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Alektorophobia is an exaggerated and irrational fear of chickens. Although relatively rare, this phobia can affect the daily life of the sufferer
Alektorophobia is one type of specific phobia, namely a phobia of certain objects, places, or situations. Alektorophobia is generally characterized by intense fear, panic or discomfort when being around chickens or imagining these animals.
Causes and Risk Factors of Alektorophobia
The cause of alektorophobia is still not known with certainty. People who have this phobia generally also don't remember how, when, or why they developed a phobia of chickens.
However, there are actually several things that can trigger someone to experience alektorophobia, including:
- Had a bad experience with chickens in the past, for example when I was a child I encountered aggressive chickens
- Has a close family who is also a phobia of chickens
- Living in a neighborhood with lots of chickens
Symptoms of Alektorophobia
A person can be said to suffer from alektorophobia, if he has experienced symptoms of alektorophobia for at least 6 months.
In addition to spontaneous and intense fear, here are some of the symptoms that alektorophobia sufferers usually experience when faced with situations related to chickens:
- Severe anxiety that can get worse when you know you will meet a chicken
- Fast heartbeat
- Tightness in chest
- Difficulty breathing
In addition, there are some symptoms of alektorophobia that are common in children, namely tantrums, crying, or not wanting to move away from the person who accompanies them when there are chickens around them.
Handling of Alektorophobia
The goal of treating the phobia of alektorophobia is to improve the quality of life of the sufferer and prevent excessive fear of chickens that may interfere with daily activities at home, at school, or at work.
To be able to diagnose alektorophobia, a therapist (psychologist or psychiatrist) will review your symptoms and discuss your experiences with chickens.
If a psychologist or psychiatrist diagnoses that you suffer from alektorophobia, there are several treatments that may be suggested, namely:
Exposure therapy is one of the main therapeutic options for treating specific phobias, including alektorophobia. The goal of this therapy is to help you deal with your fear of something, in this case the fear of chickens.
Exposure therapy is done by gradually placing you in situations related to the fear. At first, you may be asked to think about, look at pictures, or watch videos of chickens.
Once you get used to managing your fear and anxiety about chickens, the therapy will be enhanced by showing a real chicken, and so on until you get used to the presence of chickens around you.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that aims to control and change negative thought patterns and responses that often arise when you are faced with situations that make you afraid, such as the fear of chickens.
That way, it is hoped that you will be calmer in dealing with situations related to chickens. Usually, cognitive behavioral therapy is done in conjunction with exposure therapy (putting a chicken near you).
In most cases, people with alektorophobia rarely require long-term treatment.
However, if the two therapies above have not been able to help you overcome your alektorophobia, your psychiatrist will prescribe anti-anxiety drugs to reduce the level of anxiety and panic attacks caused by alektorophobia.
With proper treatment, alektorophobia can be cured, although it takes time and patience. Therefore, if your fear of chickens leads to alektorophobia, you should immediately consult a psychologist or psychiatrist.