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Definition of Teratophobia

Teratophobia: Fear of bearing a malformed child. A phobia is an unreasonable sort of fear that can cause avoidance and panic. Phobias are a relatively common type of anxiety disorder. Phobias can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy using exposure and fear reduction techniques. In many cases, anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication proves helpful, especially during the early stages of therapy.

The word "teratophobia" is made up of "terato-" and - "phobia." "Terato-" comes from the Greek "teras" meaning monster + "- phobia" from the Greek "phobos" meaning fear = literally, fear (of) monsters. Teratology is the study of malformations and a teratogen is anything that can cause a birth defect.

The term dysmorphophobia also means fear of bearing a malformed child. Dysmorphology is another term for the study of congenital malformations (birth defects).

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11716
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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