectly implied. You also need to explain that the basolateral nuclei are a section of the amygdala. I don't think this article needs a reference to Phinease Gage, because he did not have a problem with phobia.

You're doing a really nice job adding to this Neurobiology section. Keep up the good work! Neuropsychprof (talk) 06:52, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Changes Based on Feedback[edit]

Thank you all for your suggestions! While we tried to incorporate as much of the suggested changes as possible, here is the gist of what we focused on editing:

- Add more wikilinks and shorten the introduction of brain components

- Grammatical errors, rewording of sentences

- Flow in previous writing in the section to our contributions

- Delete unnecessary information or off topic information

- Include discussion of HPA Axis — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

As far as organizing the sections, there were several different suggestions, so we were unable to implement everyone’s comments. However, we did organize our section around the basic outline of:

1. Brain regions involved

2. What they do in relation to phobia

3. A closer look at the amygdala

4. What happens when these areas are damaged

The only changes we have yet to make are in relation to the Disruption by Damage section. While it was advised by the instructor to integrate this info to the section above, we found it difficult to keep our sections organized according to the outline by rearranging the section. We wanted to put all information in relation to lesions and damage in the last paragraph, so we can first present how the brain regions work, and then what happens when they’re damaged. Thank you for all your helpful advice!

Hpilla15 (talk) 17:17, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Incomplete sentence in intro[edit]

The intro contains the following sentence: "Proximity and the degree to which escape from the phobic stimulus should also be considered." It seems to be missing some bits; possibly it should be " which escape is impossible..." or " which escape is possible..." or something. I'm not actually certain what the content here should be, but it does need attention. Kierkkadon (talk) 22:02, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

You are quite right! Please add either is possible or is impossible. Lova Falk talk 16:00, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Done. --Kierkkadon talk/contribs 16:07, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
👍 Like Lova Falk talk 16:14, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

History & Systems of Psychology course at Shenandoah University[edit]

"I'm editing this article as part of my History & Systems of Psychology course at Shenandoah University, in conjunction with the APS Wikipedia Initiative..." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wmiguel08 (talkcontribs)

Once more, welcome! When adding a new comment (that is not an answer to other comments or questions), click on New section. And, please sign! Otherwise, you're doing great! Face-smile.svg Lova Falk talk 20:22, 14 February 2013 (UTC)


Hello, I'm editing this article as part of my History & Systems of Psychology course at Shenandoah University, in conjunction with the APS Wikipedia Initiative. I'll be adding a new section on hypnosis since is now being often use to cure or help phobias. I'll be using reliable resources. Below is my bibliography: David Goode. (undefined). Hypnotherapy-Service. In Phobias and Fears. Retrieved Feburary 18, 2013, from Kraft, D. (2010). THE PLACE OF HYPNOSIS IN PSYCHIATRY, PART 4: ITS APPLICATION TO THE TREATMENT OF AGORAPHOBIA AND SOCIAL PHOBIA. Australian Journal Of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis, 38(2), 91-110. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wmiguel08 (talkcontribs) 01:12, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi Wmiguel! Your David Goode article is not a reliable source according to WP:MEDRS. Goode is not a scientist, he is a practitioner and the article he has written has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal. To the best of my judgement, however, the second source found here is a good WP:secondary source. With friendly regards, Lova Falk talk 16:27, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Gender and age differences in the prevalence of specific fears and phobias.[edit]

I found a good source on the incidence of phobias at [1]. I don't have time to incorporate it into the article at the moment but wanted to add the source here. Sparkie82 (tc) 21:04, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Alright thank you very much for your input..this source would be a good addition to my section of hypnosis. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wmiguel08 (talkcontribs) 19:31, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Doubts about new edits[edit]

The article has just seen massive new edits that, as far as I can tell, are mainly concerned with describing rather obscure ideas that come from a researcher named H. N. Levinson. My view, I'm afraid, is that these edits give greatly undue weight to ideas that have achieved minor notability at best, and probably will need to be reverted. Looie496 (talk) 04:24, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

After further consideration, I have reverted those edits. Looie496 (talk) 01:51, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Why have images?[edit]

When searching a phobia, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN IMAGE OF THE PHOBIA!!! There are probably plenty floating around on the net. People who have phobias who come searching for it to see what triggers it get b,asked with a face full of it as they browse the page. Come on. Won't a description simply suffice? (talk) 13:40, 11 August 2013 (UTC) (Extreme arachnophobic and trypophobic. If you don't know what it is, search up an image of it. You'll be delighted.)

Confusing opening sentence[edit]

The first sentence of this article is a little bit of a mess:

A phobia (from the Greek: φόβος, Phóbos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is, when used in the context of clinical psychology, a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational.

1. The clause "when used in the context of clinical psychology" is a little clumsy and breaks up the sentence. Why can't we just say "A phobia . . . is a term in clinical psychology"? I assume the author wished to avoid the implication that it is only a clinical psychology term. But since the entire article is about the term as used in clinical psychology, I don't think it would be a problem to begin that way.

2. "persistent fear of an object or situation in which . . ."--What is the antecedent of the word which in this clause? Is it fear or is it object or situation? Neither one seems grammatically consistent with the rest of the sentence.

3. " . . . in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding. . ." In avoiding what? The transitive verb "avoiding" requires an object. My intuition is that the intended object was the which earlier in the sentence. This would have the meaning: "The sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding [the object or situation]", which is sensible and comprehensible, but it is not a possible parsing of the sentence as written. If this is indeed the intended meaning, it should read: ". . . an object or situation which [not in which] the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding. . ."

4. The last phrase: ". . . often being recognized as irrational." What is recognized as irrational? (The fear? The avoidance? The actual danger posed? The sufferer? The great lengths?) Also, by whom is it recognized as irrational? (By the sufferer? By the general population? By clinical psychologists?) (The sentence can be read to mean that it's only a phobia if the sufferer him/herself recognizes its irrationality. To an outsider like me, knowing little about clinical psychology, that is a plausible and conceivable reading. But I don't know if it's what is intended. It could equally well mean that everyone but the sufferer recognizes the irrationality of the phobia.)

I propose the following re-written sentence:

Phobia (from the Greek: φόβος, Phóbos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is a term in clinical psychology for a type of anxiety disorder. It is usually defined as a persistent fear, recognized [by the sufferer?] as irrational, of some object or situation which the sufferer takes great lengths to avoid, typically out of proportion to the actual danger. Chalkieperfect (talk) 17:15, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

I think the point that the wording about clinical psychology was trying to account for is that the term "phobia" is also used outside that context in a much looser way, to mean any sort of intense dislike -- for example homophobia is not really a fear of people of the same sex. Looie496 (talk) 00:16, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Common phobias[edit]

Could someone with access to reliable sources add some statistical information on which sorts of phobias are particularly common? -- Gordon Ecker, WikiSloth (talk) 02:53, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Terms for prejudice all POV?[edit]

This section is completely unreferenced and uses a clinical term in a non-clinical way to justify insulting people who oppose some of the lifestyles listed here. (talk) 15:24, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

No, the section documents the fact that these terms are used non-clinically to describe people who oppose some of the lifestyles listed. That is a very different thing.--Srleffler (talk) 01:47, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Updating Clinical Classification[edit]

Hello all! I was looking over the clinical section under classification and I realized that it could be updated. The information is using the DSM-IV and with the DSM-V being recently released, some of the information has changed. It's very important to keep up with this because many psychological definitions can change from one manual to the next. These are my proposed edits (I didn't change the agoraphobia section, except for changing the numbering. I copied the rest of the paragraph):

Most phobias are classified into two categories and, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V), such phobias are considered to be sub-types of anxiety disorder. The two categories are:

1. Specific phobias: Fear of particular objects or social situations that immediately results in anxiety and can sometimes lead to panic attacks. Specific phobia may be further subdivided into five categories: animal type, natural environment type, situational type, blood-injection-injury type, and other.[1]

2. Agoraphobia: a generalized fear of leaving home or a small familiar 'safe' area, and of possible panic attacks that might follow. It may also be caused by various specific phobias such as fear of open spaces, social embarrassment (social agoraphobia), fear of contamination (fear of germs, possibly complicated by obsessive-compulsive disorder) or PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) related to a trauma that occurred out of doors.S.koltun (talk) 20:21, 7 December 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan (2013). Abnormal Psychology (Sixth ed.). McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages. p. 118. ISBN 9780078035388.

Addition to Therapy of Phobia[edit]

Systematic Desensitization[edit]

Another method that is used in the treatment of a phobia is systematic desensitization, a process in which the patients seeking help slowly become accustomed to their phobia, and ultimately overcome it. For example, a woman who is afraid of snakes could start the process by looking at pictures of snakes, transition to videos of snakes, then possibly to seeing snakes in a cage, touching the snake, and then finally being able to hold it without fear. [1] Melissadinkin (talk) 23:17, 7 December 2014 (UTC)MelissaDinkin


  1. ^ Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan (2014). Abnormal Psychology (6 ed.). McGraw Hill Education. p. 122. ISBN 1308211503. |access-date= requires |url= (help)

I heard that it's important for people to be in charge of their desensitisation therapy (ie go into the therapy with all relevant information and consent to do it) - is that in the book? Knittea (talk) 10:27, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

Linquistical masking errors.[edit]

Phobia: greek (fovia): lack of definite aperture/focal point/focus stability reference.

Claustrophobia and agoraphobia are in reality not phobias at all, but space-time, position, differencial reference focal point asimetries, which lead to balance desquilibriums. These experienced desquilibriums are taken up in PLL reference to be non-wanted (survival mode), within the context of overal events, and actively NOT sought out. When the neuronal threshold firing level of a detect event is set to high, then that becomes debilitating in interaction.

Many phobias are defacto survival drives, but outside of the stability criterea of usefullness in context, EXCEPT, if there IS a definite focal asimetry, such a those found in far and nearsightedness, at which point they are not debilitating, but actively in direct relation to personal survivalbility. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

This talk page is only for discussion of how to improve the Wikipedia article, and any improvements need to be based on reputable published sources. The material above clearly does not meet those criteria, and does not belong here. (Also "phobia" comes from Greek phobos, meaning "fear", not from fovea, which was a Latin word meaning "ditch" or "pit".) Looie496 (talk) 14:15, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

re: non clinical / terms for prejudice[edit]

Hello, I've removed part of what I believe to be a non-neutral POV sentence in "Terms for prejudice", but I also think the rest of the sentence may need to be reworded, because the grammar is a little bit confusing. I would appreciate other editors' input on this because I'm quite new. Thank you :) Knittea (talk) 09:07, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Hello - I am also new, but have edited this section to include ", often pejoratively" as the non-clinical use of the suffix -phobic or -phobia is exactly that, in two of the three provided examples. (Edit) I think perhaps the word "usually," or at least the addition of the word "most" (i.e. "most often pejoratively") might have been a better approach. Hikikomoridesuyo (talk) 20:29, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

We already state "prejudice" against the object latter in a the sentences. This is our text. I do not think we need to state it twice.
"A number of terms with the suffix -phobia are used non-clinically. Such terms are primarily understood as negative attitudes towards certain categories of people or other things, used in an analogy with the medical usage of the term. Usually these kinds of "phobias" are described as fear, dislike, disapproval, prejudice, hatred, discrimination, or hostility towards the object of the "phobia"."
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:26, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

That is not correct. "Prejudice" is used to describe the person against whom the pejorative has been used, but not the person using it. When used non-clinically, the suffix "-phobia" is always pejorative. This is not a statement of the same thing twice, as there are two parties involved in communication - the speaker, and the recipient. The accuser, and the accused. The accused is assumed guilty of "prejudice," while the accuser eschews any description. The phrase "as pejoratives" has been added. Hikikomoridesuyo (talk) 02:31, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

"Prejudice" is a noun. "Prejudiced" is the adjective used to describe an action, belief etc which is based on prejudice. ("Prejudice" can also be a verb, as in, "we can't give the jury material that would prejudice them".) I don't think it's necessary to have the phrase "as perjoratives" here, and I think the word "prejudice" is used correctly in the passage Doc James quoted. I think the phrase "as perjoratives" is non-neutral POV and is best removed. If this issue is not resolved through discussion on the Talk page, what do we do? I don't want to start an edit war of just adding and removing the same two words over and over. Knittea (talk) 10:36, 13 May 2016 (UTC)


Types of phobia Maheshbabu07 (talk) 06:14, 10 March 2018 (UTC)