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Phobias are divided into two categories: social phobia, which involves fear of social situations, and specific phobias, such as fear of flying, blood and heights. People with social phobia feel a paralysing, irrational self-consciousness about social situations. They have an intense fear of being observed or of doing something horribly wrong in front of other people. The feelings are so extreme that people with social phobia tend to avoid situations that might stimulate that fear, thereby dramatically reducing their ability to lead a normal life. Fear of flying, fear of heights and fear of open spaces are some typical specific phobias. People suffering from a specific phobia are overwhelmed by unreasonable fears, which they are unable to control. Exposure to feared situations can cause them extreme anxiety and panic, even if they recognize that their fears are illogical.
Excerpts from CMHA National web site – Phobias