ThinkstockDena Roche is afraid of barking dogs. She knows her fear is irrational, but the sound, even in the distance, sends her into a full-blown panic attack.
For pet lovers, it's hard to imagine anyone having such a severe reaction to a dog or cat, but it happens. It's called a specific phobia, and the condition is much more common than many people realize.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), approximately 19 million Americans suffer from a specific phobia, which is an "excessive and unreasonable fear in the presence of a specific object, place or situation." Fear of particular animals like dogs or cats is one of the most common specific phobias.
People with a dog or cat phobia describe feeling extreme anxiety when they're near the animal or even thinking about the possibility of encountering the animal. Symptoms include feelings of panic, dread andRead More »from Facing Phobias of Dogs and Cats