Are you afraid of snakes? Many people are, and there’s no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed about it. After all, snakes can be quite frightening if you don’t know much about them, but the more you learn about them, the less scary they become.
And with this guide to overcoming the fear of snakes, you can take your first steps toward living without fear. This guide contains helpful tips from psychologists who have treated patients with phobias just like yours and from snake handlers who will help you understand that there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to these mysterious creatures.
What is the fear of snakes?
While there are varying degrees of fear when it comes to snakes, these fears all stem from similar causes. Sometimes a person who is afraid of snakes was traumatized by one or more snake-related experiences as a child.
These are referred to as phobias, and can often be successfully treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). In other cases, you may simply have an intense dislike for snakes or feel uncomfortable around them; while not technically classified as phobias in a clinical sense, they’re still treatable with CBT techniques.
Your therapist will work with you to develop coping mechanisms that allow you to interact comfortably with snakes.
Where does it come from?
Most children are afraid of snakes by about age six. Because most parents aren’t anxious about poisonous snakes in their homes, kids learn to be afraid mainly from watching other people’s reactions. This can become a major problem when they grow up.
Snake fear becomes an anxiety disorder called ophidiophobia (fear of all reptiles or snakes) if it causes you significant problems with your ability to function in everyday life, such as avoidance of certain activities (such as hiking or even walking your dog). If you’re interested in overcoming your fear of snakes, here are a few things that might help
If you have had an actual bad experience with a snake, try to think through it rationally. Was there really any danger? What would have happened if you hadn’t escaped? Do some research on snakes so that you understand how they live and what they eat.
Learn why some species are venomous and others aren’t; don’t worry—most species will run away from humans rather than attack them!
How do I overcome it?
The most effective method to reduce your fear of snakes is desensitization or exposure therapy. Studies have shown that people can be trained out of their fears by gradually exposing themselves to their fears in a safe environment.
After you’ve read through our list below, make an appointment with a therapist who specializes in anxiety disorders. They can help develop an individualized program for you that will allow you to conquer your fear one step at a time!
We also recommend taking up meditation and yoga as another great way to calm yourself when facing your fears.
Why are some people afraid of rats?
Not everyone is terrified by rats, but some people are. The reasons why one person may be afraid of a rat while another isn’t may not have anything to do with statistics or instinct. Instead, our fears are often culturally-based or even individually based.
For example, a culture that strongly associates rats with disease or uncleanliness may end up passing on those values directly or indirectly through generations. If a family or group doesn’t see much value in certain animals (rats) due to these cultural attitudes, that fear can pass from generation to generation as well. So how do you overcome fear? By recognizing and addressing its sources.
Can hypnosis help with this phobia?
Some people with phobias, such as fear of snakes, fear of spiders, or fear of heights can use hypnosis for treatment. A therapist will work with you through relaxation techniques during a series of sessions. You’ll learn how to visualize in order to expose yourself gradually to what you fear.
The goal is not complete exposure but decreasing anxiety levels. Studies show that hypnosis may be effective in helping overcome some fears, including snake phobia.
When is the best time to start treatments?
Research suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is more effective than other forms of treatment, such as drugs or group therapy. As a result, you may want to try CBT first, before resorting to drug treatment. Your therapist can advise you on when it’s best for you.
Another option is self-help with cognitive-behavioral books or tapes, but these are less proven in treating phobias. If your fear response is mild, your doctor may suggest using antianxiety medications during exposure treatment sessions with a therapist. Don’t start them until your therapist tells you it’s OK.
Medications can make treatment easier because they lessen anxiety at exposure but are no substitute for learning how to face fears in therapy or through other methods described in Tips for Coping With Anxiety.
List of things that can help me overcome my fear of snakes.
There are many ways to help overcome fear. One thing that can help is desensitization, which means slowly exposing yourself more often in a controlled way so that you can become less afraid. For example, it’s best if you have someone else with you when handling a snake at first.
It might also be helpful to watch videos or read stories online before trying them out in real life. The key is doing something small every day that helps calm your fears, whether it’s keeping a picture nearby or taking notes on why they shouldn’t be feared.
And don’t forget: snakes won’t hurt you unless they feel threatened. They will usually run away from humans if given a chance! If you see one outside, give it space and move on without making eye contact.
You can even do research on what type of snake it is and learn more about them before going back again—snakes really aren’t all that scary once you get to know them better!
Read More articles