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Animal And Insect Phobias
The Effects Of Fear
Many people fear certain insects and animals due to a real or perceived danger, but in some cases, those fears can become irrational and problematic for the people that hold them. An irrational fear is called a phobia, and insect and animal phobias are among the most common psychological phobias in existence.
Some common animal and insect phobias include:
- Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders
- Equinophobia, the fear of horses
- Herpetophobia, the fear of lizards
- Ichthyophobia, the fear of fish
People with phobias can have drastic psychological reactions when confronted with their fears. They may have panic attacks, characterized by a shortness of breath, and in extreme cases, phobia patients may even faint. They may believe that insects or animals are everywhere, even when such a view is unreasonable. For instance, people with arachnophobia can become obsessed with looking for spiders in their homes and may fear unknown places due to the possibility of spiders.
When you have an animal phobia or when you know somebody who has one, assessing and treating the condition can seem very difficult. Fortunately, there are many psychological phobia treatment options that can lead to relief of these conditions.
The Causes Of Insect And Animal Phobias
Finding the cause of animal and insect phobias can be difficult. Some animal and insect phobias arise due to a traumatic experience with the object of the phobia. A person who has been bitten by a snake, for instance, might develop ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes) as a result of the experience. Animal and insect phobias can also be caused by negative portrayals of certain animals in the media, especially if the patient has a tendency to obsess over perceived dangers.
Other phobias may not have a readily apparent cause. However, psychologists and therapists can work with a patient to uncover the reasons for a phobia, which is always helpful knowledge when attempting to treat the phobia itself.
Treating Insect And Animal Phobias
As is the case with any psychological phobias; insect and animal phobias should be treated as quickly as possible with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Psychologists or psychiatrists can treat insect and animal phobias by first establishing a plan of action with the patient and gradually introducing the patient to new techniques that can be used to deal with the feelings of fear and dread that characterize phobias.
Treatment may involve group therapy or one on one sessions, and eventually the patient may be able to confront his or her fears by looking at pictures or even touching the animal of the phobia. However, it is very important to note that this is never done in an aggressive or uncomfortable way, and it’s not an early stage of phobia treatment. Phobia patients work to deal with their phobias for weeks or months in a very comfortable and relaxed therapeutic setting.
Cost and length of treatment are often concerns for patients with phobias. Depending on the severity of the phobia, treatment can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. The cost of treatment can be high, but treatment results in a drastic improvement in life quality for patients.
If you have an animal or insect phobia, speak with a therapist to determine a course of action and to better assess the costs of treatment. Be ready to take the therapist’s advice, but insist on a qualified individual with experience in phobia therapy. Getting help for an animal or insect phobia is an essential first step to freeing yourself of the condition.