What is Ranidaphobia?
Ranidaphobia, also known as Batrachophobia is fear of frogs. The word originated from a Latin source, where Rani means amphibians includes, frogs, toads, etc and phobia means fear.
Ranidaphobia is a specific phobia that is a type of anxiety disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 12.5 percent of adults in the United States experience a specific phobia at some point in their lifetime.(1)
Causes of Ranidaphobia
Ranidaphobia is likely to occur due to the combination of one or more of the following factors.
Any negative experience with frogs or toad can make you form an association with these animals and develop negative feelings such as fear and panic. This could develop a fear of frogs and toads.
A 1983 case study found a woman developed a severe fear of frogs after a traumatic experience of accidentally running a lawnmower over a group of frogs.(2)
Sometimes fear can be a learned behavior. If a parent or a sibling is afraid of frogs, there is a possibility of you developing a similar fear.
A study done on 514 individuals in Portugal found presence of negative perceptions involving reptiles and amphibians leads to a negative attitude against these animals and their conservation.(3)
A small study investigated attitudes towards frogs in Cape Town, South Africa. It was found that participants’ views about frogs were shaped at young ages by their caregivers and cultural norms.(4)
There are various individual factors such as genetics, attitude (some people are more anxious than others), and others that might play a role in the development of a phobia.
Symptoms of Ranidaphobia
The symptoms of ranidaphobia can be divided into two categories.
People with ranidaphobia develop intense fear and anxiety when around frogs.
Also, it is not necessary for the frogs to be physically present. People with this phobia can experience anxiety even by thinking about the frog, hearing about the frog, or seeing a picture or video of the frog.
People with ranidaphobia go out of the way to avoid a place that is related to their fear. For example, they would not want to attend any party that has a lawn, fearing frogs would be there.
Symptoms experienced by a person suffering from ranidaphobia are:
- Increase in heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Upset stomach
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
Symptom in Children
Symptoms in children would differ from that of an adult. When a child with ranidaphobia sees a frog, the following symptoms would occur:
- begin to cry
- cling on to the parent
- throw tantrum
How To Cope With Ranidaphobia?
Anxiety and fear can be exhausting. There are a few things that can be done to cope with them, which include:
- getting enough sleep
- regular exercise
- eating healthy and a balanced diet
- practicing techniques such as yoga and meditation that help lower stress
- avoiding stimulants such as caffeine
Sometimes completely avoiding can be difficult, you can try and limit them.
If you feel the fear has started affecting your home life, your work, social relations, or your ability to perform daily activities, consider taking the help of a medical professional.
Treatment for Ranidaphobia
The treatment involves therapy, medications, or a combination of both.
In this therapy, a person is slowly exposed to the fear they have. This can also be desensitization therapy.
The therapist starts with an exposure that leads to the least amount of anxiety. Over time there would be therapy sessions that would build the most anxiety-provoking scenario.
The therapy might involve:
- thinking of frogs
- touching frog
- talking about frogs
- being in a room along with a frog
- seeing a picture of a frog
Throughout the therapy, a person is taught ways to manage feelings such as anxiety, and breathing techniques.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy(CBT)
- CBT can be combined with exposure therapy to treat any kind of phobia.
- During the therapy, a person works with the therapist to examine their thought patterns and emotions that lead to this fear.
- The goal is to reshape the negative thoughts that lead to the fear.
- Medications do not treat phobia but can help in coping with feelings of anxiety.
- It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking any medication.