I don’t think that I’ve never had a time in my life when I was not afraid of snakes. To me there is nothing more freighting than this crawling, scaly, unblinking reptile that man has abhorred since the beginning of time. The subfield that is primarily connected with phobia is psychoanalytical psychology, behavioral psychology and neuropsychology. According to our text, Psychoanalysis is a method of therapy based on Freud’s theory of personality, in which the therapist attempts to bring repressed unconscious material into consciousness (Baron& Kalsher, 2008).
Behavioral psychology is a school of psychology that clarifies all mental and bodily activity in terms of reaction by glands and muscles to external factors (stimuli). Neuropsychology studies the structure and purpose of the brain as they transmit to fixed emotional processes and behaviors. It is seen as a clinical and experimental field of psychology that aims to study, assess, understand and treat behaviors directly related to brain functioning.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss how biological bases of behavior have contributed to this fear. I also will analyze my reactions when I came into contact with the physical presence of a fake reptile. And, finally, discuss the role that learning has had on the fact that I fear and hate snakes. Our text states that anxiety is an increased arousal accompanied by generalized feeling of fear or apprehension. When this fear becomes excessive or debilitating, this is known as a phobia.
Findings by Ohman and Mineska have suggested that we may possess a biologically determined module in our brains for fear of snakes because this fear is beneficial for our survival (Ohman & Mineska, 2001). The question has been asked, what are the origins of phobias? One possibility involves the process of classical conditioning. A stimulus is introduced that was not supposed to elicit strong emotional reactions, in my case came to do so. I will discuss this in my physical reaction section.
It could be surmised that humans learned to fear snakes early in their evolution and the ones who distinguished the existence of snakes very rapidly would have been more likely to pass on their genes. It is painful to analyze my reactions to snakes because, even thing about them make it very difficult to type. I really have a deep fear of them. The most frightening experience that I remember is a very cruel joke that my cousin played on me. He knew I was afraid of snakes but one day I was over his house and he called me into his room because he was hearing sounds.
I walked in his room and he had a rattling devise hidden in his room and I heard it but did not associate it to a rattlesnake because there was no reason for one of them to be in the room. He reached under his bed a pulled out a realistic replica of a diamondback rattler and I immediately urinated all over myself while frozen in fear. When he saw what I had done, He profusely apologized he help me clean up the mess that I had made. Since this incident I feel that I have post-traumatic stress disorder because sometimes a dream about snakes for no reason.
I refused to watch the move Anaconda and never have been in the snake house at the public zoo. The impact of foundational learning about my fear of snakes helps to give me an understanding of some of the reasons why I hate snakes so much without never really coming in contact with any deadly one in my whole existence. I have learned the origins of my phobia may come from some deeply rooted repressions deep in my brain and that snakes may represent something other than the physical creature that I detest and utterly dread.
According to this theory, my phobia may be based in anxiety reactions of the id that have been repressed by the ego. The currently feared object is not the original subject of the fear. Also, according to learning theories, phobias develop when fear responses are reinforced or punished. My experience with my cousin reinforced the idea that snakes are to be terrified of. The medical models of psychology states that mental disorders are caused by physiological factors Neuropsychologists have acknowledged that certain genetic factors that may play a role in the advance of phobias.
Although the investigation is still in its early stages, it is recognized that certain medicines that affect the brain’s interaction are helpful in treating phobias (Ohman, Flykt, & Estevez, 2001). In conclusion, there seems to be numerous options available for me to seek help if I decide to address my ophidiophobia. If one takes the psychoanalytical approach, if may take years of psychoanalysis to delve deep into the recesses of my brain and pull out repressed memories that were the foundation of my fear of snakes.
Next, from a learned behavior approach, I may be re-programmed not to experience the triggers that lead to the debilitating feeling that I have when I come in close proximity of snakes. Finally, if neuropsychology holds the answer to my problem, I may take the route of taking experimental medication to determine it helps my fear. I think that I am more afraid of experimental drugs than I am of snakes, so, if I had the resources, I would probably choose the first two alternatives.
Courtney from Study Moose
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