Characteristics of Phobias Depression and OCD


A phobia is an extreme, irrational fear of a specific situation or object, and can be an example of an panic. There are several types of phobias but three include agoraphobia, social panic, and specific phobias. The characteristics of phobias can be divided into three categories:

  • Behavioural - there are two types of behavioural characteristics and they're avoidance and stress. Avoidance is the key behavioural characteristic and this is basically because when someone with a phobia is presented with an subject or is placed into a fearful situation, the first original thing they'll do is avoid it. A best example of this is if someone has a cultural phobia, they will avoid being in big crowds, if anyone who has arachnophobia they'll don't be near spiders. Panic on the other hand is the other behavioural characteristic and this happens when they come face-to-face with the fears and cannot avoid it. This leads to panic and causes a high a higher level stress and anxiety on the person. What can also happen could it be can cause the individual 'freezing' due to the dread being so strong. This is part of the 'deal with or flight' fear response. This freezing response can be an adaptive response to make a predator think that their prey is useless.
  • Emotional - The main psychological feature of phobia are unreasonable and increased fear, panic, stress, and a feeling of dread. An emotional response is defined off by the anticipation or the existence of a specific situation or subject, which is extreme in relation to the risk actually posed as.
  • Cognitive - there are also two types of cognitive characteristics and they are irrational beliefs and selective attention. A person's phobia is identified by their irrational taking into consideration the stimulus which causes them to fear. A good example of this is a person who is suffering from arachnophobia may feel that all spiders are deadly, despite the fact that no spiders in the united kingdom are deadly. Alternatively, in case a person with a phobia is presented by a situation or subject they fear of, they will find it hard to focus because they're preoccupied by anxious thoughts, and will therefore direct their attention in other places. This means that for their selective attention, it'll cause them to become fixated on the object they fear because of their irrational thoughts and values about the danger.


Depression is one of the most typical spirits disorder, and ambiance disorders can be characterised through strong feelings, which can affect the way a person functions normally in their daily lives. A disposition disorder can affect an individual's behaviour, perceptions and thinking. There are different types of depressive disorder such as manic unhappiness known as a bipolar disorder, and major melancholy known as a unipolar disorder. There are always a range of possible symptoms people who suffer with depression can experience. For you to definitely become identified as having major depression, sufferers must show at least five symptoms every day for at least two weeks. Characteristics are then split into three groups that are:

  • Physical/behavioural symptoms - there a wide range of behavioural characteristics of despair including pain especially headaches, muscle ache and joint ache, change in hunger, lack of activity, and insomnia. First of all there is usually a change in the person's activity level, with sufferers constantly feeling fatigued. Leading on from this, sufferers then often experience rest disturbance, with some people sleeping more, or less, or experiencing insomnia. Finally, sufferers whose desire for food changes may have significant weight changes too anticipated to them consuming less than usual or even more, and losing or gaining weight.
  • Affective/psychological symptoms - the key emotional symptoms of depressive disorder include extreme emotions of sadness, despair and hopelessness. Victims will also experience thoughts of worthlessness and anhedonia which is no longer having a pastime in activities which used to be enjoyable. Diurnal mood variation can also occur and this is the change in feeling during the day, for example being worse each day time. Despite the fact that experiencing a despondent mood is the most frequent emotional symptom of depression, some people experience anger that may be aimed towards others or themselves. Anger can also lead to self-harming behaviours regretfully.
  • Cognitive symptoms - along with the behavioural and psychological symptoms of depression, there's also cognitive symptoms. Cognitive symptoms are things such as experiencing continual negative values about their skills and themselves. Additionally it entails suicidal thoughts and finding it difficult to keep or pay attention. Sufferers tend to be slower in responding at making or even to decisions. Furthermore, also, they are more inclined to just give attention to the negatives rather than identify the positives and in some cases this can lead to them experiencing repeated thoughts of fatality, suicide or self-harm.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has two parts which can be obsessions and compulsions. The majority of people who suffer from OCD that experience obsessions and compulsions that are associated together.

The three types of characteristics for OCD are:

  • Behavioural - compulsions of OCD will be the behavioural aspect and for folks who experience OCD, compulsions have two properties. One of these properties is the fact compulsions are mental or physical recurring actions. Sufferers will most likely wish to do it again a behavior, for example recurring hand washing. The second property is compulsions are being used to reduce panic or prevent a feared situation from occurring but in truth they might not actually stop a dreaded situation and are abnormal. For example with the unnecessary hand cleaning being brought on by an increased fear of bacterias or germs, it is therefore a direct reaction to the obsession.
  • Emotional - the emotional characteristics of OCD are usually characterised by panic brought on by the obsessions. However, some of the victims of OCD also experience unhappiness because of the anxiety they go through. As the obsessions for the patient are consistent, this causes a high level of stress and anxiety for these people. This nervousness can lead to them having low moods and a lack of pleasure in everyday activities, because these each day activities are being interrupted by the repetitive compulsions and obsessive thoughts.
  • Cognitive - Obsessions are the cognitive part of OCD and are the reoccurring and consistent thoughts, impulses and images. Examples of these are worries of security by leaving doors and windows open, perfectionism - a fear of not being the best, and fear of contamination by bacteria and dirt. For those who suffer from OCD, these thoughts keep occurring over and over again. The sufferers tries to disregard the thoughts, impulses or images however it unable to. Generally in most people these thoughts cause anxiety and stress. Some victims of OCD make an effort to deal with the obsessions by producing cognitive strategies. A good example of this is victims with spiritual obsessions might pray over and over again in order to lessen their feelings to be immoral. Furthermore, sufferers of OCD realise that their compulsions and obsessions are irrational, so they experience selective attention which is aimed for the anxiety-generating stimuli. That is similar to the selective attention people who have phobias have.
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