Ranidaphobia is the morbid and irrational fear of frogs. This is not to be confused with the fear of toads, Bufonophobia.
Now, many people do not like frogs. They view them as disgusting and even dangerous. However, for sufferers of Ranidaphobia, this fear is taken to the extreme. In fact, the definition of any phobia is “an extreme or irrational fear or aversion to something”. So again, while some people may simply be uncomfortable with the presence or sight of frogs, people with Ranidaphobia absolutely despise them.
Symptoms of Ranidaphobia
Symptoms of Ranidaphobia will vary depending upon the individual. Factors such as mental status and level of fear will contribute to just how severe the reaction to frogs and the symptoms are.
For starters, again, people with Ranidaphobia can be “set off” by the sight, thought, sound, presence, etc. of frogs. Pretty much anything to do with frogs will cause a severe reaction. Generally, people will experience anxiety and its own symptoms when these situations occur.
However, in extreme cases, a full blown panic attack may come on. Symptoms of a panic attack, which may be present even before it sets in, include changes in heart beat (faster) and breathing rate, difficulty breathing, tingling and/or numbness in the hands, an extreme sense of terror, excessive sweating, chills, chest pain, and feeling a loss of control.
Causes of Ranidaphobia
The phobia of frogs can happen for any number of reasons, or even for no reason at all. It all depends on the individual.
Most often, phobias are caused by a trauma that usually occurs during childhood. Perhaps the individual had a bad experience with a frog, or a frog was present during the trauma which caused an association between fear and frogs.
Frog phobia could also be due to allergies, or a misconception about their “poisonous” nature. People often fear these animals because they think of them as extremely dangerous. Frogs are also viewed as dirty more often than not. People who fear dirt or uncleanliness can be led to fear frogs.
Frogs are also good at blending in to their natural environment, and tend to jump or appear suddenly. The anticipation and suspense that come along with walking through these environments could also lead people to be afraid of frogs.
Treatment of Ranidaphobia
People can go through many different types of treatment when trying to find the best one for them.
To begin, therapy is usually the first go to option for phobia treatment. Furthermore, therapy can be tailored to the individual, which is why it is so effective most of the time. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is typically the most effective form of therapy when dealing with phobias. This therapy can help change the reaction a person has to the stimulus, in this case, frogs. Furthermore, therapy can help the professional, as well as the individual, better understand the reason behind their phobia. Knowing the cause of it also helps find the best treatment.
Another form of therapy that many opt for is known as shock or exposure therapy. This is the process of putting the individual within direct contact with frogs, their sounds, pictures of frogs, etc. in order to desensitize them and decrease their reaction. Eventually, a large majority of the anxiety and phobia symptoms will disappear.
Medication is also a viable option for dealing with phobias. Anxiety medication or anti-depressants can help alleviate the symptoms of phobia reactions and panic attacks, especially when in the presence of frogs or their natural surroundings. Allergy medication is also available for those to whom frogs present an actual danger.
Lastly, knowledge is key to getting over any fear. Again, many people view all frogs as dangerous when, in reality, a majority of the ones they come in contact with are not. Learning abut the animal can make them seem much less dangerous and can help people overcome their fears.