You can have a phobia of everything , or almost everything. But, without a doubt, some of the most common phobias are animal-related phobias. What are the animals that arouse the most fear among the population? And how do you know if you have a phobia of any of them? Do you have a treatment or solution for these types of disorders that sometimes limit people’s lives so much? We have talked about all this with the psychologist Ingrid Pistono . Attention, because these are the 5 most frequent animal phobias that you too can suffer even if you still don’t know it or have been diagnosed with it.
How to know if I have an animal phobia
It is very important to learn to differentiate fear from phobia . Fear is a basic emotion that all human beings have experienced or will experience at one point or another in our lives. Fear is essential for our survival. It is activated when we are exposed to threatening situations that endanger our lives and prevents us, for example, from approaching a wild animal or jumping off a cliff.
So when does fear turn into a phobia? The psychologist Ingrid Pistono tells us that “fear turns into a phobia when we exaggerate and turn that fear into something irrational .” The emotional intensity with which we react to the stimulus (in this case the animal) is disproportionate.
In addition, you will know that you are suffering from a phobia if when the stimulus is in front of you, all the symptoms of anxiety are unleashed in your body . And the symptoms can be both physical, psychological and behavioral. The most common are sweating , shortness of breath or shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat , tremors and chills , distorted and disproportionate thoughts and, of course, avoidance of the feared situation or stimulus.
The most common animal phobias
You can have a phobia of bees, birds , ants, horses or even chickens. However, Ingrid Pistono names us the 5 most frequent animal phobias :
The arachnophobia is the fear of spiders . An extreme fear that is unleashed not only when you meet one of these beings, but also when you see them in a photo, in a video or imagine them. At that moment, you begin to suffer from all the symptoms of anxiety, which can even lead to a panic attack.
Its causes are closely linked to Seligman’s theory of preparation, which concludes that humans have acquired by habit and inheritance a natural tendency to fear spiders because in the past most arachnids were very dangerous animals. , poisonous and life threatening.
The cynophobia is the fear of dogs . And although arachnophobia does not limit the life of the person who suffers it because it is not so common to find a spider every day, cynophobia is very limiting since dogs are domestic animals that abound in homes and on the streets .
And how do you know if you suffer from cinophobia ? You will know if, for example, you know that there is a dog in your neighbors’ yard and instead of passing by, you take a detour (even if it takes twice as long) in order to avoid the feelings of anguish that you experience: dizziness, nervousness, palpitations, desire to run away …
3 La ailurofobia
As with the phobia of dogs, ailurophobia ( phobia of cats ) is also very very limiting. And what are its causes? Most likely, from a very young age, your mother or father has sent you messages such as ‘be careful with that cat that is going to scratch you, do not approach it, it can hurt you’. Your brain learned that feline avoidance behavior that has lasted until now, causing you a true phobia.
The musofobia is afraid of mice or rats , although here, in addition to the fear, as we said Ingrid, comes in disgust . Rodents are animals that usually cause a lot of repulsion among people.
Its treatment, like that of other phobias, involves going to a psychologist. The most appropriate therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy , which change the perception of these animals and gradually expose the person to the stimulus until they manage to accept it without avoiding it or experiencing the symptoms of anxiety.
5 The motophobia
The motefobia is the fear of butterflies or moths . This fear is mainly caused by the uncontrolled form that these insects have when flying. That fear of not having everything under control is what causes anxiety to unleash in many people.
And you? Have you heard of these animal phobias ? Do you think you suffer from any of them? Tell us about your experience and we will help you in the comments.