Archive for category Phobias
If you ever get scared during a thunderstorm, please do remember you are not the only one. Every year, there are about 16 million lightning thunderstorms around the world. Lightning can be defined as an electrostatic discharge into the atmosphere, and it is usually accompanied by thunder. The two natural phenomena obviously occur during the thunderstorms, and in some cases, during dust storms or volcanic eruptions. The interesting part about lightning is that it can travel at speeds as high as 220,000 km/h (140,000 mph), and can approach temperatures as high as 30,000°C (54,000°F). At this temperature, silica can be fused into glass channels called fulgurites. Lightning makes possible the ionization of the air it passes through, which leads to the formation of nitric acid and nitric oxide, which are very good for the plants. Apparently, lightning can also appear inside the ash clouds formed during the volcanic eruptions. It can also be caused by aggressive fires started up within forests areas.
Another interesting fact is that one cannot tell for sure how the lightning is formed in the first place. According to scientific theories, lightning can be related to the accumulation of charged solar particles, to atmospheric disturbances such as atmospheric pressure, friction, wind, humidity, or to the impact of solar wind. They say a key element in the development of lightning is ice inside a cloud, which can result in the separation of positive and negative charges inside that particular cloud.
There is even a phobia based on thunder and lightning, and it is called astraphobia. Storms undoubtedly are impressive natural phenomena that can cause both humans and animals to experience very intense emotions. Whereas some adore watching thunderstorms, others don’t know where to hide. Some people like going out during such storms, thus taking dangerous risks, whereas others develop this phobia.
Some symptoms of astraphobia are quite similar to those belonging to other phobias, but other symptoms are typical of astraphobia only. The symptoms may include crying, sweating, shaking either during the thunderstorm, or just before it begins. People suffering from this phobia continuously seek for reassurance from other people, and the symptoms may get aggravated when the person is all alone in some place. In addition to that, people are likely to manifest their astraphobia by searching shelter beyond the normal limits. For instance, such a person may hide under the bed or under the covers. Also, some other strange manifestations would be looking for shelter in a closet, in the basement, in the bathroom. Closing the curtains in order to block any storm sounds may also be indicators of such phobia.
Another symptom which is quite common is that of being virtually obsessed with weather forecasts. So a person suffering from astraphobia is indeed likely to keep the TV on stations such as the Weather Channel especially during rainy seasons, or searching for any storm forecast online. In more severe cases, people may start and develop incapacity to go out without first checking the weather forecast, in order for them to track down any possible eventuality of thunder and lightning weather. In some rather extreme circumstances, astraphobia can ultimately lead to agoraphobia or the fear of leaving one’s home.
Astraphobia occurs extremely often in children, and because mostly all the kids are afraid of thunderstorms, it should not be immediately taken too seriously. Fears are an essential part of a child’s development, and therefore are not diagnosed as phobias unless they become persistent for more than six months. The best thing you can do is to try to calm down and soothe the children especially by remembering to keep calm and collected yourselves. Children are likely to pick up on adults’ manifestations and behavior, whether positive and negative. In this respect, an idea is to be prepared beforehand with some fun activities in case of rainy, stormy weather. But if the fear persists in a severe manner and if it exceeds the period of six months, one should consider looking for treatment for one’s child.
In the treatment of astraphobia, therapists most often use cognitive-behavioral techniques. Such treatments include soothing messages that should be repeated during thunderstorms in order to replace one’s negative thoughts. Visualization exercises are also employed for getting rid of such irrational fears
the word ophidiophobia comes from the Greek word, “ophis” which means the serpents, or snakes, while the term “phobia” meaning to feel fear. While herpetophobia is the fear of reptile, ophidiophobia is its subcategory and is the unnatural and extremely severe fear of snakes specifically. This type of phobia, sometimes affects individuals in such harsh ways that it makes it almost impossible for these people to face their fears on their own. They often need therapy and a lot of love and support so as to help alleviate their fears a bit.
One of the ophidiophobia facts is that these people need time to recover, it’s a gradual process and may take several years before a phobic may actually muster the strength to come in proximity to a snake. Their fears are basically grounded and often rooted to childhood traumas, wherein the child tends to remember the incident in a far greater detail and magnitude. Children tend to have a deeper attachment to memories of their past and they entire traumatic incident, may trouble them even more, as they grow older.
What is Ophidiophobia
Ophidiophobia, or the paranoid fear of snakes, probably evolves from the fear of death. Most people associate snakes as dangerous, and assume them to be poisonous. Which may in 90% of the times, be accurate, though it is important to realize that not all snakes are deadly, and those that may be venomous may not be waiting to attack you specifically. Most adults who suffer from ophidiophobia, realize this, and are often aware that their fears may be a bit too extreme and baseless, nonetheless they struggle to control their fears. This conflict causes an upheaval of confusion among these people, who often can’t handle the symptoms on their own.
These people are always on the look out for snakes, which makes it very difficult for them to go out for adventure camps with friends and family. They check several times before entering rooms, and dark corners. Often, they need to be accompanied, because they are so petrified that may be attacked by a snake. Let us have a look at some of the common symptoms attached to this phobia. Though not all people who fear snakes may be suffering from ophidiophobia, because there are many people who fear all types of reptilian creatures, irrespective of their species. These people suffer from herpetophobia or the fear of reptiles, which can be controlled to a large extent, the reason being that, reptiles such as lizards and geckos are commonly found at homes. this makes people rather familiar to their presence, even though they may, continue to fear them. Learn about the most venomous snakes and find out if they are found in your area or not.
The answer to ophidiophobia and its symptoms, are not exact. This is because the symptoms may vary from one individual to another. While some people are afraid of big, venomous snakes, some people fear small snakes as well, which is a rather extreme symptom. Some individuals can’t even tolerate watching television or photos, wherein there are, images of snakes being shown. Some of the symptoms of this phobia may be:
Experiencing Panic attacks
Feeling extreme fear of being bitten
Experiencing difficulty in breathing
Not being able to think clearly and not being able to act promptly
Fearing death and that no one will be able to save you before it’s too late.
Feeling nauseous and sweating profusely
Avoiding Zoos, camps, bushy lands and all dark places
Some rare cases may include experiencing seizure and consequent black outs as a result.
One of the most effective and proven techniques of treating ophidiophobia is through Cognitive Behavioral therapy, wherein the sufferer is made to feel comfortable enough, to speak about his/her fears to a therapist, about their past encounters with snakes as well as the dreams they may have had about snakes. Then they are introduced to pictures and photos of snakes and made to realize that it’s simply a tangible material and not a real snake. They are made to learn about snakes, and taught how to differentiate between the different types of snakes, and separate the dangerous from the non venomous snakes. They are encouraged to watch documentaries, learn about snakes, that may be domestic to their area and how to identify them, how to protect themselves, etc.
Slowly and gradually they will be exposed to real snakes, they may encourage the patient to hold a non-dangerous snake. Though this is the toughest step of the therapy, and those who pass this test usually overcome their phobia forever. Sometimes hypnosis may be suggested, so as to get to the root of the fear that has been tormenting the sufferer. Not all snakes are deadly and that is why some people keep snakes as pets, because they are useful and usually keep to themselves.
Hopefully, this article answers your question as to what is ophidiophobia. Fortunately, ophidiophobia is a curable phobia, though it’s better to start as soon as you realize that you may be suffering from this irrational fear. Do not hesitate, or feel embarrassed about the fact, that you may need help and therapy.