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Herpetophobia is the fear of reptiles.

Herpetophobia is the fear of reptiles.

Herpetophobia is a fear of reptiles, specifically snakes and lizards. The severity of this relatively common specific phobia can vary drastically, making it difficult to decide without guidance from a mental health professional whether you have a clinical phobia or simply a fear.

Specific phobias are an irrational fear of a situation or object, and their boundless number is only limited by the number of nouns in any language.

All types of phobia are a serious mental illness, known as an anxiety disorder, and affect 10 to 12 percent of people in the United States. The other two types of phobia are agoraphobia and social phobia (social anxiety disorder).

There is a theory that herpetophobia, along with arachnophobia (fear of spiders), is an evolutionary phobia. Theorists posit that our ancestors tended to fear animals, both vertebrates, and invertebrates, that could cause harm. So, the sheer number of venomous reptiles in the environment could have caused herpetophobia to develop over time.


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