Bufonophobia (fear of toads): symptoms, causes and treatment

These fairy tales in which the princess kissed a toad so that he would become a prince, and thus end up happy forever, would not have been possible if one of these princesses suffered from buffonophobia.

This phobia specific to a specific type of amphibian is not very disabling, but it is really unpleasant for those who suffer from it. Then we will see what buffoonery is, As well as its causes, symptoms and possible treatment.

    What is buffoonophobia?

    By buffoonophobia we mean any of the anxiety disorders that a person experiences an exaggerated and irrational fear of toads. It differs from batracophobia in that in the latter the feeling of fear encompasses everything related to amphibians, including frogs, newts and salamanders.

    This type of phobia never tends to be severely disabling, except in the exceptions where the person usually has to live with this type of animal. In some very extreme occasions, people with buffoonophobia may come to think that the animal can get fat to the point of devouring them.

    however, this anxiety disorder differs in each of the people who suffer from it due to individual differences in thought patterns associated with frogs and toads.

    Unlike the simple animosity that each person can feel when they encounter one of these amphibians, in buffoonophobia the individual may come to recognize that the animal is not in itself a threat. However, she is unable to resist the heightened fear she causes.

    Like other existing phobias, a person with buffoonophobia will surely experience a series of emotions and physical manifestations typical of a very high state of anxiety.

      his symptoms

      As stated in the first point, buffoonophobia belongs to the classification of anxiety disorders. Therefore, exposing the person to the phobic situation or stimulus, in this case to toads, will trigger an extreme response.

      This symptomatology is common to other phobias it can be divided into 3 groups: physical symptoms, cognitive symptoms and behavioral symptoms.

      1. Physical symptoms

      The appearance or observation of the phobic stimulus causes hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system which triggers a large number of changes and alterations in the body. These changes include:

      • Increased heart rate.
      • Dizziness and tremors.
      • Feeling of suffocation.
      • Excessive sweating.
      • Sensation of pressure in the chest.
      • nausea.
      • Gastrointestinal problems.
      • Feeling confused.
      • Failure.

      2. Cognitive symptoms

      The person suffering from buffoonophobia associates with toads and similar amphibians a series of irrational beliefs. These distorted ideas of reality promote the development of this phobia and are characterized by the assimilation by the person of a series of unfounded beliefs about toads, as well as their attributes and qualities.

      This cognitive symptomatology is specified in the following manifestations:

      • Obsessive speculation about toads.
      • Intrusive, involuntary and absolutely uncontrollable thoughts about the supposed danger of toads.

      • Mental images of catastrophic nature related to these amphibians.
      • Fear of losing control and not being able to handle the situation satisfactorily.
      • Feeling unreal.

      3. Behavioral symptoms

      Any anxiety disorder of this nature is accompanied by a series of symptoms or behavioral manifestations that appear as a reaction to the aversive stimulus.

      These behaviors or behaviors aim to either avoidance of the feared situation, or theft once the stimulus has appeared. These are known as exhaust ducts.

      Behaviors that aim to avoid encountering toads and / or frogs, refer to all those behaviors or acts that the person performs to avoid the possibility of encountering them. This way the experience of feelings of anguish and anxiety is momentarily avoided that these animals generate.

      As for escape behaviors, in the event that the person cannot avoid encountering the phobic stimulus, they will adopt all kinds of behaviors that will allow them to get out of this situation as soon and as quickly as possible.

      What can be the causes?

      Like other phobias, in most cases of buffonophobia it is virtually impossible to pinpoint the exact origin of this irrational fear. However, we can theorize that its etiology has the same basis as other specific anxiety disorders.

      This means that a person with a genetic predisposition to suffer from an anxiety disorder that faces, at some point in their life, a traumatic emotional experience or high emotional load and related in some way or another the appearance of toads or frogs, you will be much more likely to develop a phobia associated with these amphibians.

      On the other hand, although there are also adults with buffoonophobia, this disorder mainly occurs in children; the theories which place learning as the starting point of the phobia are therefore sufficiently supported.

      These theories state that in children phobias are usually caused by acquisition of behaviors observed in adults, Who, on occasion, may have exhibited anxiety behaviors at a particular stimulus. These behaviors are unconsciously assimilated by the child and encouraged to become a phobia.

      Is there a treatment?

      It was already mentioned at the beginning of the article that buffoonophobia does not tend to be disabling, except in cases where the person has to live with toads and frogs on a daily basis. In other words, due to the nature of the phobic stimulus, the anxious response does not interfere with daily life of the person.

      However, in the rare cases where the person seeks professional help with the intention of reducing their fear of these animals, intervention through psychotherapy (especially cognitive behavioral therapy) is very effective.

      Using techniques such as live exposure or systematic desensitization, along with training in relaxation techniques and cognitive restructuring, the person can overcome their phobic fear and continue their life in a normal way.

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