Ophidiophobia Fear of snakes



A more general term to describe this phobia would be herpetophobia , which refers to the fear of dangerous reptiles . In the case of ophidiophobia , it focuses on the unwarranted terror that a person feels when seeing or even thinking about snakes.

It is very common to find people with this type of irrational fear. 10% of the world population suffers from it, being the second most frequent phobia. It has even been thought that it is instinctive for humans to fear this specific animal.


Those who live in rural areas are at greater risk, as they may encounter a snake in their daily lives. On the contrary of those who live in the city, the possibilities are almost nil.

Regardless, the assumption can be given in both cases. Like most phobias, this one can be caused by a traumatic event in childhood.


Although it all depends on the degree of fear that the person feels, the symptoms tend to be quite similar.

The individual will experience an increase in body sweating and heart rate, will have difficulty speaking, expressing, breathing, nausea, and even crying.

These signs are common in a typical case of ophidiophobia.

In some more advanced cases, momentary or temporary body paralysis, inability to differentiate real life from fiction, and panic attacks can be seen as precise signs of an individual suffering from a snake phobia.

Ophidiophobes can imagine snakes where there are none: coming out of closets, in the car or in bedrooms.

They may obsessively research ways to defend themselves against snakes and to set traps in their homes against snakes as a simple precaution.

An obvious sign to know if an individual suffers from ophidiophobia is a visit to the zoo; Most people feel safe being behind the glass that separates the habitat of the animals from that of the visitors, but for an ophidiophobic the visit is difficult, since just being close to them makes them feel terrible fear and irrational.


The first thing would be to identify if the fear of snakes is a phobia or a simple fear. If the individual meets all the symptoms and is aware of their excessive fear of these reptiles, it could be classified as an ophidiophobic.

It is necessary to go to a professional therapist and when presenting the case he will determine the procedure to follow to overcome the phobia.

Exposure therapy is frequently used to combat fears. As its name implies, it gradually brings the individual closer to the main cause in a controlled and safe environment.

In this case, the therapist will start talking about snakes together with images, as the sessions progress, the patient will have to be in the same room with snakes at some distance trying to control anxiety and panic .

This technique seeks for the person to be able to speak fluently and even carry a harmless snake on the neck, which would indicate the total eradication of the phobia.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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