Spring is here! So are the frogs. Help me!
March 28, 2015 8:10 AM   Subscribe

I have a completely irrational but very persistent fear of frogs. Has anyone else experienced this fear and overcome it? What worked for you?

Here's how my frog phobia negatively impacts my life: If I'm on a walk and I see a frog on the trail or road, I can't move until it goes away. If I'm going swimming in a pool, I must thoroughly check for frogs first. Forget about swimming in a pond. I avoid puddles, swampy areas and streams of all kinds because they are frog habitats. I am especially concerned this spring because I had a baby last year and I don't want to exhibit the fear in front of my one-year-old and risk passing it on to him. I really want him to have a normal relationship with frogs. Any advice, suggestions or strategies (even if it's about other animals) would be so helpful.
posted by RingerChopChop to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am not an expert but pretty sure this kind of phobia is one of the most direct to treat. You go to a behavioral therapist and they make you look at pictures of frogs, more or less. I have known multiple people who got over similar phobias this way.
posted by neat graffitist at 8:22 AM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, available in paper or Kindle versions. For $20 you can get through the equivalent of the first few therapy appointments, which is a pretty good deal, and then if you do need to work with a therapist you can take the workbook with you to go over with them as an introduction.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:24 AM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]

Supremely treatable as said above, and usually in remarkably few sessions. As a frog-likerI would just like to support you in your goal of overcoming this and giving your kid the option to have neutral-to-positive feelings for these incredibly important and threatened creatures. When the time comes for exposure by pictures or whatever please feel free to me mail me for suggestions of species to Google, some frogs are froggier than others and it might be easier to start looking at, for example, dudes that look nothing like your locals, such as red-eye treefrogs or smiley old Whites tree frogs (Whites are pretty froggy tho).
posted by Iteki at 9:50 AM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Virtual Reality is being used to treat arachnophobia, perhaps they can add frogs.
posted by Sophont at 10:31 AM on March 28, 2015

What is it about them that you're afraid of? You don't have to answer, but it would help with answers and with getting therapy.
Many people are afraid of small animals that move quickly and unpredictably, such as insects, spiders, snakes, or mice.
posted by bad grammar at 1:54 PM on March 28, 2015

Gradually increasing exposure. The only treatment because it works.
posted by Neekee at 6:29 PM on March 28, 2015

I have a very similar phobia around fish, and while I've heard of the kind of treatment described above and understand that it's quite effective, the thought of being exposed even incrementally to fish - let alone the thought of EVER actually being close enough to touch one - is too horrifying for me to pursue treatment. In case you're in the same boat, I wanted to say that I take ativan for flight anxiety, and have discovered that in the hours after I'm off the plane while the ativan is presumably still in my system, I have had unexpected fish encounters that I reacted to MUCH less intensely than I normally would have. When in that state I could conceive of myself starting therapy for this phobia.

Not sure if this is of use to you or not, but if the thought of exposure therapy for your ranidaphobia is a bit overwhelming, perhaps it'd be worth asking your doctor if temporary help from an anxiety med could be useful as you get started?
posted by DingoMutt at 6:36 PM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Anecdotal, but I have a friend with similar feelings about fish, who sometimes goes to aquariums as sort of a haunted-house type experience. It gives you the creeps but you know you're not in danger, and have the security of a glass wall in between, which is a more controlled environment than being surprised by one in the wild. I wonder if this might be one way you could nudge yourself toward being able to coexist with frogs?
posted by jessicapierce at 6:50 PM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

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