specific phobia

Specific Phobia Symptoms and Related Diagnosis

Specific Phobia

Information related to Specific Phobia as well as the specific symptoms follow below. While some of these Specific Phobia symptoms may be recognized by family, teachers, legal and medical professionals, and others, only properly trained mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors etc.) can or should even attempt to make a mental health diagnosis. A multitude of factors are considered in addition to the psychological symptoms in making a proper diagnosis, including medical and psychological testing considerations. This information is for information purposes only and should never replace the judgment and comprehensive assessment of a trained mental health clinician.




Specific Phobia diagnostic criteria:

A. Marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (e.g., flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection, seeing blood).
Note: In children, the fear or anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, or cleaning.

B. The phobic object or situation almost always provokes immediate fear or anxiety.

C. The phobic object or situation is actively avoided or endured with intense fear or anxiety.

D. The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the specific object or situation and to the sociocultural context.

E. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting for six months or more.

F. The fear, anxiety, or avoidance cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.




G. The disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder including fear, anxiety, and avoidance of situations associated with panic-like symptoms or other incapacitating symptoms (as in agoraphobia); objects or situations related to obsessions (as in obsessive-compulsive disorder); reminders of traumatic events (as in posttraumatic stress disorder); separation from home or attachment figures (as in separation anxiety disorder); or social situations (as in social anxiety disorder).

Specify if:
Code based on the phobic stimulus:

300. 29 (F40.218) Animal (e.g., spiders, insects, dogs).

300.29 (F40. 228) Natural environment (e.g., heights, storms, water).

300.29 (F40.23x) blood-injection-injury (E. G., Needles, invasive medical procedures).
Coding note:
ICD-10-CM code as follows:
F40.230 fear blood
F40.231 fear of injections and transfusions
F40.232 fear of other medical care
F40.233 fear of injury.

300. 29 (F40. 248) Situational (e.g., airplanes, elevators, enclosed places).

300. 29 (F40. 298) Other (e.g., situations that may lead to choking or vomiting; in children, e.g. loud sounds or costumed characters).
Coding note: When more than one phobic stimulus is present, code all ICD-10-CM codes that apply (e.g., for fear of snakes and flying, F40.218 specific phobia, animal, and F40.248 specific phobia, situational).

Diagnostic Information and Criterion from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition American Psychological Association

See Related:

Anxiety 101: What is essential for you to know?
Anxiety Diagnosis and Related DSM-5 Diagnosis Codes
Anxiety Medication 101: What You Need to Know







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