The purpose of this article is to discuss the current status of research with respect to specific phobias and social phobia
as defined in the ICD-10 and DSM-IV, and to provide op- tions for their classification in the ICD-11.
Both ICD-10 and
DSM-IV identify three main classes of phobias: specific phobias, social phobia, and agoraphobia. The latter two are often
referred to as complex phobias. In specific phobias, the fear is limited to one or more well-de- fined classes of objects
or situations: e.g., certain animals, aspects of the natural environment (heights, storms), specific situations (lifts, airplanes)
or blood/injuries. Social phobia is characterized by fear of one or more social situations, while agoraphobia is defined by
fear of leaving home or of places or situations from which escape may be difficult, including shops, crowds, and public places,
or fear of travelling (alone) in trains, buses, or planes. The emphasis in this paper will be on specific phobias and social
phobia, since agoraphobia is discussed in another article in this supplement (1).