Everyone is scared of something. However, how do you know if your fear is problematic? A phobia relates to the following:
You experience significant and persistent fear when in the presence of, or anticipating the presence of, the object of fear, which may be an object, place or situation (e.g. dogs, heights, needles etc).
1. You experience out of proportion fear within an environmental or situational context to the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation
2. When you are exposed to the phobic stimulus (e.g. highways), it provokes an immediate anxiety response, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally predisposed panic attack.
3. You recognize that the fear is out of proportion.
4. You avoid the phobic situation(s) or you endure it with intense anxiety or distress.
5. The avoidance, anxious anticipation or distress in the feared situation(s) interferes significantly with your normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.