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Individuals with a phobia take extreme measures to avoid a perceived threat or fear which can be much more intense in their minds than in real life.

If a person comes in contact with the source of their fear, they will suffer severe mental anguish which can disrupt their immediate well-being and normal functioning.

A phobia can be determined by whether a person begins to structure their everyday lives to avoid their source of distress. A phobia is much more severe than a fear because of the level of emotional reaction it causes when confronted.