Ophidiophobia or ophiophobia is a particular form of specific phobia, the abnormal fear of snakes. Fear of snakes is occasionally referred to as a more general term, herpetophobia, fear of reptiles and/or amphibians. The word comes from the Greek ophis, which is in reference to snakes and phobia, meaning fear.

Numerous symptoms are common among ophidiophobes including a feeling of uncontrollable anxiety when thinking about or are exposed to snakes, the feeling that you must do everything in your power to avoid snakes, the inability to function normally due to your anxiety, and often the knowledge that your fears are unreasonable or exaggerated but feeling powerless to control them.

These symptoms can be emotional, physical, or mental. The anxiety and fear can go from some mild feelings of apprehension to a full-blown panic attack. Usually, the closer you are to what you’re afraid of, the greater your fear will be.

Care must also be taken to differentiate individuals who do not like snakes or fear them for their venom or the inherent danger that is involved. An ophidiophobic wouldn’t only fear them when in live contact when them but also dreads to think about them or even to see them on TV or in pictures.

About one-third of adult humans are ophidiophobia, making this the most common reported phobia. Recent studies that were conducted have theorized that humans might have an innate reaction to snakes, which was vital for the survival of humankind as it permitted such dangerous threats to be identified immediately.

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