Zoophobia and Entomophobia


We previously introduced phobia; its meaning, its multiple types, and how scientists categorize it. It is a type of exaggerated anxiety disorder that pushes the patient towards irrational suffering when being near a creature or a specific place, or when experiencing a situation they had been through before, which terrifies them, causing seizures of physical and emotional symptoms.

Zoophobia is especially prominent among the different types of phobia, because of the diversity and widespread of the animal kingdom around us. Wherever the environment in which an individual lives, be it desert or tropical or even the heart of the city, none of us seize to encounter an animal or an insect. Zoophobia is very common among women; entomophobia, ophidiophobia, and arachnophobia are the most famous types of zoophobia.


It is known as a severe and continous fear of insects. However, it differs from the usual feelings of disgust or aversion; it is a deep apprehension about being near insects, seeing them, or even thinking of them and imagining how they look. It manifests through the usual phobia symptoms, such as sweating, shaking, chest tightening, rapid heart beating, freezing, and continuous staring.

Phobia patients always try to change their life patterns to avoid insects as much as possible; they avoid parks and open places where insects mostly exist. Despite their belief that insects will not cause any harm, they still cannot stop the anxiety seizure whenever they see an insect, and it gets worse if it comes near them. That is why they prefer to avoid being close to it at all costs (you may also be interested in reading the Summer Bites article).

Entomophobia is treated with the help of a psychiatrist through medication and behavioral modification, the most famous of which is treatment through confrontation. This mechanism focuses on the gradual confrontation of patients with their fears, which is triggered when the doctor speaks about them, moving on to photos or scenes of insects, then being near them in a controlled environment.


Scientists believe that ophidiophobia stems from ancient humans trying to survive and fight those animals that shared the environment with them. However, this analysis does not explain the fact that the fear of tigers or predators is not as common compared to the fear of reptiles, and ophidiophobia is considered the most common of them all. Ophidiophobia varies from a reasonable fear of big poisonous snakes to the fear of small snakes, ending up with not being able to watch photos or scenes including them; ophidiophobia symptoms, of course, become more severe with the previous stages. This type of phobia can evolve to include fear of other reptiles or worrying about pet shops that might be selling snakes. It is possible for the patient to experience panic attacks at seeing coiled thick ropes, or being near places where snakes mostly exist, such as dense trees, camps, and natural reserves.


It includes fear of and concern about every specie of arachnids or any eight-legged creatures, such as scorpions. The patient experiences anxiety and fear, and cannot control their pupils, even when just watching photos. This phobia makes sense at times, for example, when it results from a poisonous spider sting and undergoing treatment for a time, which leads to connecting spiders to illness and infection. Arachnophobia patients avoid closed rooms or basements, where it is more possible to see a spider.

Scientists invented new treatment methods, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which depends on the gradual replacement of negative memories that caused the phobia with others that are positive, leading to noticeable results with arachnophobia patients.


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