Ornithophobia is the fear of birds. It’s an obsessive and insurmountable fear that an individual experiences at just the sight of birds with any actual contact likely to cause high levels of stress and panic.
As with many of these specific fears and phobias Ornithophobia may seem like a “funny” disorder that isn’t really anything to worry about. But for anyone suffering from a fear of birds the reality is very different.
To an ornithophobic the fear of birds, whilst irrational, is both intense and persistent. They will feel extreme levels of anxiety – even to the point of all-out panic attacks – when around birds of any shape or size. Some will even experience these symptoms by just thinking about a potential encounter.
When you think about it a fear of birds to these extremes can prove really difficult to live with. Birds are everywhere and completely unpredictable, often appearing out of nowhere. They are in the countryside, parks, towns and cities. Birds often feature on TV, in films and in commercials. They are completely impossible to avoid.
But to anyone suffering from ornithophobia they only way of managing the phobia is to do everything possible to avoid an encounter … and that can seriously affect quality of life, career and relationships. It’s not such a trivial phobia now is it! So, let’s learn more about this phobia.
Unfortunately, scientists do not have an answer to the question of what exactly causes the fear of birds which is also known as bird phobia. Fears can develop at any age. However, most often, they develop during childhood.
The most credible theories that explain bird phobia are as follows:
Experts have determined that any the following symptoms of Ornithophobia can be associated with the condition:
Physical symptoms of Ornithophobia include:
The manifestation of these symptoms largely depends on the severity of phobia and the behavior of the individual. Ornithophobia varies from mild anxiety at the sight of a flying bird to a full blown panic attack.
According to The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), over 12 percent of adults in the United States at least once in a lifetime experience some type of phobia. Ornithophobia is believed to be relatively uncommon. Exact figures are not available but various sources including TypesOfPhobia.com suggests it affects around 0.9% of the population.
We should point out that ornithophobia is a fear of birds in general. There are other specific phobias which relate only to a particular type of bird like a fear of ducks for example.
Like any phobia, if it’s having any form of negative effect on your life or relationships you owe it to yourself and those around you, to seek help. But even if you experience mild symptoms you may want to look at addressing the issue as these knind of phobias don’t just disappear and, left unchecked, they can actually get worse.
Because the natural reaction to any phobia is avoidance of the cause of the fear, ornithophobia can represent a real problem. Avoidance is impossible unless you shut yourself away and never leave your house – so don’t feel trapped by a fear of birds … do something about it today!
Usually the initial trigger of your fear of birds can be traced back to some form of traumatic event or to the influence of a peer, often at an early age. So, you weren’t born being frightened of birds – something started it off and the natural reaction of your sub-conscous mind has become “corrupted” to give a negative response to the sight of a bird. Hypnotherapy, in very simple terms, works by, in effect, re-setting your mind to produce the rational, natural reaction to birds that you were born with. Find Out More >
Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP works in a slightly different way but also aims at getting sufferers to change their thinking habits. It works by taking your specific fear of birds and disassociating and reframing the experience to prevent the irrational response. Find Out More >
In simple terms Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is probably THE most common and effective therapy for phobia. As the name suggests, it’s a talking therapy which takes your fear of birds and focusses on your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes in relation to this fear and how they cause you to behave and feel. If you can change the way you feel about birds you’ll change the way you react to them. Find Out More >
If the mere thought or sight of any bird fills you with fear and terror then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.