3 ways to manage a fear of needles
How to Get over Your Fear of Snakes
In the United States, approximately one-third of the adult population suffers from an irrational fear of snakes.Whether this fear is the result of a personal experience, or the result of misinformation that has been spread through popular media and culture, "ophidiophobia" nonetheless remains one of the most common phobias amongst adults.
Confronting Your Fear of Snakes
Know that there are three main causes of "ophidiophobia." A person can develop a fear of snakes if he or she has personally been threatened; has witnessed a threatening event; or has "learned" to fear snakes for any reason. This fear can be learned from popular film and television, books, social media, or even word-of-mouth. Regardless of the reason, this fear is the result of an individual having been "conditioned" to feel fear in the presence of snakes. That is, this fear is not natural, but instead, "learned."
- Most of these fears generate during an individual's childhood.
- A therapist will help you to "unlearn" these fears.
Write down everything about snakes that scares you.What is it about them that scares you? What do you think about them? Try describing them... It may turn-out that are have some misconceptions about snakes.
Identify your type of fear.Knowing what specifically caused your fear of snakes will help you better overcome your fear. Were you simply misinformed about the behavior of snakes? Do you hate they way they look? Have you been bitten?
- A person who has been traumatized by a personal experience may need to undergo counseling before seeking out any type of exposure therapy.
- Most cases of "ophidiophobia" are caused by misinformation and popular media.
- Knowing exactly why you are afraid of snakes can help you overcome your fear.
Become an expert.You should learn as much as you can about whatever scares you.In this case, begin with your list and being researching facts about snakes. Are your assumptions correct? Are your fears justified?
- If you have learned to fear snakes from popular media or word of mouth, you will need to unlearn these fears by researching hard facts.
Watch videos of snakes.Look at photographs of snakes and watch documentaries.Try to familiarize yourself with the "enemy" as best you can by observing how they move, socialize and act.
Consult a therapist.A specialist will be able to help you further understand your fear of snakes, and will be able to provide specific exercises to not only overcome your fear, but to help you maintain your calm during anxiety producing situations.
Overcoming Your Fear of Snakes
Consider discussing your fear with a qualified therapist.He or she will be able to more accurately guide you through your effort to overcome your fear of snakes. This may be the case if your fear has been caused by a personal trauma or bad experience.
- A therapist will prescribe a series of activities or exercises that are designed to undo any "conditioning" that you may have underwent.
- In extreme cases, many hours of conditioning therapy may be required before starting any exposure therapy.
Handle a toy snake.This may be very difficult at first, so be sure to begin with the most non-threateing type of toy snake that you can find. A stuffed animal will more-than-likely present less of a threat to a person with ophidiophobia than a rubber replica that looks like the real thing.
Feel the texture of a snakeskin.Once you feel comfortable with handling a toy snake--and the idea of potentially handling a living one--track down an article of clothing made from an actual snake's skin.Run your fingertips over the texture and pay attention to the scales.
- How does the skin feel? Does it feel as you expected?
- Try to imagine a living snake moving against your skin.
Observe a living snake.If you have a friend that keeps a pet as a snake, this will be easy. If not, try visiting your local pet store to see if they have any snakes for sale. No, you will not be buying one; but will instead be watching safely from the other side of the glass. If you have a zoo near you, try visiting their reptile exhibit.
- Pay attention to the snake's movements.
- If the snake is coiled-up, it may be cold and trying to maintain its body temperature.
Visit a nature center to get even closer to a snake.At your local nature center you will be able to pet a snake without actually having to hold one. You will also be able to watch them interact with one another in conditions that more resemble nature.
- The animal handler will be able to answer any questions you may have about snakes.
- Be prepared to see a variety of snakes.
- Only get as close to the snake as you feel comfortable.
Handle a living snake.When you are ready, return to the nature center to handle a snake.While you can do this at your local pet store, your local pet store may not specialize in snakes and may not be prepared to answer your questions or know how to properly handle or introduce them.
QuestionI am not frightened by the snake, but I have this specific fear that the snake may slither over and bite me. How do I confront the fear?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNot all snakes are a threat, you just have to be careful. They mostly keep to themselves, so just give any snake you see a wide berth and you'll be fine.Thanks!
QuestionI have the worst kind of phobia. I can't even look at these pictures. How can I overcome this?HollyCommunity AnswerSee a therapist and tell them about your fear. If you have any idea why you may have the fear, tell them that too.Thanks!
QuestionIt's hard to go to bed at night because I'm afraid that a snake will crawl into bed with me. Could this happen?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUnless someone in your home has a pet snake that could potentially escape it's enclosure, it is extremely unlikely that a snake could get into your house and crawl into bed with you.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if the snake tries to bite me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's possible the snake is trying to bite you out of fear. If so, give the snake some time and space before attempting to touch them again. If the snake does bite you and you are unsure whether or not the snake is venomous, see a doctor immediately.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I get scared and freak out?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to collect yourself again. Just remember, most snakes aren't venomous.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if my mom is afraid of snakes, but I want a pet snake?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could try introducing her to snakes in a controlled environment, like at a zoo. You may have to wait until you leave home to get a snake though. Sometimes, fears can't be easily extinguished.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if you freeze up even when it's only on television?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou might have a phobia of snakes if this occurs every time a snake is on the television.find something else that interests you. If you want to get over your fear, you have to overcome it. Go to a local zoo or pet store and ask to hold a snake.Thanks!
QuestionI bought a snake today, but I'm too scared to put my hand inside the bag and grab it. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI had a corn snake and I would often use a pair of tongs to feed it and pick it up. I think this is less frightening for the snake too, as long as you move slowly. If your fear of the snake is going to limit your ability to take care of it, though, it might not be the best pet for you.Thanks!
- If you know any one who is able to cope with snakes, get them to sit down and talk to them about you; you might like their novel perspective of snakes.
- Visit a zoo and let the keepers help you overcome the fear through discussion and from your own observation.
- Talk to the attendants at your local pet store. Ask them details about snakes and ask to see some.
- Don't make any sudden movement in front of a snake. If you see the snakes mouth open, then pull your hand away immediately. You don't want your fingers caught by a snakes mouth. Do not squeeze the snake when you are handling it. Don't drop the snake on the ground from fear, that is just not fair.
- Hatchlings are smaller but more skittish. Don't think that because they're smaller, it means they won't bite/they'll stay stiller. It's not gonna happen.
- Don't make the newbies mistake of assuming snakes are tame/domesticated. Even pet snakes are wild, and will not hesitate to bite if they think that you are in the way of them and freedom. Snakes are wild animals, no matter how loved they are!
- They are never so tamed to hold back. You have been warned. Never give up too - snakes are wonderful animals, and fascinating to keep as pets. Overcome that fear, and you'll have unlocked an incredible world to study.
- Pet snakes will tolerate touching and holding and stuff, but don't provoke them. They may be a pet, but they don't love their owner like a cat or a dog loves their owner. The snake sees their owner as someone to do stuff for them. They will not hold back a strike just because it's their owner.
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