The transference of rabies is generally through wild animals. They either bite the human directly or they bit a domesticated animal that then develops the disease and bites a human. The saliva of the infected animal is introduced to the human bloodstream via a bite puncture wound. It is common for humans to have a healthy respect of all aggressive animals. However, when the individual expresses a visible and irrational fear in the presence of any animal they may suffer from Hydrophobophobia.
The truth is rabies in humans is rare and can be treated, but even these facts do not typically calm the fears of those who live with Hydrophobophobia.
What Causes Hydrophobophobia?
This fear is a classic picture of what modeling can do in a person’s life. While the threat may be low the anxiety was high in previous generations. What that meant is that young and impressionable children were convinced that the threat of rabies was incredibly strong and that fearing the disease was a helpful practice. Because this idea was transferred from a trusted adult the child then assumes the role of caretaker of the fear. In time this anxiety can become a debilitating phobia.
It is possible you have been bit by an animal in the past. In the recovery you may have been tested for rabies. The idea of a potential infection can cause a lingering obsession about never being bitten again. This, too, often leads to the phobic expression of your anxiety.
Perhaps you have personally encountered someone who has faced the disease. The stories of shots and tests can be enough to inspire an individual to fear.
Symptoms of Hydrophobophobia
Individuals with this fear will not likely have any pets nor will they be interested in outdoor activities that may include the presence of animals. No dog parks, zoos or farms for this individual. They are meticulous about making sure they are in what they believe to be a safe environment with no animals (pets included) present.
Other symptoms may also include:
- Air hunger
- Panic attacks
- Feeling faint
- Feelings of control loss
- An urge to flee
- Elevated heart rate
The threat of rabies is always present, but the phobic response is to believe that all animals carry the disease and all animals should be avoided.
How to Overcome the Fear of Rabies
First of all you need to realize that the fear of rabies may actually be a fear of animals, bites or even strange encounters. You might even be responding to a fear of what might take place to you if ever were diagnosed with rabies.
In each instance a therapist can help answer your questions and get to the root fear you may be experiencing. In most cases there is a specific event or comment that led you to the place of fear. This information is helpful in knowing how to move past that fear to a place of recovery.
The fear of rabies is also referred to as:
- Rabies fear