Fear of snakes if very common. The fear ranges from just being a little bit nervous, to full-blown terror at the thought of one being nearby. Being overly afraid of snakes is so common that there is a fear of snakes phobia name. A phobia is an extreme fear of a specific object or situation.
The Fear of Snakes Phobia Name is Ophidiophobia
The fear of snakes is called Ophidiophobia. When snake fear becomes crippling and consuming, then it may be ophidiophobia.
The fear of snakes is actually a healthy reaction. Some snakes are very deadly and keeping a healthy distance is a good idea all around. Much like you would avoid a tiger in the wild. However a crippling snake fear is not good for anyone, not for humans or snakes. To fear snake is healthy, to quake in terror at the idea of one is not.
Nonvenomous Snakes Die Everyday Because of Snake Fear
People typically kill a snake on site. This is bad for the ecosystem because snakes are an apex predator for many harmful pests such as mice and other rodents that spread illness across humanity and contaminate grain stores even in modern days. People who have a fear of snake will likely kill a harmless Rat Snake instead of letting it go about its day killing rats and rodents. Some snakes that look big and menacing, such as the King Snake actually eat other snakes including the venomous ones. People who kill a King Snake out of fear of snake, might as well hang a welcome sign out for any other snake to come around. Even venomous snakes do not deserve to be killed on site if they are in their own environment. And the idea that they will hunt a person down to bite them is a myth. The fact is that snakes want to conserve their venom for their dinner. Unless they are afraid, they will likely try to get away from humans in general. When a snake does strike it is typically cornered or messed with. Messing with a snake is always a bad idea, just let it go its way while you and your family go yours.
Nonvenomous Snakes Outnumber Venomous Around the Globe
This fear of snakes phobia is really uncalled for, and realizing this is the first stage to healing. The fact is that there are 35,000 different species of snakes around the world. Of these only about 400 are venomous. Of these 400, many are not venomous enough to kill a human. Statistically this means you are much more likely to cross paths with a nonvenomous snake than a venomous one. The way human development into their wilderness is going, and the fact that humans typically kill them on site makes chances of seeing any snake at all much less than they were just a decade ago. This is bad news for the environment, considering that snakes kill rodents and are a part of the food chain, but it is news that can somewhat pacify even the most extreme phobias.
Is your snake fear natural or is it a phobia? A natural fear of an animal that could do you harm and a rational avoidance is not a phobia. Being afraid is a natural human reaction. Letting that fear turn into a phobia can be harmful and make life harder for you if it stops you from being able to go about your daily functions. There are some coping mechanisms that will help you deal with your phobia while you are recovering from a debilitating fear.
When Should You Consider Getting Help for Your Phobia?
- When you start to realize that your fear may be unreasonable.
- When your fear interrupts an activity you should be able to do. In the instance of snake phobia not going on a walk through your grassy yard is an extreme reaction.
- It lasts longer than six months, growing in strength and not fading. A person may be extremely afraid of something after a news story or nearby event, however that fear should fade.
- Your fear causes anxiety and panic. Fear should not cause extreme physical reactions unless you are literally in the midst of physically fighting the object of your phobia.
Coping Mechanisms to Help With the Fear of Snakes
- Deep breathing exercises. When you feel your fear starting to cause symptoms of anxiety take deep relaxing breaths to calm down. Practice this technique in advance of your symptoms.
- Discuss the fears with someone you trust and literally laugh at yourself. Laughing at your fears will trivialize them even for the moment.
Systematic Desensitizing Will Help you Recover From a Fear of Snake Phobia
Also referred to as graduated exposure therapy, systematic desensitizing is a way of overcoming serious phobias through gradual and systematic exposure. The very idea of even an image of a snake is enough to send some people with the phobia into a frenzy. However the idea of systematic desensitizing is that slowly the patient will become desensitized, then used to, then unafraid of the object by addressing it head on a step at a time.
The program for a snake phobia would start with viewing images of snakes, and practicing coping techniques such as breathing methods. Then the therapy would likely advance to virtual reality sessions that try to convince the patient he is actually with a live snake. Building up to this point takes time. Training the brain to realize that death will not occur each time the patient is in the vicinity of their phobia is key. Each time the patient survives an encounter with a snake they are on step closer to realizing their fear is unfounded. Eventually, the patient will likely advance to being in a room with a live nonvenomous snake. Once they have conquered the fear, it is not uncommon for a patient to hold a harmless snake to prove they are truly over the phobia.
It is important to know that a phobia is a physiological problem that can be address through therapy, hard work and time.
Three Things to Know About Systematic Desensitizing:
- It is not an overnight process. The longer the program takes, the more likely it will stick.
- It is not a program designed for mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
- A flaw is that it relies heavily on the patient having a vivid imagination. If a person cannot convince herself that an imagined situation is real, then it will not be as effective.
- It is mainly effective for fear of a very specific object or situation instead of generalize anxiety.