Fear of animals is a phobia

If you are afraid of snakes or even dogs, then you are not alone with animal phobia. It is possible to have a phobia of anything, including any imaginable animal type.

However, some animal phobias are more common than others. Common animal phobias are usually divided into several unofficial categories, including predators, “disgusting” animals, and superstition-based fears.


Commonly frightening animals that generally fall into the category of “predators” include dogs and sharks. We may attribute our fear of predators to evolutionary psychology. Fear of predators is the basic survival skill of our ancient ancestors. Large and powerful animals, or those poisonous animals, can easily overwhelm humans. Without the protections we currently enjoy, from well-built houses to antivenom (antivenom), our ancestors would compete with predators for food, water, and shelter. Even today, it is wise to treat unfamiliar animals with caution. But phobia is a distortion of the normal fear response, turning a healthy response into a sense of panic.

Disgusting animal

Traditionally, snakes and spiders have been classified as “predators” for animal phobias. However, research conducted at the University of Queensland (Australia) in 2008 disputed this view.Although animals such as tigers and lions are certainly predators, people are more afraid of snakes, spiders and mice. According to Queensland researchers, this may be because we tend to focus on creatures that we consider disgusting. Just as we can let a butterfly fly and crush a cockroach, we are more likely to be afraid of snakes and spiders than traditionally more “dangerous” animals.

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Superstitious fear

Snakes may also fall into the category of superstition and fear. Throughout history, various animals have played a role in superstition, legends and religious beliefs. Snakes occupies an important place in legends from the Garden of Eden in the Bible to some voodoo practices.Similarly, birds are sometimes seen as a harbinger of death. According to reports, the legendary comedian Lucille Ball was so afraid of birds that when she discovered a dark bird shape in the pattern, she removed the expensive wallpaper from her home. Fears related to superstition and religious beliefs usually focus on what the animal represents, rather than the animal itself.

other reasons

Of course, not all animal phobias fall into the above categories. In many cases, these fears stem from experiences in early childhood. If you are attacked by a dog or see your parents screaming and fleeing from spiders, you may be more likely to develop a phobia of these animals. Negative experiences do not necessarily happen to you or a close relative.Movie like Arachnophobia or jaw, Scenes in TV shows, and even evening news sometimes lead to the development of phobias.

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Animal phobia in children

Fear is a healthy and normal part of growing up. Most children develop short-term, usually intense fears, and these fears subside on their own. For this reason, children (and adults) will not be diagnosed with phobias until their phobias last for at least six months. If you notice a young child showing aversion to certain animals, work with her to develop coping strategies and encourage her to overcome her fear. Of course, if the fear is severe or uncomfortable, it is best to consult a pediatrician. Allowing severe fears to persist may make your child more likely to develop deep-rooted phobias. Also resist the urge to force children to face fear. Although flooding is a legal treatment technique, you may further exacerbate fear. This technique should not be used without the guidance of a trained mental health professional.

Coping with animal phobia

According to the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition,Animal phobias are classified as a subset of “specific phobias.” To diagnose a specific phobia, “After considering cultural background factors, anxiety must be out of proportion to the actual danger or threat.” You may not realize that you have an animal phobia, but a mental health professional may.

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Although understanding the root cause of phobia is an interesting exercise and may be helpful in your treatment, it is usually not necessary. Like most phobias, animal phobias usually respond well to various treatment techniques.

If your fear is relatively mild, self-help measures such as guided imagination and purposeful breathing may ease your stress response. Talking to a friend or relative who supports you can also help. However, if fear begins to limit your daily activities, or you feel panic, it is best to consult a mental health professional.

Animal phobia is never an interesting thing, and untreated fear tends to worsen over time. However, with some help and effort, there is no reason for animal phobia to affect your life.