Thursday, May 20, 2004
What Would You Do: Fear Of Animals
All this month, we've been showing people how to overcome different phobias. But what do you do if you have a fear of animals? Not just wild things in the everglades, but mice and spiders. Here's seven's Charles Perez.
(WSVN) -- If you thought walking down a yellow brick road was scary...
How about facing an alligator in the Everglades...
Or swimming in the ocean with sharks.
"There's a real danger there."
A fear of animals can claw away at your life if you don't get it under control.
Psychologist Dr. Lance Pulver says, "Because if you're in the water and there is a shark nearby a shark could potentially hurt you."
To overcome the phobia, experts suggest knowing your facts.
For instance, the odds of being struck by lightning are four times higher than being attacked by a shark.
Next, try to figure out the source of the phobia - could it be a movie? Could it be a bad childhood experience?
Then try to educate yourself on the animal's behavior.
But what if it's something as small as a roach or a mouse that's dogging you.
What do you do?
Well, once again, you have to get to the root of your fear.
Dr. Pulve says, "Once a trauma is lodged in the mind it's hard to eradicate."
Next, you have to face your fear and just start watching the one thing you hate.
In this example a spider.
"What you would want to do is first of all find a spider and just sit and look at it for a while," says Dr. Pulver.
Once it stops creeping you out ... Get closer.
Dr. Pulver says, "Not so close that you're frightened. But close enough that you can say I'm making progress."
And finally ... You should try and touch the animal.
"Try and pick it up and let it walk over your hand," says Dr. Pulver.
But if that doesn't work and you can't get over your fear, get professional help.
Next week, we have a "What Would You Do" for the kids and parents. What do you do if your child is being bullied at school or camp.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Lance Pulver