psychology

Zoophobia or fear of animals, we tell you everything!

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The fear of animals is quite a large area. It can include all animals or even specific species (dogs, cats , spiders, snakes, etc.). But where does this often misunderstood fear come from, especially when the animals in question are not dangerous? We explain how to overcome this phobia  !

Do you meet a dog on the street and it’s fear panic? Do you change the sidewalk and turn around to make sure it’s gone? The phobia is very present and then conditions you on a daily basis. Now is the time to ask the right questions and consider solutions to get out of this recurring anxiety.

Why are we afraid of animals?

Usually phobias have no rational explanation. The phobia of animals generally affects children . This fear is even almost natural in young children. It can lead to seizures, sleeplessness and nightmares and even lead to other phobias such as hair, fur or meat. This anxiety in domestic animals can sometimes be explained by a traumatic event. Thus a child who has become an adult has been bitten or attacked by a dog, cat, etc. The animal is thus perceived as an enemy by the traumatized child or adult.

Animal phobic people, often women and children, have this fear avoidance strategy . It is about never being in contact with the animal or animals in question. It therefore becomes a source of permanent anguish . The most common animal phobias are: cynophobia (fear of dogs), ailurophobia (fear of cats), arachnophobia (fear of spiders), entomophobia (fear of insects) and ophiophobia (fear of snakes ). But contrary to appearances, overcoming your phobia of animals is quite possible.

How to overcome the phobia of animals?

How to deal with your fear of animals?

The phobia of animals is one of the most curable phobias. Studies have shown that 80% of behavioral cognitive therapy (CBT) results in remission. The principle is always the same: to confront the animal by getting out of the avoidance strategy and anticipatory anxiety . That is, the fear of being afraid. The therapies virtual reality are also used for this type of phobia.

It is important to quickly make children aware of animals in the family environment. You can try with a small rodent (hamster, rabbit) first. In a cage, the child can observe it and tame its fear little by little. The fluff may also allow the child to visualize the animal and accept his presence at home. A follow-up of the child can also help him, this is the TIPI approach (Sensory Identification Technique of Unconscious Fears).

The most important thing is not to let yourself be locked into your fear. If friends who have a dog or a cat invite you over, don’t back down! Upstream work will be necessary to pass the course. Talk about your fear around you so that those around you can become aware of it and help you move forward.

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