Some therapists use virtual reality or imagery exercise to desensitize patients to the feared entity. These are parts of systematic desensitization therapy.
- Cognitive-behavior therapy: Treatment for specific phobias involves a type of cognitive-behavior therapy, either desensitization or exposure, in which patients are gradually exposed to what frightens them until their fear begins to fade.
- Medication: Tranquilizers (benzodiazepines) such as Ativan, Librium, Valium and Xanax may be prescribed to help reduce anxiety.
- Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, may also help reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications can be of assistance in many cases. Benzodiazepines could be prescribed for short-term use.
- These treatment options are not mutually exclusive. Often a therapist will suggest multiple treatments.