Overcoming Bed Bug Phobia
Bed bug phobia is very real and it is very common. While a lot is spoken about vertigo and claustrophobia among others because they are very common, bed bug phobia is not as frequently talked about or shed light upon. It is natural for anyone to have bed bug phobia. Some experts may refer to it as entomophobia or insectophobia, but it actually isnt that.
Bed bugs are very small, almost unnoticeable in some cases, insects that have oval but flat bodies. Some bed bugs may be bigger but they usually are the size of a pinhead. Bed bugs are usually not found in abundance, certainly not in homes or offices, but they thrive in unhygienic or unclean conditions. That is why hotels or motels, hospitals and any place that is not always kept clean or is accessed and used by innumerable people who may not necessarily be clean and hygienic would have the bed bug problem.
Bed bug phobia doesnt deal with a problem of bed bugs. It is actually a state of mind, more of a psychological condition, which makes one believe that bed bugs are present in the place where one is. One may be at home, at work, at a diner or on the train, bed bug phobia will linger on without any respite.
Professional consultation is imperative if bed bug phobia gets worse.
Do I Have Phobia Of Bugs
Illnesses like syphilis, meningitis, cirrhosis and insufficiency of adrenaline may build the phobia in you. Getting isolated socially can also cause entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects. If you have a fear of bugs and insects you might stop interacting with people because you would not leave the house.
Psychotherapy Used In Entomophobia Treatment
The most common form of psychotherapy used is in the treatment of phobias is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , which is a dynamic approach to teach patients to get past the fear in safe controlled environments.
CBT uses exposure therapy to help Entomophobic people increase the range of interaction they are able to have with insects. Starting with small achievements like talking about bugs and insects, watching them on videos and seeing real insects in controlled proximity.
Giving the patient the assurance that their fear really is irrational and that the insects of our daily life are not dangerous to us at all is one of the prime benefits of this kind of therapy.
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Risk Factors For Entomophobia Or Fear Of Bugs & Insects
The several factors that might come under risk due to the entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects are:
- If you notice that any close person of yours like your father or mother or sibling is having entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects you risk developing the fear too.
- If you have experienced a traumatic incident in the past, you might develop the fear for the source so the incident later.
- Specific phobias develop even at the age of 10 so you grow up unsocial and become unable to interact with people.
Medical Definition Of Entomophobia
- Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
Reviewed on 6/3/2021
Entomophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of insects. Sufferers experience anxiety even though they realize that most insects pose no threat. To avoid insects, they may frequently clean rooms and carpets, sweep hallways, spray insect-killer or seal off doors and windows. Entophobia includes acarophobia and arachnophobia . A true insect phobia is defined by a persistent irrational fear of and compelling desire to avoid insects, mites, spiders, or similar phobic objects and significant distress from the disturbance despite recognition by the phobic person that their fear is inappropriate, unreasonable, and excessive.
“Entomophobia” is derived from the Greek “entomos” and “phobos” . The study of insects is called entomology.
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What Specifically Causes Phobia Of Bugs Insects
While there is not always a precise cause of insect phobia, people may develop an exaggerated fear of bugs from a specific negative experience. Should someone get stung by a bee or be bitten by a fire ant, for example, the painful encounters may affect their opinion of all bugs. Fear of insects may also be a learned response.
Hypnotherapy In Treatment Of Entomophobia
This is a much more relaxed approach to treating phobia since it focuses on identifying the root cause of a persons Entomophobia.
After finding out the causes, the therapy then helps the patient desensitize themselves from the traumatic experience. This helps reduce the immediate fear because they realize that the experiences were one-off incidents and that insects arent out to get them.
Hypnotherapy can also be used alongside Cognitive Behavioral Therapy since a combined approach is capable of increasing the speed of the treatment.
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Why Are People So Afraid Of Insects And Spiders
According to the diagnostic manual of mental disorders, people who suffer from pathological fears of spiders and insects have what is referred to as “entomophobia.” Of course people can be afraid of creepy-crawlies without having a full-blown pathological fear of creepy bugs. It is estimated that twenty five percent of the general population actively fear spiders and insects. So what is it about bugs that makes them so scary to so many people? One reason bugs are so scary is because many bugs actually can harm you.
For example, mosquitoes cause more human deaths than any other animal. However, most people are not afraid of mosquitoes as much as, say, tarantulas. Researchers believe that humans evolved the fear of spiders, insects, and snakes in order to avoid potentially dangerous encounters with these creatures. After all, many snakes and spiders possess venom that can harm humans. Also, simply being bitten by a harmless spider can be enough to cause an infection, sometimes fatal, such as necrotizing fasciitis.
What Can You Do About Entomophobia
All is not lost, you can overcome entomophobia. The first question to ask is do you want to overcome it? I mean, youve managed to function in your life for this long with this phobia in place and managed just fine.
But there are plenty of short-term treatment methods, with a little bit of hard work that can help a sufferer beat even the most stubborn Entomophobia.
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How To Help A Child Cope With Lepidopterophobia
Animal phobias typically occur during childhood and are more intense in younger people.
Children may express their fear by crying, throwing a tantrum, freezing up, or clinging to a parental figure.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if your child shows signs of having a phobia, you can do the following:
- Talk to your child about their anxieties and help them understand that many children experience fears, but that you can work together to get through them.
- Dont demean or ridicule them. It can create resentment and wont promote a trusting environment.
- Reassure and support your child through coping.
- Dont force bravery on them. It can take some time for your child to overcome their phobia. Its not a good idea to try to force them into being brave. You should instead encourage progress.
A phobia can be severe and last a lifetime if untreated. Its a good idea to start by seeing your childs pediatrician if you believe theyre experiencing phobia symptoms.
Keep Your Reactions In Check
Perhaps the most important thing you can do as a parent is model accepting/tolerant behavior of bugs for them. The fear of insects or other creepy crawlies is one that is commonly conditioned by parents and immediately sets them up to continue the cycle. If your child has seen you run screaming from the room with arms flailing at the sight of a spider, its natural that they are going to be terrified too.
Parents are the protectors and the ones that teach children whats dangerous and whats not. Children catch anxieties from adults like they catch a common cold. Any little bit of anxiety you show may be amplified tenfold by them. So, as hard as it might be for you, try to keep from squirming and panicking to yourself. If your child sees you reacting in a calm, deliberate way, then she/he will be able to copy your behavior when ready. Getting your reactions under control is probably the most important thing you can do to help your child overcome their fear.
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Do I Have A Phobia Of Bugs
While some people do like insects, a reaction ranging from avoidance to extreme revulsion is much more common. Still, a dislike even when intense is very different than a true phobia.
Symptoms of an insect phobia include, but are not limited to:
- Anopheliphobia Fear of mosquitoes
- Spheksophobia Fear of wasps
Arachnophobia is probably the most well-known of these terms. While spiders are not technically insects, for the purposes of this topic it makes sense to include them.
Insect phobias in general or for specific insects can be treated through exposure therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy , medication or a combination thereof.
Why My Entomophobia Isnt Just Being Scared Of Bugs
I am currently sitting on my couch. Sobbing. Im in the middle of a panic attack. Offering people money to come kill a stink bug for me.
I have entomophobia a type of specific phobia characterized by an irrational fear of one or more insects. I dont remember when this started or how, but for as long as I can remember, I have been extremely scared of bugs and my reactions have been far from normal. This is not just being afraid. Even just typing the word bug out, my eyes are closed and my face is grimacing. I can feel my body clenching up, images coming to mind.
Shut them out, shut them out, shut them out. Think happy thoughts. Snow, snowmen, fall, coffeeOK were good. Were OK.
The worst is when I see a bug in my apartment or room, and then it disappears before someone can come kill it. This has happened to me twice in the last several weeks. The first was a beetle. I came home from work a little past midnight, stepped into my apartment and saw a giant black beetle on the carpet in front of me. It didnt take long for my panic attack to start as I texted one of my neighbors and asked if he could come kill it for me. But then the beetle started to move. At this point I was screaming and cursing like a sailor. Tears were streaming down my face, but I couldnt find the strength to move, still frozen from the anxiety. The beetle went under a permanently locked door of the apartment. My heart sunk to the bottom of my chest. I kept my eyes locked on the door.
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Worried About The Buzz Dealing With Cicada Anxiety
Much of the eastern U.S. is about to experience one of the most fascinating natural phenomena in the animal world: the emergence of Brood X periodical cicadas. After living underground and feeding on tree sap for 17 years, billions of these insects are expected to emerge simultaneously around early May. And, as the amorous males sing loudly from trees in hopes of finding a mate, the sound will be impossible to miss. For many people, this natural event brings feelings ranging from mild distress to full-blown panic.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 5 to 12 percent of Americans have phobias, and around 7 to 9 percent of children have a specific phobia, such as Entomophobia ? a fear of insects. Entomophobia is one of the most common phobias and involves intense fear, says Diane Mushaben, MA, LPCC-S, a specialty treatment coordinator with TriHealth EAP. However, even those who do not experience this phobia of insects may find the sudden appearance of billions of cicadas alarming.
Mushaben assures that the arrival of Brood X does not have to be a source of distress and offers the below tips for managing Cicada-related anxiety:
Medication In The Treatment Process
For a temporary period, the therapy process may require that the patient take antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication to stabilize the symptoms of the patient so that they can begin to make progress with their therapy.
In many cases it is very difficult to treat the patient because their fear is so overwhelming and persistent, they may not trust in the process.
Such patients are also likely to be mildly catatonic and will be very reluctant to leave the house. It is important to be careful and ensure that they continue with their therapy.
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What Are The Merits Of Vr Over In
VR exposure therapy can be conducted from any part of the world using appropriate tools, while IVE can cause issues where transport is unreliable. People with mobility concerns such as obesity and paralysis can efficiently utilize VR since it has fewer problems ethical than IVE.
VR also motivates patients through in-game awards, high scores, and ranks. From the high scores and games data, our therapists can evaluate progression and chart patients performance for improved inspiration.
What Leads To Entomophobia
According to experts, there is no exact cause for entomophobia and other phobias. C2care suggests that temperaments such as being more sensitive or negative can cause a phobia. Here are other causes of entomophobia.
- A Depressing experience- negative or traumatic experiences can boost specific phobias, such as getting stung by a bee at an early age. Depressed individuals are less interested in life, which culminates in low self-esteem and a feeling of unworthiness. Depressed feelings and insecurity lead to fear of bugs.
- Your Family- kids can acquire entomophobia from siblings or parents. For instance, you can develop a fear of insects when your mother screams at the sight of spiders and bugs.
- Genetics-research shows the correlation between genes and phobias.
- Traumatic brain Injuries- Brain injuries, including concussions, can lead to anxiety disorders and increase fear conditioning, which predisposes your brain to fear due to the injurys stressful consequences.
- Contamination fear- the most significant culprit for entomophobia stems from the fear of insect contamination since most insects such as cockroaches and flies carry infections. The disgusting appearance of certain bugs also creates anxiety.
- Fear of insect bites and infestation: some individuals fear getting insect bites and the subsequent illness. Allergic reactions from bugs such as fire ant bites and wasp stings can fuel entomophobia. Other individuals are also afraid of bug infestation in their bodies.
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How Is Entomophobia Diagnosed
To diagnose entomophobia, a doctor will conduct a thorough clinical interview, and review your symptoms and medical and psychiatric history.
Theyll base your diagnosis on your interview and certain guidelines and diagnostic criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association.
If you suspect you have entomophobia, you can fill out a specific phobias screening questionnaire online to print off and take to your appointment.
Only a trained healthcare professional can confirm a phobia diagnosis.
What Causes Entomophobia
Experts dont know exactly what causes specific phobias. Certain factors increase your risk, including your age. Most phobias develop in childhood, though its possible to develop a phobia as an adult.
According to the Mayo Clinic, temperament can also make you more likely to develop a phobia, such as being more negative or sensitive.
Possible causes of entomophobia may include:
- A negative experience. A traumatic or negative experience can trigger the development of specific phobias. For example, you may have been stung by a wasp as a child or startled awake by an insect on your arm.
- Your family. Children can learn a phobia from a parent or other family member. For instance, you may have learned your fear of insects from your mother who had the tendency to scream at the sight of a spider in the house.
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Survival Of The Anxious
One theory of evolutionary psychology holds that our anxious ancestors had a better chance at survival than their intrepid counterparts. Someone who sticks their head into a bee nest while hunting for honey, for example, might not live to tell the taleor produce any offspring to inherit their ill-advised audacity. Those who approach warily, on the other hand, may walk away unscathed and go on to procreate with other cautious people. Over millions of years, humans may have evolved a predisposition for anxiety towards bees, spiders, and other threatening organisms that we colloquially refer to as bugs.
Of course, there’s no fear bees’ gene, Dr. Jeffrey Lockwood, an entomologist and the author of The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects, tells Mental Floss. But there is evidence that we are particularly prone to associate certain stimuli with danger in the form of prepared learningnot unlike how we readily learn language.
What bugs lack in size they make up for with other qualities that, as Lockwood puts it, push plenty of our fear and disgust buttons. Their small stature allows them to infiltrate both our bodies and living spaces, and theyre capable of avoiding our swats and stomps with fast, erratic skittering . And although many cant poison us to deathfewer than 30 of more than 43,000 spider species have been known to kill humans, for examplesome, like cockroaches, pose other dangers.
Signs And Symptoms Of Entomophobia Or Fear Of Bugs & Insects
The symptoms which can confirm the fear to be entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects are:
- Complaining constantly about insect bites is a primary symptom of entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects.
- Not leaving the house.
- Visiting doctors frequently for skin problems.
- Undergoing physical tensions like shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting at the thought of the insect.
- Going into a panic attack if encountering any bug is also a sign of entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects.
- Isolating from others.
- Opting for any way to avoid going out in order to avoid noticing a bug.
The symptoms are so common that you might often not realise that you are developing a phobia. The basic symptoms of any kind of phobia are:
- Starting to panic if you are exposed to the object of fear or even at the thought of the source of fear.
- Choosing not to leave the house and adopting any kind of method to avoid encountering the source of the far.
- Feeling powerless for not being able to control the fear even after knowing that it is irrational.
- Children start crying.
- Developing physical weaknesses like being unable to breathe, sweating and vomiting.
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