Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Phobias and their management.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 295 doi: (Published 05 September 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;295:589
  1. I Marks,
  2. J Horder
  1. Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London.


    Disabling phobias and phobia like compulsive rituals are surprisingly common in the general population, though only a minority ask for help. Behavioural treatment (exposure) and antidepressants are the most helpful approaches. Most patients can help themselves if they use a self exposure approach systematically under the guidance of a clinician. The method seems well suited for use by general practitioners. Anti-depressants are a useful adjuvant, not a substitute, for exposure when there is evidence of depression complicating the phobias or rituals.