When does fear become a phobia?

When does fear become a phobia?

According to diagnostic criteria a phobia is characterized by:

  1. Marked and persistent fear in the anxiety provoking situation (sometimes in the form of a panic attack)
  2. Excessive fear
  3. The feared situation is avoided or endured with intense distress

Impact on lifestyle needs to be assessed, as avoidance symptoms may make important aspects of day to day functioning difficult, if not impossible.

With driving phobia, changes in driving behaviour are the most common consequence. The Claimant may avoid driving, drive excessively slowly, and/or avoid motorways, or bad weather. Fear of passenger travel may be more marked than driving itself, as confidence may be affected by sense of control over the vehicle. Our pre-assessment RTA Survivor Questionnaire identifies changes in driving behavior, and impact on functioning, in order to establish whether it is likely that driving phobia forms part of the psychological injury.

Leave a Reply