Phobia Treatment in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus, OH

Learn How To Manage Your Phobias: Get Help From Our Experienced Doctors Today!

Phobia Doctors Near You

KAV Mental Health & Psychiatry is a mental health disorder clinic serving patients from the Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus, OH areas. We use proven clinical and medical methods to help patients manage their phobias and other mental health issues.

We understand how much of an obstacle a phobia can be in a patient’s life, especially when left untreated. We work to address and ease the symptoms of the phobia and any related conditions it might be causing or caused by. Learn more about phobias below, and how KAV Mental Health & Psychiatry’s experienced phobia doctors can help.

What Are Phobias?

Phobias are uncontrollable, irrational, and lasting fears of a very specific thing. They’re a type of [anxiety disorder] that can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex, or history. The fear caused by a phobia can cause someone to lose functioning or have a panic attack, and often leads to avoidant behavior.

Phobias are defined by being an overreaction. Even when someone has a phobia of a thing that’s potentially dangerous — such as heights or snakes —the response is out of proportion. People with phobias are often aware that their fears are irrational, but that doesn’t help them control them.

Phobias can keep people from living and enjoying their lives. The fear may cause them to completely avoid events and settings that are harmless. It can impede work, school, daily tasks, or maintaining relationships because someone can’t handle the anxiety it causes.

Types of Phobias

There are two main types of phobias: complex and specific. Specific phobias center around one object, situation, or activity. They often develop during childhood or early adolescence, and may become milder as people grow older. Common specific phobias include:


snakes, spiders, dogs


heights, deep water, thunderstorms


blood, vomit, injections, germs


performance anxiety, fear of sexually transmitted diseases
Complex phobias, like their name implies, are usually more complicated than specific phobias. They usually develop in adulthood, and are often a deep-seated fear of a specific circumstance or situation. The two most common complex phobias are:


often misinterpreted as a fear of open spaces, people with agoraphobia feel intense anxiety about being in places where it could be difficult or embarrassing to escape. These places can include elevators, public transportation, crowds, or (in some cases) any situation where they are in public and alone. In extreme instances, people may be afraid to leave their home due to the fear.

Social phobia

similar to a social anxiety disorder, a person feels intensely anxious in certain social situations, such as speaking in public, or any scenario where they could potentially embarrass themselves.

People with both specific and complex phobias feel intense, uncontrollable fear or anxiety during a triggering situation, and can also experience panic attacks. Sometimes, just thinking about the phobia — even when it’s not present — can cause a reaction.

Common symptoms of phobias include:

  • Panic and fear
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling
  • A strong desire to remove yourself from the situation
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There is no single cause of phobias, but there are often associated factors, such as a traumatic event. Phobias can even be learned, especially early in life; if your father had an intense fear of deep water, you may develop that same fear. Simply learning about specific threats can also lead phobias, such as learning about quicksand in school and then worrying that every patch of sand could be deadly.

There are some factors that can increase a person’s risk of certain phobias. Some are more likely to develop during adolescence and early adulthood, especially those linked to traumatic events or ongoing abuse. Genetics may play a role as well, as some people are more likely to be anxious than others.

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Signs & Symptoms of Phobias

People with both specific and complex phobias feel intense, uncontrollable fear or anxiety during a triggering situation, and can also experience panic attacks. Sometimes, just thinking about the phobia — even when it’s not present — can cause a reaction.Common symptoms of phobias include:

  • Panic and fear
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling
  • A strong desire to remove yourself from the situation

Causes & Risk Factors of Anxiety

Environmental factors and genetics both contribute to the development of an anxiety disorder, though risk factors vary for each type of disorder. General risk factors for anxiety disorders often include:

  • Stressful and traumatic events, particularly in early childhood or adulthood
  • Shyness, lack of confidence, or low self-esteem in childhood
  • A family history of anxiety or other mental health disorders
  • Some medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, can also be linked to anxiety

Long-Term Effects of Phobias

When someone suffers from an intense phobia, it can make life extremely challenging. Phobias can interfere with day-to-day life as someone feels compelled to adjust their routines to avoiding a phobia. The effort to avoid triggers of phobias, or suppressing panic attacks when triggered, can cause stress and anxiety, which take a toll on the bodies.

The damaging long-term effects of stress on the body are well-documented, but phobias can also prevent people from maintaining healthy relationships with others, or from attending important life events, due to avoiding certain situations. This isolation can potentially lead to other mental health disorders, such as depression.

Phobia Counseling & Treatment with KAV Mental Health & Psychiatry

KAV Mental Health & Psychiatry offers a compassionate and comprehensive approach to phobia counseling and treatment. We personalize a treatment and therapy plan for each patient that focuses on the specific phobia disrupting their lives. Our team is knowledgeable about all areas of mental health and can determine if patients are also suffering from any other disorders contributing to their phobias, or if medication could ease any symptoms.

Patients can engage in individualized phobia counseling sessions to discuss their phobias in a safe and supportive environment with a certified professional who can help them face their fears and learn to manage their reactions. Most phobias are treatable, and our flexible one-on-one and group phobia therapy let patients work on their issues at their own pace. Medication is not typically used to treat phobias, but we may prescribe medication to help with symptoms or related conditions, such as for anxiety.

We offer treatment in an easy, accessible online video platform that is confidential and HIPPA-compliant. Our phobia doctors and counselors take appointments 6 days a week, with same-day appointments available. Phobias can be hard to live with, but KAV Mental Health & Psychiatry is here with easy-to-access online telehealth treatment when you need us.


“This place has been a blessing from day one. As a mother of 3, it’s not always the easiest to get away from the kiddos. I love the fact that I don’t have to leave my home to meet with my therapist. The online counseling aspect is really convenient and was honestly the only way for me to get the help I needed. I plan on continuing my monthly sessions because I keep seeing more growth and positive change in myself each time.”

– A.T.
“Depression controlled my life for a very long time, and up until a few months ago I was hopeless of that ever changing. KAV helped me find balance again. They helped me find peace. I rediscovered what being happy feels like. Though I still have bad days, I now have the tools and support systems to get me through them. I finally feel in control of my life again, and for that I am grateful.”

– J.C.
“I started feeling really anxious and depressed after the birth of my first child, which was when one of my close friends told me about KAV. My first visit with the doctor was great. She asked me a lot of questions, was super attentive, and gave me the time to talk through my issues. I could tell that she genuinely cared about trying to help me. We talked about different medication options and she suggested therapy. I was hesitant at first, but I’m really glad I said yes because my counselor has really helped me explore all this new anxiety. It changes every day with a baby, but I do feel like I’m in such a better place now, and so much more available for my daughter.”

“Pain pills took me down a really dark path for many years. I’ve been to rehab several times, but could never stay clean for long after I got out. I thank the doctors and counselors at KAV every day for helping me turn my life around. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve been sober for 14 months and have the belief in myself that it will stay that way. Most importantly, I can be the father and husband my family needs. Thank you KAV — you all truly saved my life!!!”

– J.K.
“Paying attention for long periods of time has been a struggle for as long as I can remember. It’s made things like school…relationships…holding down a job…etc pretty tough. Prior to coming here I’d heard of ADHD but never really looked into it…but after just a few visits my doctor and counselor helped me better understand it and get it under control. It’s been a really good experience so far…I only wish I would’ve pursued getting help like this sooner.”

– L.B.