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Would you have therapy for a phobia of something you can mostly avoid (snakes)?

(4 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Sat 16-Jan-16 23:23:32

For as long as I can remember I have had a severe phobia of snakes. My dilemma is - is it worth having therapy for this if I very rarely have to come into contact with a snake? I got thinking about this recently because I was talking to someone about fear of flying, saying it was irrational, and they likened it to me having to sit for the duration of the flight with a big snake in my lap, saying even if I knew it was totally safe on a logical level I'd still be nervous (true).

To give an idea of the severity... just thinking about them / even typing that makes me a bit shivery and got me wondering if there might be one hiding near me! It's not only live ones, it's also pictures, rubber ones, taxidermy ones. On two occasions in my life I've seen someone in the street with one round their neck and been shaken up for hours afterwards (even feel nervous just thinking about it).

It's something I very rarely have to come into contact with - e.g. don't know anyone who has one. However there have been occasional times when I have had to come into contact, e.g. doing a work event in a museum where I had to go near live and taxidermy ones; caring for children who play with toy ones; sitting on a bus with someone who had one in a box (shudder). I have actually managed (when it's unavoidable) to get up close to live ones in the past, e.g. I assisted in holding a huge one (very nervously) at a party entertainer's show, and have seen a small one in the wild.

Basically, I can carry on normal life without having to go near one (unlike if it was a phobia of dogs for example) so shall I just carry on as I am? Or have therapy so that should an unexpected encounter crop up I could deal with it?

AGrinWithoutACat Sun 17-Jan-16 08:01:49

I think the question to ask is will it make your quality of life better if therapy gives you the confidence to deal with the situations you described more easily?

I don't have a huge phobia (anymore) but still do not like anything with more than for legs indoors, I haven't had any help other than my own bloody mindedness but I have gone from panic attacks to being able to remove (or in some cases ignore) bugs and spiders sharing my home. My crunch point came with having the DCs and acknowledging that I did not want to pass my fear into them.

This is a different situation to what you describe as you will not encounter snakes on a daily basis. DH btw is quite happy to carry on being phobic of snakes and will wait outside while I take the kids into view/handle live ones, he never got used to the wooden toy ones Santa bought one year as they were surprisingly realistic when found unexpectedly in DSs bed and was very pleased when the DCs decided they didn't want them anymore.

Fourormore Sun 17-Jan-16 08:11:14

I would. It's not nice to be so scared of things and I wouldn't want to pass any phobia on to my child.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 18-Jan-16 19:23:54

I wonder if it would 'take'. I had a horrible fear of flying. It's taken a while and lots of flights and now I am mostly OK. But part of dealing with it was regular exposure. You'd have to ask a therapist whether you would still be OK coming across one 2 years down the line (or whatever).

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