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Classifications of Phobic disorders

The two most widely used classifications today are ICD-10 and DSM-IV-TR (Tables 1.1–1.4). ICD-10 lists, under the heading ‘‘Neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders’’, F40 Phobic anxiety disorders, the diagnoses F40.0 Agoraphobia, 40.1 Social phobias and 40.2 Specific (isolated) phobias, which closely resemble those that DSM-IV-TR lists under the heading ‘‘Anxiety disorders’’ (300.21, 300.22, 300.23 and 300.29). ICD-10 and DSM-IV-TR are similar in excluding from their list of phobia diagnoses other syndromes with phobia-like features of anxious avoidance, such as dysmorphophobia (non-delusional) and hypochondriasis, OCD and touch/sound aversions. ICD-10 lists, under F40 Phobic anxiety disorders, two diagnoses (F40.8 Other phobic anxiety disorders and F40.9 Phobic anxiety disorder unspecified) that have no counterpart in DSM-IV-TR. ICD-10 lists a diagnosis F41.0 Panic disorder (episodic paroxysmal anxiety) under F41 Anxiety disorders rather than F40 Phobic anxiety disorders (and excludes from it F40.0 Panic disorder with agoraphobia). DSM-IV-TR lists its counterpart 300.01 Panic disorder without agoraphobia under ‘‘Anxiety disorders’’.


The rest of this chapter outlines each syndrome of anxious avoidance that has a phobia diagnosis in ICD-10 (F40) and DSM-IV-TR (300.2). Thereafter it notes more briefly other syndromes of anxious avoidance. Almost all the syndromes are detailed in Marks [19,41]. They are described in the order in which they appear in the left-hand column of Table 1.1.


TABLE 1.1 Phobias coded under anxiety disorders in ICD-10 [11] and DSM-IV-TR

Phobic anxiety disorders No ‘Phobic anxiety disorders’ or ‘Phobias’ ‘Agoraphobia’ is not codable as a diagnosis; instead:
F40.0 Agoraphobia 300.21 Panic disorder with agoraphobia 300.22 Agoraphobia without history of panic disorder
F40.1 Social phobias 300.23 Social phobia (social anxiety disorder)
F40.2 Specific (isolated) phobias 300.29 Specific (formerly simple) phobia Subtypes: animal type, nature forces, blood–injection–injury, enclosed spaces, [sphincteric], other 300.29 Specific (formerly simple) phobia Subtypes: animal, natural environment (e.g. storms, heights, water), blood– injection–injury, situational (e.g. public transport, tunnels, bridges, elevators, flying, driving, enclosed places)
F40.8 Other phobic anxiety disorders
F40.9 Phobic anxiety disorder, unspecified Phobia NOS, Phobic state NOS

TABLE 1.2 Phobia-like syndromes not called phobias in ICD-10 [11] or DSM-IV-TR [8]

F42 Obsessive–compulsive disorder 300.3 Obsessive–compulsive disorder
F43 Reaction to severe stress, and adjustment disorders
F43.1 Post-traumatic stress disorder 309.81 Post-traumatic stress disorder F45 Somatoform disorders 300.7 Body dysmorphic disorder
F45.2 Hypochondriacal disorder ?nosophobia 300.7 Hypochondriasis

Touch and sound aversions (not in ICD–10 or DSM–IV-TR)

TABLE 1.3 Non-phobia-like syndromes often associated with phobias

F41 Other anxiety disorders ANXIETY DISORDERS
F41.0 Panic disorder (episodic paroxysmal anxiety) 300.01 Panic disorder without agoraphobia
F41.1 Generalized anxiety disorder 300.02 Generalized anxiety disorder
F41.2 Mixed anxiety and depressive disorder F41.3 Other mixed anxiety disorders
F48 Other neurotic disorders
F48.0 Neurasthenia F48.1 Depersonalization–derealization syndrome
F32 Depressive episode
F33 Recurrent depressive disorder F34 Persistent mood (affective) disorder F34.1 Dysthymia F38 Other mood (affective) disorders


TABLE 1.4 Non-phobia-like syndromes with some aspects vaguely like those of phobias

  • F50.0 Anorexia nervosa
  • F64 Gender identity disorders
  • F64.0 Transsexualism

they can avoid the cue easily in everyday life (e.g. snakes in the UK), than if they cannot avoid the evoking cue without incurring handicap (e.g. leaving home in most societies other than women in purdah).

Posted in About on Oct 25, 2019.

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Psychology term of the day

May 15th 2021


Mysophobia, also known as verminophobia, germophobia, germaphobia, bacillophobia and bacteriophobia, is a pathological fear of contamination and germs. The term was coined by William A. Hammond in 1879 when describing a case of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) exhibited in repeatedly washing one's hands.