According to the general definition of specific phobias in DSM-IV or ICD-10, workplace phobia could be stated when an precise or imagined confrontation with the office or certain stimuli at the workplace (e.g. persons, objects, situations, events) causes a prominent anxiety reaction in a person. Secondly, avoidance behavior in the direction of the workplace or associated stimuli has developed. In some circumstances Workplace phobia could also be a sort of social phobia or social anxiousness or extreme shyness.
When approaching or being at the workplace, and even when intensively considering of the workplace, anxiousness rises. This goes together with increased physiological arousal, usually with signs of accelerated heartbeat, sweating, trembling, hot flushed, chest pain, which might even result in a panic attack.
When avoiding or leaving the dreaded workplace, arousal and anxiousness decrease. These features as a classical unfavorable reinforcement: The avoidance response works rewarding because it reduces anxiety. Simultaneously avoidance behavior is being reinforced.
In consequence of office phobia avoidance of the workplace by way of sick go away certified by a medication is a frequently found phenomenon.
There is an inclination for generalization of avoidance behavior, like avoiding passing the road where the workplace is situated, avoiding going to public places (like the supermarket) the place one may meet colleagues or superiors, or even developing panic assaults and anxiety when solely speaking of the workplace.