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Alektorophobia is the abnormal fear of chickens or similar feathered animals. This phobia includes live chicken, eggs and even dead ones. It usually does not involve cooked chickens, though. It may seem weird for some people to see other people suffering from this kind of phobia, and they often dismiss it as silly and just an overreaction. However, the phobia is real and it is more common than we may think.
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Like most phobias, this one is often caused by the unconscious mind creating protective mechanisms against a perceived threat. This threat perception may have been developed after an emotional trauma involving a chicken. Usually, if a chicken-based emotional trauma happens early in life, it is more than likely a result in Alektorophobia.
Associating chickens to physical harm is also a cause for developing this kind of phobia. Even without trauma involved, as long as the seeds of the thought of chickens being malevolent beings are planted in the subconscious, it can grow and develop into a strong aversion to anything that involves chickens. For people who have an active imagination may develop an idea that chickens can coordinate among themselves to arrange a physical attack on the person with the phobia. The fact that chickens eat worms and move around with their poop around them causes some people to think that chickens are very dirty animals and exposure to them will mean certain contamination.
More often than not, it all boils down to an early experience in life where the person suffering from the phobia got hurt physically or emotionally by a chicken or a situation that involved a chicken. These kinds of traumatic experiences may stick with people for a very long time with them not knowing it. The human subconscious can retain information without people being aware of it even until they are already well into the phobia.
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This phobia may seem silly for observers, but for those who are suffering from it, it can mean certain negative effects in their physical and emotional state. Alektorophobia can cause dizziness, breathlessness, feelings of dread, nausea, excessive sweating, dry mouth, shaking, feeling sick, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, inability to speak, inability to think clearly, becoming mad, losing control, detachment from reality, fear of dying and anxiety attacks. These results of suffering from this phobia can be very serious especially if the person suffering from it has other ailments or conditions.
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There are no medications to help a person deal with Alektorophobia directly. Its effects and symptoms can be treated normally with medications, but the phobia itself can only be dealt with using psychological therapy or self-therapy. The person can either talk himself out of this phobia, or he can ask a professional for help in analyzing why he has this phobia and what issues he needs to address to get rid of it.
For people who want to deal with Alektorophobia with the help of professionals, they can engage in behavior therapy, psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or exposure therapy. It is best to consult a psychologist first before you decide on which kind of therapy you want to avail.
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Right Health - http://www.righthealth.com/topic/alektorophobia?
Wrong Diagnosis - http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/a/alektorophobia/intro.htm
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; GNU Free Documentation License / supplied by Melinda Sayler