Where do the primitive fears of a modern man come from? Fear of snakes is one of the most common phobias, along with fear of insects, which is based on ancient mechanisms of self-defense, when a person surrounded by a dangerous environment that was aggravated by dangers.
What is herpetophobia?
Zoophobia is the most common type of phobia, which includes herpetophobia (other Greek ἑρπετόν - reptile, φόβος - fear) or ophiophobia - fear of snakes and reptiles. The power of fear is very individual and varies from mild discomfort to a serious phenomenon, such as a panic attack. Snakes and reptiles rarely cause a feeling of admiration, more often this is disgust and dislike. In severe degree, herpetophobia can be manifested:
- image or snake snaps a panic attack (in real life a person did not meet with snakes);
- strong fright and numbness;
- intense sweating;
- lack of air.
Why are people afraid of snakes?
Fear of snakes is a phobia that has not arisen from scratch. Since ancient times, many animals have been a great danger to humans. Before people learned to distinguish beings harmless from the direct threat, many lives were laid on the "altar of nature". Fear of snakes is justified and fixed in people genetically. There are several reasons for herpetophobia:
- Evolution - fixing in the genome of all kinds of dangers that have ever been encountered, including fear of reptiles.
- Religious motifs - a snake, a sacred animal or bearer of "dark" forces in a number of countries. From an early age, people are brought up in fear and sacred trembling before the reptiles.
- Childhood fears - the child did not necessarily meet with the snake himself, but heard the relatives' stories about such a meeting, which ended in a sorry way - by the hospital or worse, lethal. Such a child, even becoming an adult, when referring to snakes, with a shudder, "remembers" events as if it were happening to him.
- A personal meeting - a traumatic event, if the snake is still poisonous. Such a situation can arise in the forest, in the field. In some countries: Africa, Latin America, India, snakes creep into homes and can sting a sleeping person. All this leaves a mark on the psyche and an anxiety disorder is formed.
Fear of snakes - psychology
Irrational fears are born seemingly from "nothing," for no reason. A person begins to fear snakes, but does not understand why this happens, there are no reasons for justifying this fear in a real situation. Psychoanalysis explains fictitious fears by the fact that the subconscious person is filled with symbols or archetypes, deciphering the symbol, you can identify the "root" of the cause of fear. Fear of snakes according to Freud is the negation of the male principle, where the snake itself is a phallic symbol.
Fear of snakes - psychosomatics
Psychosomatics as a body reaction arises in response to a violation of human adaptation to the environment as a result of prolonged stress. Fear of snakes is a phobia that forms a prolonged neurosis-like state, which can be expressed in the following manifestations:
- fear of snakes, uncontrollable;
- a pronounced irrational feeling of anxiety;
- an irresistible, obsessive desire to avoid meeting;
- fear of snakes is felt as having no boundaries and limits;
Is it worth it to be afraid of snakes?
Fear of snakes is justified in case of finding a person in the wild and staying in a number of countries where there are poisonous individuals here, reasonable care will not hurt. Some facts, why do not the snakes be afraid of everything:
- The stereotype that the snake is the most poisonous animal of the planet is incorrect, out of 2,600 species, 240 are poisonous.
- The snake is also afraid of man and will not attack first if one does not step on it or go close to the nest.
- The snake rarely releases poison, basically just bites.
- Bad hearing and vision during moulting - even if a person passes by a snake may not notice.
- In the afternoon snakes hide in secluded places and are active only in the morning and at night.
How to stop being afraid of snakes?
Obsessive fears poison the life of a person, depriving him of joy. Communication with nature is an important source of filling people with energy and positive. How to overcome the fear of snakes to enjoy the unity with nature. Psychotherapists advise not to delay with a visit to a specialist who will prescribe adequate therapy, in serious cases with the use of tranquilizers and sedatives. In mild cases of herpetophobia, the following methods can help:
- study of literature on snakes;
- viewing documentaries devoted to snakes;
- observation of a snake accompanied by a loved one, in the conditions of a zoo of a terrarium, a contact zoo, a pet store;
- direct contact to overcome fear with a tamed snake.