Ranidaphobia: The Fear of Frogs

fear of frogs

 Ranidaphobia meaning

Ranidaphobia is the fear of frogs and toads. It gets its name from Ranidae, which is the scientific name for one of the largest families of frogs.

Ranidaphobia is a specific phobia, which is a type of anxiety disorder. You have a specific phobia when you have an overwhelming irrational fear of something.

How common is phobia of frogs?

There’s no specific information available about how common ranidaphobia is. However, we do know that specific phobias in general are very common.

In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 12.5 percentTrusted Source of adults in the United States will experience a specific phobia at some point in their lifetimes.

What exactly causes specific phobias like ranidaphobia is unknown. It’s likely that they occur due to one or a combination of the following factors.

Negative experiences

Having a negative experience with a frog or toad could cause you to form an association between these animals and negative feelings like fear and panic. Because of this, you could develop a fear of frogs or toads.

For example, in an old 1983 case study, a woman developed a severe fear of frogs after she had the traumatic experience of accidentally running over a group of frogs with her lawnmower.

Learned behaviors

We can also learn behaviors from those around us. For example, if a parent, sibling, or close friend is afraid of frogs, you may also begin to fear frogs.

It’s also possible that regional or cultural views can shape a person’s fear of frogs. Indeed, frogs and toads are a rather common subject in folklore throughout the world.

In fact, a small 2012 studyTrusted Source of 514 individuals in Portugal found that the presence of folklore or negative perceptions involving reptiles and amphibians predicted negative attitudes toward these animals and their conservation.

Additionally, a small 2020 studyTrusted Source investigated attitudes toward frogs in Cape Town, South Africa. It found that participants’ views of frogs were shaped at young ages by things such as cultural norms and the attitudes of their caregivers.

Individual factors

Various individual factors may also play a role in the development of specific phobias. For example, some people are generally more anxious than others. It’s also possible that genetics could contribute to phobias as well.

You can divide the symptoms of a specific phobia into two categories  psychological and physical. Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

Psychological symptoms

People with ranidaphobia experience an intense, overwhelming fear or anxiety when they’re around frogs. These feelings are exaggerated compared to the actual threat that the frog or toad poses.

It’s important to note that a frog doesn’t have to be physically present for these feelings to occur. Someone with ranidaphobia could also experience anxiety through:

  • thinking about a frog
  • hearing about a frog
  • seeing a picture or video of a frog

Sometimes people with a specific phobia will go out of their way to avoid the object of their fear. For example, someone with ranidaphobia may avoid attending a social event that’s being held in a park that has a frog pond.

Physical symptoms

Some of the physical symptoms that someone with ranidaphobia may experience are:

Ranidaphobia symptoms in children

The symptoms of a specific phobia in children can be different from those in adults. For example, a child with ranidaphobia may do the following when exposed to a frog or toad:

  • freeze up
  • cling on to you
  • begin to cry
  • throw a tantrum

Feelings of anxiety or fear can sometimes be exhausting. However, there are some things that you can do to help with coping.

One of the first things that you can do is to take care of yourself. This can help reduce the symptoms of your phobia and can include doing things like:

While it may be difficult, another thing that you can do is to try to limit avoiding certain activities. Sometimes, avoiding certain activities in your daily life may reinforce your fears.

Remember the social event in the park we mentioned earlier? Instead of RSVPing “no,” consider going. You don’t have to go near the frog pond, but taking the step to attend may help prevent your fears from interfering with your life.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out to others about your feelings. Talking with family, friends, or a support group can provide you with valuable support.

You may want to consider making an appointment with a mental health professional if you’re finding that the physical symptoms of the fear of frogs are interfering with your daily life, including your:

  • home life
  • work
  • school
  • social interactions
  • ability to perform daily activities

mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, can evaluate your history and symptoms to recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

The treatment of ranidaphobia can involve therapy, medications, or a combination of the two. Let’s take a look at some different options.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a type of therapy where you’re slowly exposed to the object of your fear. You may also see this called desensitization therapy.

A therapist will start with an exposure that causes the least amount of anxiety. Over the course of your therapy sessions, they’ll gradually build up to the most anxiety-provoking scenario.

For someone with ranidaphobia, the progression of exposure therapy could go something like this:

  • thinking of frogs
  • talking about frogs
  • seeing a picture or video of a frog
  • being in the same room as a frog
  • touching a frog
  • holding a frog in your hand

Throughout the course of exposure therapy, you’ll be taught ways to manage your feelings of anxiety, such as relaxation and breathing techniques.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is often combined with exposure therapy to treat a specific phobia. During CBT, you’ll work with your therapist to examine the thought patterns and emotions that contribute to your fear of frogs.

The goal is to help you reshape the negative thoughts or emotions that play a role in your fear. In the case of ranidaphobia, this would mean reinforcing the idea that frogs and toads are generally safe to be around.


Medication isn’t often used for specific phobias. But in some cases, it may be prescribed on a short-term basis to help you cope with feelings of anxiety. Some medications that may be used include beta-blockers and benzodiazepines.

However, more providers are not prescribing benzodiazepines. According to the FDATrusted Source, these medications now have to carry a “black box” warning alerting consumers they can be habit-forming and should be taken with precaution.

Remember to always talk with your healthcare provider before taking any medication.

Ranidaphobia is the fear of frogs and toads. Someone with ranidaphobia experiences intense feelings of fear or anxiety in response to frogs. They may also have physical symptoms like:

  • an increased heart rate
  • shaking
  • sweating

It’s not clear what causes ranidaphobia. It likely happens due to a combination of factors such as:

  • negative experiences
  • learned behaviors
  • how someone processes feelings of fear or anxiety

Specific phobias like ranidaphobia can be treated through methods like exposure therapy and CBT.

If you feel like your fear of frogs is interfering with your daily life, you may want to consider making an appointment with a mental health professional to discuss your concerns.

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