What is Zoophobia or Animal Phobia?

A phobia is basically an intense irrational fear that cannot be overcome easily even if the person knows there is no reason for fear. Zoophobia actually got its name from the Greek word “Zoo” means animals. A person suffering from zoophobia or animal phobia shows irrational fear of animals and even gets panic via just looking at the picture of an animal. Zoophobia or animal phobia is a broad concept that comes overlap with other phobias such as Kastaridaphobia (fear of cockroaches), gynophobia (fear of dogs), Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), etc...

What is Zoophobia or Animal Phobia?

Causes of Zoophobia or Animal Phobia

You will find there are several major causes for zoophobia or animal phobia in people. Human societies is a key factor responsible for developing such kind of fear. Since from ancient times, people consider animals are harmful and dangerous to their lives. This creates a natural defence mechanism in humans to protect them from animals. With passing of generations, some animals find place in the people households while some did not. But, the fear is still found in our genes and when it passes the extreme level, a person can become prone to zoophobia or animal phobia. Additionally, if a person was hurt or attacked previously by any animal, or saw someone else getting hurt in front of their eye, they develop extreme fear and started avoiding animals.

Signs and Symptoms of Zoophobia or Animal Phobia

An individual suffering from zoophobia or animal phobia experiences panic when they encounter animals. Nervousness, accelerated heart rates, dizziness, anxiety, sweating, trembling nausea, fainting, abdominal uneasiness, trouble in breathing and vomiting gives a clear symptom that person is suffering from zoophobia or animal phobia.

Risk Factors for Zoophobia or Animal Phobia

It is found that zoophobia or animal phobia can occur in people of all the ages whether children or adults. Zoophobia or animal phobia is also triggered via negative experiences from the past that arises sadness, fear, and anger in people on getting contact with animals and this can be a risk factor.

Complications in Zoophobia or Animal Phobia

Getting a treatment to overcome the complications of zoophobia or animal phobia is an ideal solution. Medication together with various sessions helps you to manage zoophobia or animal phobia including handling severe fear and anxiety.

Tests to Diagnose Zoophobia or Animal Phobia

There are no special tests to diagnose zoophobia or animal phobia. You can explain the symptoms to the metal health specialist by observing the signs and symptoms of zoophobia or animal phobia while you are having an attack. Zoophobia or animal phobia leaves a negative impact on your life, by doing some self analysis you can clearly able to identify whether you are suffering from zoophobia or not. Try to find out whether you become sick on thinking about animals- does your heart beats like a drum, do you instantly get dry mouth and moist palms, etc... This analysis helps you in taking further steps at an earlier stage of zoophobia or animal phobia.

How to Overcome Zoophobia or Animal Phobia?

Treatment for Zoophobia or Animal Phobia

With consultation of a mental health professional, you can treat zoophobia or animal phobia in a better manner. Exposure therapy teaches persons to suffer from zoophobia or animal phobia how to withstand fearful situations of animals (including their images). The relaxation technique assists in controlling breathing, meditation, and mental visualization to cope with anxiety on exposure to animals. Another technique is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps in improving thoughts and modifying behaviour of a person. Regular counselling sessions with a specialist on zoophobia or animal phobia help in dealing with the fear of animals and patient inner thoughts responsible for such fear. Therapists work towards building a positive attitude, releasing stress and anxiety.

Coping with Zoophobia or Animal Phobia

Coping with zoophobia or animal phobia is challenging. People suffering from zoophobia or animal phobia can cope with fear by keeping themselves refrain from stressful situations, create mental visualization and act positively. Under the guidance of a skilled mental professional, you can handle zoophobia or animal phobia proactively via confronting your worries. It is essential to inform the family that you have zoophobia or animal phobia so that they can assist you better in coping with such situations.

Home Remedies for Zoophobia or Animal Phobia

Practicing the lessons or guidelines given by the mental health specialist during the physcotherapy sessions is the best home remedy for zoophobia or animal phobia. You can manage zoophobia or animal phobia by taking few measures like overcoming the fear, anxiety and breaking mental ties. Friends and family members give you psychological support to reduce emotional distress and phobia.

Prevention of Zoophobia or Animal Phobia

Zoophobia or animal phobia can be prevented at an early stage with self-care and with the help of the doctor. Reprogramming your mind with positive thoughts about animals is a good way to prevent zoophobia or animal phobia. You need to adapt yourself to the situations with positive thoughts and thinking patterns.

Prognosis and Recovery Period for Zoophobia or Animal Phobia

The prognosis/ outlook for zoophobia or animal phobia is good. It is not possible for anyone to accept the fact that he or she is suffering from zoophobia or animal phobia , so you need to be objective as possible about the condition. Find out the external causes. Zoophobia or animal phobia also arises from past circumstances that you encounter no matter what is the type of fear.

Treatment at early stage helps you to recover from zoophobia or animal phobia via controlling the anxiety levels, overcoming fears and taking other considerations. If possible, try to refresh your mood with the positive ways and things that can divert your mind from such negative influences.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: October 20, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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