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Updated February 17, 2009


When dealing with phobias, avoidance is the act of deliberately limiting exposure to a phobic trigger. It may be conscious or unconscious in nature, and often leads to elaborate excuses for not participating in common events. Over time, avoidance may become more severe as you attempt to cope with feelings of anticipatory anxiety. Eventually, avoidance behavior may develop into full-blown agoraphobia.

As Mike's fear of public speaking got worse, he started using avoidance techniques to escape meetings at work.
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