Fears are common and expected in childhood; however, for some children and teens, their fears can become very severe over time, and even develop into a phobia. A phobia is an intense and unreasonable fear of a specific object or situation. This causes an extreme anxiety response towards something that is not causing immediate danger. For example, someone may have a phobia of dogs, spiders, or elevators.

Key Points:

  • Phobias are the most common type of anxiety disorder
  • Approximately 12.5% of the population will have a specific phobia in their lifetime
  • On average, specific phobias begin in childhood, around the age of seven