Zoophobia is a fear of animals as it is to be explained in simple words. The fear of animals is more like an anxiety that the presence of animals has triggered. Zoophobia can be explained as a general fear of a specific animal. For some people, zoophobia is fear of more than one or many different animals. Sometimes the zoophobia can also be characterized as a fear of all the animals. When a person with zoophobia is in the presence of an animal, a severe anxiety attack is triggered by the patient. This anxiety attack can cause the person to panic as well, so they try not to be near an animal at all.
Is zoophobia a common thing?
Usually, animal lovers can’t believe that a person can have zoophobia but having a phobia is not a choice. It’s not that the people who have zoophobia don’t like animals. On the contrary, they do like animals. Still, they have this uncontrollable, irrational fear of being in the presence of an animal. According to a US report, 12.5 percent of people in their lifetime will face any phobia even though it may not look like it is that common. Still, zoophobia is one of the most common fears in people. It’s quite common for people to face the fear of any specific kind of animal or all animals in general.
What is the cause of zoophobia?
Several different reasons can cause zoophobia. Following are the reasons behind zoophobia in some person
- Usually, a person fears something when he or she has had a negative experience with that particular stimulus. This is the most common cause in this case of zoophobia. For example, most people fear animals because they have had a past traumatizing experience with that particular animal, like a dog or other such animals.
- Another reason behind zoophobia is the fear transferred to kids from parents. When a parent is afraid of a particular animal or insect-like lizards, it is natural for the child to fear that animal. This is not because the fever here has been inherited here. Still, a child’s reaction imitates the parents towards a particular animal.
- Just like mentioned about zoophobia can also be inherited from the parents. This can be in the genetic function that you fear animals or a particular animal.
- Another thing that causes zoophobia is the pre-existing anxiety in a person. So if the person is only the slightest bit afraid of a thing and has pre-existing anxiety, this can cause a proper fear in that person.
Symptoms of zoophobia
Zoophobia can have intense as well as mild symptoms. A phobia is a fear of something. Even the thought of that particular thing and picturing them can cause an anxiety attack in a person. Someone who has zoophobia will start to experience fear even while thinking about these animals or watching a picture or video of that animal. This can usually depend on the extent of your disease. When a person with a phobia is exposed to the stimulus, you will see the following phobia symptoms in them.
- They start to tremble.
- Lightheadedness and fainting
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in your chest
- Increased heart rate
All these signs also appear in other kinds of phobias. Still, in zoophobia, they are seen as a result of an animal stimulus.
How to know if your child has zoophobia
As a child, you are afraid of almost everything, and to overcome those fears, the parents try to expose their children to such things so they can feel safe. But in the case of zoophobia, you have to know if your child has zoophobia or not because to treat zoophobia, and you have to get professional help instead of doing it on your own. Following are all the signs that your children will show if they have zoophobia.
- Clinging to the parent in the presence of animals.
- Constant crying
- Freezing up in front of such an animal
- Throwing a tantrum when brought near that animal.
How to live with zoophobia
If you have zoophobia, there would be many times in your life where you will have to learn to cope with this fear. You will have to accept that this is the way you are and find your way around this situation. Following is some of the things that you need to do to cope with zoophobia
- When you are afraid of an animal, you should avoid activities that bring you into the presence of animals
- Talk to the people who have the same fears and try to connect with them.
- Try to calm yourself with the medication, yoga, and other stress-reducing activities
- Try to eat healthy and good, also do things that make you happy.
Treatment of zoophobia
Zoophobia treatment is required for people who want to resume their life in a normal way. If you have a lifestyle where you can easily avoid animals, then that would be good for you, but treatment is required for some people. Following are all the treatment options for zoophobia
- Exposure therapy is the best treatment option for all kinds of phobias. In this treatment option, the person is exposed to the stimulus in small steps. It is done is the presence of others, and this way, the people will start too fearless.
- Cognitive behavior therapy can help you find the main cause of zoophobia. You can talk to your therapist about it, and they can help you and teach you ways to cope with this.
- Medications are also prescribed that counters the anxiety in that person. Different anxiety medicines are prescribed that will help treat all the worst signs and symptoms of anxiety that you face in animals.
This was everything that you need to know about zoophobia. However, suppose you are one of the people who face zoophobia. In that case, you should know you are not alone in this and should try seeing a medical professional for this.