Ophidiophobia: Definition, Facts & Treatment

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Paruresis: Treatment & Overview

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 What Is Ophidiophobia?
  • 0:53 Symptoms
  • 1:16 Causes
  • 2:03 Treatment Options
  • 3:26 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Vidhi Desai
Remember when you were a child and things like the dark and monsters were scary? You probably outgrew those fears with time. There are times that people don't outgrow fears, and actually develop longstanding, debilitating fears called phobias. Learn about the phobia of snakes in this lesson.

What Is Ophidiophobia?

Ophidiophobia is the extreme fear of snakes. The fear of snakes is one of the most common phobias in adults. The word ends in phobia which indicates that this is not a common, everyday dislike and slight disgust regarding snakes. When something ends in 'phobia,' it means that it is an irrational fear and can result in anxiety.

People with ophidiophobia may have varied fears. Not all sufferers have the same exact fear. Some may fear small snakes, some may fear large snakes, and others may fear both. In extreme cases, sufferers may be afraid of locations in which snakes might be, such as the woods or pet stores. They may refuse to visit friends' homes if they have pet snakes. They might even start fearing things that resemble snakes, like rope.


Some symptoms people with ophidiophobia exhibit include:

  • Fear of snake encounters
  • Fear of snake photos
  • Fear of snakes on television
  • Fear of locations where snakes may be present

Any of these fears might result in:

  • Anxiety attacks
  • Screaming
  • Crying
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Trembling
  • Increased heart rate


In general, psychologists believe that phobias result from traumatic experiences surrounding the feared item. There are times that phobias arise without being connected to past experiences.

Consider this example:

At six years old, Jenny and Roxy are playing in the backyard. Roxy jumps on a pile of leaves and suddenly screams out in pain. Jenny sees a snake's mouth around Roxy's leg, and blood streaming down her leg. Roxy goes to the hospital and has to stay for an extended period of time. After the incident, she never wanted to play in the yard. She became scared of going near a pile of leaves and refused to play outside in the fall season. At age 20, Jenny is diagnosed with ophidiophobia because she never got over her fear of snakes. She finally goes into counseling.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account