Herpetophobia: The Fear of Reptiles
Do scaly, slimy creatures scare the heck out of you?
Herpetophobia is a common specific phobia which consists of fear or aversion to reptiles, commonly lizards and snakes, and similar vertebrates as amphibians. This condition causes a slight to severe emotional reaction, for example anxiety, panic attacks and most commonly nausea. Upon further research, I've learned that the specific fear of lizards is called Scoliodentosaurophobia.
I have been terrified of reptiles, specifically lizards, ever since I was little. I'm not sure how my phobia came to be but it probably has something to do with the time I saw a little lizard's decapitated tail on the floor, still frantically wriggling despite the fact that it has already detached from its body *shudders*. I have never looked at them the same way since. No, scratch that. I have never wanted to even look at them, period.
I've been known to act really silly whenever a lizard is in the vicinity -- even small house lizards that are usually found in tropical climates such as ours. (Like that one time I didn't want to climb out of my car because there was a lizard sunning itself on the windshield. I had to call my husband from my mobile just so he could open the door for me from outside.)
If you're afraid of lizards and other reptiles too, or just simply interested in the topic, please read on.
Lizard poster image is from Feenixx
Well I'll be!
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The funny lizard is from Grant Moore 3D.
Are you scared of lizards?
I've never met a lizard that I liked
Meeting a large, scaly lizard face to face.
That particular hair-raising moment happened sometime in the late '90s. I was in my mid-20s and have been working for a while in an advertising agency when I decided to leave my job and pursue further art studies in the US. I decided on a design school in New York and was blessed to have relatives in a nearby borough who welcomed me graciously into their home. I haven't seen them in a while so I didn't know until my arrival that my then-12-year-old cousin was, at that point in time, currently obsessed with reptiles and in fact had a terrarium of "harmless" (but icky nonetheless) garter snakes in their foyer.
I learned to ignore the snakes during the next few months of my stay and had adapted quite easily to the new environment and way of life. My aunt and uncle had work the whole day and my cousin would be in school so most afternoons I would go home to an empty house from my classes in the city.
One random day in November, I was again alone and padding my way up the carpeted stairs to my room when suddenly, right there on the landing was the biggest monitor lizard I had ever seen. I froze on the spot. It was looking back at me with some trepidation, as if waiting for me to make the first move. When I finally came to my senses, I ran down to the basement and remained there until I heard my cousin arrive home a few hours later.
I told him about what I saw. His reaction? "Oh, you found George! I thought he escaped!"
I learned that this "George" was his pet and that he had escaped from one of his terrariums last summer. I didn't want to go upstairs alone for fear of seeing the scaly monster again so I asked my cousin to accompany me upstairs to my room. George was not on the landing anymore. My cousin searched for it, calling out its name all over the house but it never showed itself again -- even after I had left for home when my design courses were done.
My aunt told me a month later over e-mail that they eventually found George in a dark corner of the closet I was using when I was still living with them (!) but that he had already died. Technically, I was the last one to see him alive.
An episode of Maury tackling Extreme Phobias: Fear of Reptiles - Conquering the fear of lizards and frogs through hypnosis.
It is said that some phobias, Herpetophobia included, can be cured through hypnosis. Watch this episode of Maury wherein the guests have managed to successfully conquer their phobias through motivational hypnosis.
Overcoming Animal & Insect Phobias - How To Conquer Fear Of Dogs, Snakes, Rodents, Bees, Spiders & More
Specific phobias are among the most responsive of anxiety disorders to behavior therapy, the research-proven treatment adapted for self-help readers in this book. Readers first learn about their phobia, where it comes from, what factors influence it, and how best to prepare for treatment. Then they learn to confront and overcome their animal and insect phobia. These techniques are effective and fast. The book includes information about avoiding relapse and helping someone else who suffers from an animal phobia.
Written by two renowned anxiety experts, this easy-to-read and practical guide teaches readers how to understand, confront, and overcome persistent fear of animals such as dogs, snakes, insects, spiders, and bees.
Hey! Maybe an alligator-textured leather designer bag can help cure Herpetophobia. - Well...it's worth a shot, right?
This beautiful Italian Designer handbag has three (3) zippered pockets in the front of the bag, which bears the Vecceli Italy logo in gold. It has an inside zippered pocket on one side and two additional pockets on the other side. It is fully-lined bearing the Vecceli Italy logo in gold. Altogether, it is a wonderful handbag for today's designing woman.
A Japanese "Fear Factor" challenge - Conquering the fear of lizards through exposure.
Another way to conquer a phobia is through exposure to the object/creature being feared or by repeatedly approaching them to gain confidence until the fear has been overcome entirely. This "Fear Factor" style episode on a Japanese program shows a number of female contestants who have stuck their heads into holes inside a tank that had a lizard running wildly inside. I don't think it worked -- take a look at the video.
Getting rid of lizards - If you can't overcome your fear, get rid of the source!
Have I overcome my fear of lizards? The answer is NO.
Sadly, I'm now in my 30s but I still unbecomingly shriek like a 5-year-old whenever I see a lizard. The Philippines being a tropical country, there are a number of small house lizards in our home and they are usually found inside dark kitchen cupboards, lounging on tiled bathroom walls, or lying on cold concrete floors. I'm lucky though to have a husband who does not share that phobia so I always rely on him to get rid of the slimy bothersome creatures if I ever chance on them. Don't worry, he doesn't kill them - he traps them in a box and lets them loose in a nearby park.
In case he's not around, I rely on our kitty cat, pictured at left, who has proven to be a very good lizard hunter.
We can't completely get rid of the lizards in our home (believe me, I've asked the pest control guys) because they are great for catching and killing mosquitoes and other household pests after all so they're not entirely bad to have around. But given my phobia, I do my best to keep the number to a minimum using the following techniques.
1.Keep the house clean. The less places there are for them to hide inside or under, the less they'll be around.
2. Get rid of leftovers, bits of food and garbage right away. The less they'll have something to eat, the less appealing your home will be for them.
3. Try to keep the place cool. Lizards love warm surfaces so if the temperature of the place is not to their liking, chances are they'll find somewhere else to dwell.
4. Don't position the furniture too close to the wall. This way, they will have less places to hide in and I've learned that they hate being exposed to humans as well.
5. Trim the plants near your doors and windows. Lizards like having plants to hide in so if there aren't any, they'll look elsewhere.
There are other ways of getting rid of lizards. Check out the articles below for more tips.
- How to Get Rid of Lizards
Get rid of lizards with simple house lizard control techniques.
- Get Rid of Lizards
They may seem cute and friendly when you're watching the Animal Planet or Discovery, but not all lizards want to be your friend. In fact, some lizards can be dangerous pests. Do you know how to get rid of lizards once they're infiltrated your propert
- How to Get Rid of Lizards
Although most people think of lizards as beneficial to the environment because they eat insects and other undesirable critters, others seem to have a significant fear of these little reptiles and will search for ways to get rid of them.
- How To Get Rid Of House Lizards - How To Keep Lizards Out Of Your House
Do you want to keep lizards out of your house? If yes, then explore the article and learn how to get rid of house lizards.
Want to get rid of lizards quickly? Get a cat! - Cats are the best lizard hunters.
Like I mentioned above, our kitty -- like any other cat -- is a fabulous lizard hunter. I always feel secure whenever he's around. Check out the video of another lizard-hunting cat below to see what I mean.
Another way of conquering the fear of reptiles is to picture them doing something funny. I sure hope this works!
Some more self-help books on mastering phobias and anxiety - Applicable to all kinds of fears and phobias.
Each spread features a spectacular paper sculpture of a particular species (e.g., Ankylosaurus or Triceratops) along with a brief paragraph of text. Smaller foldout sections, which open like miniature books and also incorporate pop-ups, cover additional topics (Dinosaur Detectives and Mystery Extinction) and introduce other dinosaurs and their characteristics. Rendered in warm earth tones and speckled with splashes of color, the three-dimensional creatures move with a life of their own as they gracefully extend their bodies into a full stretch or lurch toward readers with jaws open wide.
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