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Are animal phobias serious?

The seriousness of an animal phobia depends in part upon how likely you are to be exposed to the feared animal and how much the phobia impacts your daily life. Some people are constantly forced to avoid situations in which they will likely encounter the feared animal, and thus are unable to participate in activities they would otherwise find enjoyable or fulfilling. Animal phobias can therefore have significant social, medical, and psychological consequences. A person may develop social isolation, depression, or substance abuse as a result.

The physiological symptoms of animal phobia, such as sweating, trembling, hyperventilating, heart palpitations, nausea, and dizziness genuinely affect the body negatively. Psychological symptoms, such as panic, anxiety, avoidance, and interference with normal activities mimic the affects of authentic danger.

Although an untreated phobia can negatively interfere with a person's life, with treatment most people can overcome their phobias and resume with a normal life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.