By Allyson Reyna
I admit it, I have a fear of birds. Even though I do not personally have a serious form of this phobia, I would like to explain it. Until recently, I did not even know there was such a thing.
There is a name for this fear and it is called ornithophobia. It is defined as a type of specific phobia, which is an irrational and abnormal fear of birds. It may seem quite silly, ridiculous, and absurd; however, it is a real thing and is more common than you may think.
Some people who have ornithophobia only fear birds of prey such as vultures, while others fear innocent little birds like parakeets. It varies from person to person. In my case, I get nervous around ostriches and flocks of birds, but in no way am I afraid of chickens.
The most common cause for ornithophobia is having an incident occur that would provoke the fear. These incidents are quite negative experiences with the feared animal. Let’s just say my fear of birds began when I got chased by an ostrich who can run up to forty-three miles per hour, while I was in a golf cart that could only go ten. Not a very keen kind of situation.
Having a fear of birds does not necessarily mean someone would gain the fear through a negative encounter. Sometimes it is a phobia that is triggered by events someone has witnessed through other ways. It is all about how a person reacts to the situation and the extremity of it.
Since ornithophobia is a fear people who have it are naturally scared of birds. Most of the time, if the person is scared, they will outwardly show their fear. They show their fear through crying, shaking, freezing in place, running away, anticipatory anxiety, and so on. Everyone varies in their severity of having ornithophobia. Some are better at hiding the fact they have a fear of birds and simply try to avoid the situation at all costs.
Seeing that everyone varies with the severity of the phobia, some are worse than others. Ornithophobia can sometimes, very rarely, become so harsh that people may have to seek therapy. Those who seek help usually go through cognitive-behavioral therapy which is the most common kind of therapy for ornithophobia. This is to help with relaxation and staying calm. In very rare cases, some people may have to go to the lengths of getting a hypnosis or medication to be able to control their phobia. Some may have to go to these great lengths, but this is only to control it. After gaining control and taking the phobia into a manageable state, they will then begin to work through ornithophobia.
Most people who have ornithophobia treat it like any other kind of fear, but on rare occasions that person’s fear may turn more into a mentality issue. This is not likely to occur though. It is not normal to go through medication, hypnosis, or therapy for having ornithophobia. That is just for those who have turned it into more of a mentality issue than anything else.