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Phobias: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What are You Afraid of? The Top 10 Most Common...
A specific phobia is a fear of a specified object or event. Read on for information about some of the most common specific phobias.
What Does Cognitive Theory Mean in Psychology?
Definition of Cognitive Theory. Phobias.
Are You Scared of Being Abandoned?
The fear of abandonment, though not officially known as a phobia, can have far-reaching implications in our lives. The fear is complicated and difficult to unravel, but working through it can dramatically change your life.
What is the Fear of Being Alone Called?
Monophobia, or the fear of being alone, takes many different forms. No matter which form you have, some basic coping strategies may help.
Understanding the Deeper Issues with Fear of...
The fear of intimacy is heavily mixed with the fear of vulnerability, as well as the twin fears of abandonment and engulfment. People with a fear of intimacy may use distancing and other tactics to prevent relationships from becoming too close.
Is Fear of Dying Affecting Your Life?
The fear of death is ancient and primal. However, not all thanatophobia is the same. Read on for important information on the various causes and treatments for this common phobia.
Scared of Heights? What You Should Know About...
Acrophobia is the fear of heights. It is more general than aerophobia (fear of flying), and is not the same thing as vertigo. Read on for more information on acrophobia.
How to Manage Symptoms of Claustrophobia
Claustrophobia is the fear of enclosed spaces. This disorder can be quite life-limiting, leading sufferers to avoid activities from MRIs to roller coasters. Read on for information that all claustrophobia sufferers should have.
What Can Help You Stop Being Scared of the Dark
Fear of the dark is common in children, and often passes as they mature. If it persists for more than six months, fear of the dark should be professionally treated, as it can become crippling in older children and adults. Read on for more information on this common phobia.
Arachnophobic? Understand Your Fear of Spiders
Arachnophobia is one of the most common specific phobias. Experts are not yet sure what causes a fear of spiders, but many feel that it may have evolved as an ancient survival mechanism. Read on for more information about arachnophobia.
What You Should Know About the Fear of Clowns
Coulrophobia, or fear of clowns, seems pervasive in our society. Yet very little scientific research has been performed. How can something that seems so innocent be a source of such terror? Read on for a historical look at clown phobia.
The Psychology of Fear
Fear is one of the most primal human emotions, consisting of both a physiological and an emotional response. Fear is experienced uniquely by everyone. Read on for more information on the psychology of fear.
What Is Ornithophobia?
Ornithophobia, or fear of birds, is relatively common. However, the symptoms and severity can vary widely. Learn more about this interesting phobia.
The Rare Condition Where People Have a Fear of...
The fear of touch, or haphephobia, is quite rare. For those who are affected, however, it can be devastating to both romantic and nonromantic relationships.
Understanding the Fear of Buttons
The fear of buttons, or koumpounophobia, varies dramatically in its specifics. Texture issues, fear of germs and previous negative experiences may all have an effect on this phobia.
What Is the Fear of Rejection?
The fear of rejection is common but insidious. Over time, a fear of rejection can escalate into additional phobias. Even milder cases may cause us to limit our activities and prevent us from reaching our goals or pursuing our dreams.
Understanding Your Fear of Elevators
Although accidents are rare, the fear of elevators is pervasive. Why are we so afraid, and how can we fight our elevator phobias?
Do You Know What Fear of Blood Is Called?
Hemophobia, or fear of blood, is a common specific phobia. Unlike most specific phobias, it can lead to low blood pressure and even fainting. Learn more about this unique phobia.
Can Counter-Transference Contaminate a...
Counter-transference is a potentially damaging yet relatively common process experienced by many therapists. What is counter-transference, and how do therapists guard against its effects on clients? Find out here.
Erotophobia, or the fear of sex, includes many different phobias. Some people fear all forms of sexual expression, others only intercourse. Some are afraid of all touch, others of intimacy or vulnerability.
Cleithrophobia, or the fear of being trapped, is a specific phobia that focuses on getting stuck. It may be confused with claustrophobia, which focuses on the size of the space.
Although full blown automatonophobia, or fear of humanoid figures, is rare, a certain level of nervousness is common. Read on for more on this unique phobia.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Germs
It is normal and prudent to take precautions against germs. However, mysophobia, or the fear of germs, takes normal caution to an extreme. Read on for more information on this relatively common phobia.
Understanding Cibophobia, the Fear of Food
Cibophobia, or fear of food, is a relatively common but highly devastating phobia. Read on for important information on this complicated phobia.
Scared of Needles? How to Overcome Your Fear
Trypanophobia, or fear of needles, is a relatively common phobia. It affects an estimated 10% of Americans. Fear of needles is an unusual phobia, as it can cause low blood pressure and fainting rather than fast heart rate and panic.
The fear of snakes is relatively common, and over time it can become life-limiting. Read on for more information on the symptoms and treatments for this common phobia.
What Is Evolutionary Psychology?
Evolutionary psychology is commonly cited as a means of explaining human behavior. But what is evolutionary psychology? How does it explain behaviors, especially fears and phobias?
Pediophobia, or fear of dolls, may take many forms. Some people are afraid of all dolls, while others fear only specific types. Read on for more information on this relatively common phobia.
What Exactly Is a Phobia?
A phobia can be defined as an intense and irrational fear. Here you will find information to help you understand the definitions of anxiety and phobia and how they are treated.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Ghosts
Phasmophobia, or the fear of ghosts, is a somewhat controversial phobia. Possibly related to the fear of death and shrouded in religious belief, this fear is thought by some to be symptomatic of disordered thinking. Read on to explore this complicated yet common phobia.
Important Symptoms of Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia is a specific type of phobia, hallmarked by the fear of having a panic attack in public. Provided here is information to help you recognize the symptoms of agoraphobia.
Genophobia is the fear of sexual intercourse. Sometimes confused with erotophobia, or the generalized fear of sex, genophobia is an intensely personal and often devastating specific phobia.
The fear of people, or anthropophobia, is similar to social phobia. Rather than fearing social situations, those with anthropophobia are afraid of other people themselves. The difference is subtle but important.
Fear of Loud Noises
Ligyrophobia, sometimes known as phonophobia, is the fear of loud noises. The phobia is more common in children than in adults, but sometimes indicates an underlying health condition.
Think You Have a Phobia? These are Common...
A phobia can be defined as an intense and irrational fear of something specific. Read on to find out more about the symptoms of phobias.
What Is the Fear of Butterflies and Moths?
Lepidopterophobia, or the fear of butterflies and moths, is remarkably common. Though these insects are entirely harmless, many people are afraid of their looks or behaviors.
Effects, symptoms and ways to handle the fear of long words, a phobia that can be life-limiting, especially for children.
Social Cognitive Theory
Social cognitive theory is a subtype of cognitive theory that explains the effects others have on our behaviors. How does social cognitive theory relate to phobias? Find out more.
Why Are Some People Afraid of Dogs?
Cynophobia, or fear of dogs, is extremely common. What causes this phobia, and how can it affect your life? Is treatment available? Find out here!
Do You Have a Fear or Phobia?
If you are afraid of something specific, it can be difficult to decide whether you are experiencing a fear or phobia. A phobia is sometimes seen as simply a worse level of fear. This is not entirely accurate, though. Read on for more information on the differences between phobia and simple fear.
Why Some People May Be Scared to Bathe
Although relatively uncommon, the fear of bathing can have devastating consequences. Social isolation and trouble at work or school are not uncommon in those with ablutophobia. Read on for information on the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
Astraphobia, or the fear of thunder and lightning, is especially common in children; however, it can affect people of any age. Read on for more on this relatively common phobia.
Maskaphobia or Fear of Masks
Maskaphobia, or fear of masks, can take several different forms. Some people are afraid only of horror masks, while others fear even costumed characters. Read on for more information on this relatively common phobia.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Definition of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Understanding the Fear of Zombies
Kinemortophobia, or the fear of zombies, is rooted in older and more generalized legends of the undead. Yet zombies continue to terrify us today. Why are these creatures so frightening, and how can we cope?
Philemaphobia, or the fear of kissing, is common among inexperienced young people, but may occur at any age. Some people fear germs or are disgusted by saliva, others are afraid of intimacy and vulnerability.
What Is Eclectic Therapy?
Definition of Eclectic Therapy. Phobias.
Are You Afraid of Large Objects?
Megalophobia can be generally defined as the fear of large objects. This fear may be specific to large animals, ships or other items, or may be more generalized. Megalophobia is often exploited in Halloween events such as Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2008. Read on for more on the myths and realities of this unusual phobia.
Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is surprisingly common. Unfortunately, it can also be extremely life-limiting. Here you will find information on diagnosing and treating this common phobia.
Triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13, is an ancient phobia. Yet some experts believe that is should not be considered a phobia at all. Read on for both sides of the debate.
Behavior Modeling
Behavior modeling is a powerful therapeutic tool, but it can be negative as well as positive. What is behavior modeling and how is it used?
Zoloft, or sertraline, is an SSRI. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors slow the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Like all medications, there are pros and cons to taking Zoloft.
What Really Causes Phobias?
The causes of phobias are not yet fully understood. However, researchers have identified several possible factors. Read on to discover some possible causes of phobias.
Physiological Response
Many phobia sufferers claim that the physiological response to fear is the worst part of the phobia. But what exactly is a physiological response, and what are some common responses? Find out here.
The fear of doctors is surprisingly common. However, it is sometimes hard to distinguish a full-blown phobia from normal anxiety. Read on for tips on how to tell whether you have iatrophobia and how to cope with this limiting fear.
Fear of Vulnerability
The fear of vulnerability is all too common in modern society. This fear can be destructive to relationships of all types, destroying intimacy and stopping us in our tracks. But there is hope.
Fear of Haunted Houses
Although not officially recognized as a phobia, the fear of haunted houses is relatively common. Most children grow out of this fear within a few months, but in older kids and adults the fear may be longer-lasting. Coping techniques for managing the fear of haunted houses depend on the severity and duration of the fear.
Defense Mechanisms
According to psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms are the ego's way of relieving the tension caused by anxiety. What are the defense mechanisms, and how do they influence our behavior?
Aquaphobia, or fear of water, can be devastating. Without treatment, it could lead to numerous other fears, isolation and even depression.
Why People May Be Afraid of Stairs or Slopes
Bathmophobia, or fear of stairs and slopes, can be tricky to diagnose. Symptoms are shared with a range of other disorders, such as fear of heights, fear of climbing and medical vertigo. Learn more about this complicated phobia.
The Complete Definition of Therapeutic Milieu
Definition of Therapeutic Milieu
Coping Skills
Definition of Coping Skills. Phobias.
People have phobias - or fears - of many different things, including common food items. Arachibutyrophobia is one such phobia.
Treatment Options for Phobias
If you have been diagnosed with a phobia, you may wonder about your options for treatment. Find out here about commonly used treatment options.
Psycho-Educational Group
A psycho-educational group is a specific type of therapy group focusing on educating clients. Why is it so important? Who is in charge? Learn all about these groups here.
Overcoming the Fear of Flying
Aerophobia, or fear of flying, is a relatively common but potentially devastating phobia. Learn some causes of aerophobia and how it is generally treated.
Roller Coaster Phobia
Roller coaster phobia is surprisingly common, a fact that may seem unlikely these days, as theme parks compete to build
Psychoanalytic Theory of Phobias
There are three major categories of theories on the nature of phobias. Freud's psychoanalytic theory is one of the oldest.
What Is the Fear of Escalators?
Escalaphobia, or the fear of escalators, is surprisingly common. Yet most escalator accidents are due to rider error. Why are we so afraid, and how can we treat the fear?
Collective Unconscious
Definition of Collective Unconscious
Flying With Claustrophobia
Flying with claustrophobia presents unique challenges. Crowded airports, invasive security screenings and small plane seats can greatly increase anxiety. However, a few tips and tricks can help make your journey more pleasant.
What Is the Fear of Driving?
Despite the American love of the open road, driving phobias are surprisingly common. Sometimes linked to agoraphobia or claustrophobia, these fears may also occur on their own.
Understanding the Fear of Tornadoes or Hurricanes
Lilapsophobia, or fear of tornadoes and hurricanes, is related to astraphobia, or fear of storms. However, those with lilapsophobia worry that the storm will turn severe. Learn all about this unique phobia.
Therapist: Understanding What Your Therapist Does
Your therapist is an important part of the treatment team. Here is a look at what to expect from your therapist or counselor.
Definition of behaviorism. Phobias.
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho
The Psycho shower scene is one of the best known scenes in the history of cinema. The scene is said to have spawned shower phobias in a generation of film fans. Read on for the psychology behind the scene's enduring terror.
What Is Object Relations Theory?
Focusing on our relationships with others, object relations theory acknowledges that our first and most important relationship is with our mother. Difficulties in that relationship could set us up for a lifetime of challenges.
Is Fear of Illness Normal?
Hyponchondriasis, or hypochondria, is an often-misunderstood disorder. It is not technically a phobia, but shares many of the same symptoms. Read on for more information on the symptoms and treatment for hypochondria.
What Is the Fear of Mirrors?
The fear of mirrors may have many different root causes. Some fears are rooted in body image issues, others in the fear of the supernatural.
What Is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is often defined as a fear of leaving home, but this is not quite accurate. Instead, agoraphobia may be seen as a fear of fear. Learn more about this relatively common, often devastating phobia.
Fear of Submerged Objects
The fear of submerged objects encompasses many related phobias. Some people are afraid of natural phenomena such as animals or logs, others of man-made items.
The fear of blushing, or erythrophobia, is an ironic fear. The more afraid we become, the stronger the blushing response tends to be. Here's how to cope.
The Fear of Cooking Can Take Many Forms
Mageirocophobia, or fear of cooking, can be divided into many types. Suffering from one or more types is relatively common, although a more severe phobia may encompass virtually all types. Read on to learn more.
What Is the Fear of Chewing Gum?
The fear of chewing gum is known as chiclephobia. Although rare, this phobia can cause issues in daily life. Oprah Winfrey is arguably the best-known sufferer of chiclephobia.
Fears of Failure and Success
Both fear of failure and success tend to respond well to treatment. Cognitive-behavioral techniques are used to learn new ways of thinking about choices.
Treatment Plan
Definition of Treatment Plan. Phobias.
Theories on the Development of Phobias
Experts are not yet certain what causes phobias. However, current theories can be broken down into three major categories. Read on to learn more on the theories of phobia development.
Understanding the Fear of Vomiting
Emetophobia, or fear of vomiting, is surprisingly common, though little discussed. The fear may be caused by many different factors, and can have devastating consequences for sufferers. Find out more here.
Systematic Desensitization
Definition of Systematic Desensitization
Medications for Phobias
If you have been diagnosed with a phobia, you will have a few choices for treatment. One popular option is treatment with anxiety medications. Provided here is a look at some popular anxiety medications that are used to treat phobias.
How Positive Reinforcement Helps Enhance Behavior
Positive reinforcement is a technique used to increase desired behavior. What exactly does it entail? Learn more here.
What Is the Fear of Insects?
Entomophobia, or the fear of insects, is relatively common. While most people experience only a mild reaction, those with a severe fear may have a panic attack. But are we really afraid of the animal itself or is there something else at work?
What Is the Fear of Travel?
Hodophobia, or the fear of travel, is highly personalized. Some people are afraid to leave home at all, while others fear only specific forms of transportation. Mild cases may respond to simple preparation, while more severe cases generally require professional intervention.
What Is the Fear of Cats?
Although the fear of cats is less common than the fear of dogs, it can be life-limiting. Some people fear cats' predatory nature, while others worry that cats may be harbingers of evil.
What Is the Fear of Phobias?
The fear of phobias can be devastating, even leading to agoraphobia in some cases. The fear is sometimes linked to other anxiety disorders, and can be complicated to unravel.
What Is the Fear of Sharp Objects?
There's a catch-all term for numerous specific fears involving sharp objects. From knives to needles to umbrella points, why are we afraid of sharp things?
Arguably the best-known psychotropic medication in the world, Prozac is in a category of drugs known as SSRIs. Prozac is most often prescribed for depression, but is sometimes used for phobias such as social phobia, often as an adjunct to therapy.
Magical Thinking
Definition of magical thinking. Phobias.
Learn about the relatively uncommon siderodromophobia, or fear of trains, which some believe to be a phobia that is simply underreported.
Diagnosing a Phobia
A phobia is an irrational yet intense fear of an object or situation. Read on for information about diagnosing a phobia.
What Is Bibliophobia?
Bibliophobia is a relatively uncommon phobia that involves the fear of books. You may be afraid of all books or only those of a certain style or genre. Read on for more information on this unusual phobia.
Fear of Death in Children
Thanatophobia, or the fear of death, strikes children as well as adults. A mild form may be normal for children, but it can heartbreaking for parents to witness.
The fear of air, or anemophobia, includes numerous related phobias. Anemophobia is often rooted in another phobia, but may also occur independently.
Biological Basis of Phobias
There are three main categories of theories that are used to explain the development of phobias. According to the theory of biological psychology, phobias are caused by physiological differences in the brain. Read on to learn more about biological psychology.
Learning Theory and Phobias
Theories on the development of phobias can be loosely divided into three types. Learning theory is a broad classification that includes several important theories. Read on to find out more.
Psychological and Emotional Effects of Phobias
Beyond the obvious impact of a phobia, there can be numerous additional impacts on your life. Find out more about the emotional health impacts of phobias here.
Stage Fright
Stage fright is a subset of glossophobia, or fear of public speaking. It can affect performers of all walks of life, from kids in school to professional actors. Read on for more on this common phobia.
Genuphobia, or the fear of knees, encompasses a variety of different phobias. Some people are afraid of their own knees, some of other people's knees. Some actually fear the process of kneeling.
Blank Slate
Definition of Blank Slate. Phobias.
Fear of Space
Astrophobia, or fear of space, is a relatively common phobia. It may take different forms, from fear of aliens to fear of space exploration. Read on for more information on the fear of space.
Climacophobia, or fear of climbing, can be complicated to diagnose. It may be linked to several other phobias, including acrophobia and bathmophobia. Find out more about this unique phobia.
SSRIs and Phobias
SSRIs are a type of anxiety medication that is popular for treating social phobias. They may also be prescribed in tandem with other treatments for agoraphobia and specific phobias. Read on for detailed information about this class of antidepressants.
Herpetophobia, or fear of reptiles, is relatively common around the world. As such, it is often exploited by Halloween events such as Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2008. Read on for more on this common phobia.
What Is the Fear of Madness?
The fear of madness played an important role in 19th century Gothic horror, but remains a very real fear today. Some people are afraid of institutionalization or social stigma, while others fear the psychological and emotional symptoms of mental illness.
Definition of Nosophobia. Phobias.
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, or fear of the number 666, is surprisingly common. Shrouded in religious belief, the fear can be quite pervasive. Read on to learn more about this unique phobia.
Living With Phobias
Living with a phobia can be difficult. Read on for advice on managing your phobia and learning to live with the condition.
What Is the Fear of Monsters?
The fear of monsters, or tetraphobia, is common in young children but quite rare in teens and adults. As a childhood phase, the fear is generally short-lived and easily remedied. A persistent fear in an older child or adult, however, may require professional intervention.
Therapeutic Rapport
Therapeutic rapport is often mentioned as an important component of the therapeutic relationship. But what exactly is therapeutic rapport, and how is it created?
Chionophobia, or the fear of snow, may be rooted in many different specific phobias. It may also occur alone.
Bromidrophobia, or fear of body odors, can be largely traced to the current obsession with cleanliness. Read on for more on this relatively common phobia.
Definition of Flooding. Phobias.
Halloween Horror Nights 101
Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is a yearly Halloween event at Universal Orlando. The event is psychologically intense and preys on our deepest fears. Although this may sound like something to avoid if you have phobias, this is not necessarily the case. Read on for more information about Halloween Horror Nights' history and the event today.
What Is the Fear of Demons?
Daemonophobia, or the fear of demons is often rooted in religious beliefs. Other common factors include horror films and urban legends. Why is daemonophobia so powerful, and how can we fight it?
Transference is a popular buzzword in certain types of therapy. But what does it mean? How do you know if it is occurring, and whether it is healthy for your progress? Learn more about this common process.
Stop! Technique
Definition of stop technique. Phobias.
Doomsday Phobias
Doomsday phobias are a relatively broad category that can encompass a wide range of more specific phobias. Any phobia that involves fear of the end of the world could be classified as a doomsday phobia. Learn more about these surprisingly common phobias.
Treatment Outcome
The treatment outcome is the final result of therapy. What can clients do to help ensure a positive outcome?
Cognitive Reframing
Definition of Cognitive Reframing
Symptoms of a Specific Phobia
A specific phobia is an intense, irrational fear of a specified object or situation. Provided here is information on recognizing the symptoms of a specific phobia.
What Is the Fear of Vacuum Cleaners?
The fear of vacuum cleaners is surprisingly common in young children and pets, though it is rare in older kids and adults. Why are children and pets so afraid, and how can we help?
Fear of Witchcraft
The fear of witchcraft dates back to the Inquisition, when those practicing earth-based religions were depicted as being in league with the devil. Although witches are no longer persecuted, fears and phobias of the practice remain.
Gymnophobia, or the fear of nakedness, may take many forms. Whether you are afraid of your own nudity or of others being naked, gymnophobia can make daily life complicated.
Fear of Halloween
Halloween is a decidedly modern American holiday, although its roots can be traced to the ancient Celts. The history of Halloween is fairly complicated, but it gives us some clues as to why the holiday is so frightening for many.
Your Guide to Understanding the Affordable Care...
The quest for universal health care has largely defined Barack Obama's presidency. With the passage of H.R. 3590: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obama's plan is now a reality. Bitterly opposed by Republicans and lauded by Democrats, the Act is largely misunderstood by the public. Read on for a detailed look at fact versus fiction.
Mass Hysteria
Definition of mass hysteria. Phobias.
Unconditional Positive Regard
Unconditional positive regard is the cornerstone of client-centered therapy. Coined by Carl Rogers in the 1940s, the practice involves the total acceptance of the client as a human being, regardless of thoughts or actions. Unconditional positive regard is also used in nontherapeutic applications such as student-centered learning.
Phagophobia, or the fear of swallowing, is often triggered by a bad eating experience. Similar to the fear of choking, phagophobia may worsen over time, eventually leading to a severely restricted diet. Fortunately, treatment is usually simple and effective.
Scoptophobia, or the fear of being stared at, runs the gamut of severity. For some, this fear is life-limiting, leading sufferers to avoid even casual encounters with friends.
What Is the Fear of Train Tracks?
The fear of train tracks is often related to a generalized fear of trains, but sometimes stands alone. Why are railroad tracks and subway tracks so scary and how can we cope with our fears?
Definition of Constructivism. Phobias.
Client-Centered Therapy
A humanist form of psychotherapy developed in the 1940s, Carl Rogers' client-centered therapy remains extremely popular today. But what is client-centered therapy, and how does it work?
What Is the Fear of Winter Driving?
The fear of winter driving is surprisingly common. Some people are afraid of driving in general, some of being trapped in the cold. Others worry about having an accident.
What Is the Fear of Jack-o’-Lanterns?
The fear of jack-o'-lanterns is rare but life-limiting. Rooted in ancient legends, the jack-o'-lantern of today is extraordinarily popular and often extremely frightening. But why are we so afraid?
What Is the Fear of Churches?
The fear of churches may represent the fear of religious practices or the fear of the actual church building. Both fears are often rooted in deeper conflicts, although they may occur alone.
A compulsion is a ritual performed to relieve anxiety. Although you may know that your compulsion is irrational, you may feel powerless to overcome it. Learn more about compulsions here.
Information Processing
Information processing is one of the basic tenets of cognitive theory. What exactly is it, and why is it important to phobia treatment?
Heliophobia, or the fear of sunlight, is often related to other issues. From medical sun sensitivity to body image concerns, the root cause of heliophobia can be difficult to determine.
Religion and Phobias
The link between religion and phobias appears to be powerful, although much research is still needed. Certain types of phobias are likely to have a religious component, which often surfaces during times of religious questioning. Learn more about the interaction between religion and phobias.
Goals of Therapy
Definition of Goals of Therapy. Phobias.

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