Toads can be slimy, slithery, and even poisonous: this type of amphibian comes in all shapes, color and sizes, and sometime the toad can be a source of consternation. When someone feels persistent and intense fear of toads, they are suffering from Bufonophobia.
All About The Fear Of Toads
Some people cannot tell the difference between frogs and toads: but the person with Bufonophobia will be very sensitive to the differences. Toads tend to have dryer skin, with a leathery feel, and they have a tendency to burrow.
People with this phobia may be afraid of frogs as well, because they closely resemble toads, but it’s not a given. Specifically, they may be afraid of a type of toad (for example, a poisonous toad that can injure or kill a human being).
Toads Can Be Dangerous
In children’s tales, Toad is a gentle creature, found in the idyllic world of The Wind In The Willows, along with other gentle beings, such as Badger and Mole. However, real-life toads are not so genteel. They have defense mechanisms and behaviors that make them dangerous to other creatures, and to people.
In mass media, toads are generally not depicted in a positive light, the way they are in The Wind In The Willows. They are, instead, associated with all manner of witchcraft, demonology, and ancient symbolism. The connection between toads and witches is a time-honored one, since lore dictates that toads are necessary for potions, as well becoming a witches’ special “pet” or familiar.
Films like Harry Potter take a humorous, more lighthearted look at spells and witchcraft, but, in the film series, there are still moments of suspense, when creatures become menacing. These moments capture some of the unease people felt about toads during the Middle Ages, before scientific knowledge erased, to a large degree, magical thinking and superstition.
Poison Toads Can Kill
Toads such as the Cane Toad deliver a potent dose of poison and they are carefully avoided by those who live in indigenous areas. The Cane Toad can be considered a prime trigger for this phobia.
Of all toads, the Cane Toad is the most feared, because it has killed thousands of people with its poison. Sometimes, the dead carcass of a Cane Toad can also be deadly. Animals who attempt to eat this remains of a poison toad can die quickly, due to the poison which is still potent after the toad’s death.
Some toads feature colorations that may frighten onlookers. Bright scarlet and black toads may seem menacing to those who are afraid.
The Horny Toad Is A Trigger
The horny toad is another example of a toad that inspires fears and phobias. However, despite its name, this creature is really a lizard, and not a toad. Nonetheless, this lizard, often found in Idaho and Mexico, has been known to trigger Bufonophobia. The horny toad tends to blend in with sand and dust, making it possible to run across one and startle it.
The symptoms of this phobia will include a fierce desire to avoid any and all toads. Areas where dangerous toads are common will be avoided. If a prior bad experience with a toad is the reason for the phobia, some element of post-traumatic stress syndrome may occur when a toad is present.
Symptoms And Treatment
Racing heartbeat, rising panic, and a feeling of illness and loss of control may occur when the phobic person confronts a trigger. Avoidance is not always possible. When this fear takes over, treatment may be necessary in order to ease anxiety. Therapies for treating phobias can run the gamut, from traditional psychotherapy, to alternative therapies such as acupuncture or hypnosis.
The fear of toads is also referred to as:
- toad fear
- toad phobia
- phobia of toads