Identifying And Overcoming Entomophobia (Fear Of Bugs Or Insects) In Real Life

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Who does not have a fear of bugs or insects? They are creepy, weird, and colorful small creatures… which cause distress in many of us! The fact is that people experiencing a fear of insects or bugs does not necessarily mean that the people are struggling with a fear of insects called entomophobia.

Entomophobia is a persistent and irrational fear of bugs that may go to extreme levels. A person is diagnosed with entomophobia only when the fear becomes extreme, uncontrollable, and starts affecting the overall quality of life.

In this blog, we will be taking a deep look at what entomophobia is and how to overcome it. So, let’s get started! 

What is Entomophobia?

Entomophobia is a persistent and irrational fear of bugs or insects. People struggling with entomophobia might develop extreme stress or anxiety while thinking, touching, or encountering any type of insect or bug.

Entomophobia can also be referred to as insectophobia. Entomophobia or insectophobia is so severe for some people that it may interfere with the overall quality of life as this condition can trigger negative feelings, panic attacks, or anxiety while encountering anything related to insects. Such a phobia can make outdoor activity very stressful for children and adults.

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5), entomophobia is listed under the animal-type specific phobia. 

The other common associated phobias are:

Acarophobia: Fear of tiny bugs
Insectophobia: Fear of insects 
Melissophobia: Fear of bees
Lepidopterophobia: Fear of butterflies
Arachnophobia: Fear of spiders 
Katsaridaphobia: Fear of roaches 
Pteronarcophobia: Fear of flies 

What triggers entomophobia?

Fear of being bitten or stung by insects. 

Coming near to insects or bugs. 

Getting a disease from insects such as malaria or dengue. 

Seeing images of creepy insects or bugs on the internet, in newspapers, or in movies.

Symptoms of Entomophobia

Below listed are some of the common signs and symptoms of entomophobia: 

Avoiding situations wherein a person might encounter any kind of bug or insect 
Chest tightness or chest pain 
Chills
Constant crying
Dry mouth
Dyspepsia (indigestion)
Increased levels of anxiety after encountering bugs
Nausea
Rapid heartbeat 
Shortness of breath 
Trouble functioning properly
Trembling or shaking
Unable to cope with the presence of bug or insect

If not identified, not care of, misunderstood, or underdiagnosed, such symptoms can result in severe symptoms such as: 

Fear of dying 
Fear of fainting 
Fear of not being in control 
Hyperventilation
Panic attacks  
Sense of anxiety 

Causes of Entomophobia

Research shows that entomophobia can be developed due to three important reasons such as: 

1. Learned history 

Psychologists believe that phobias like entomophobia might develop due to direct learning experiences from a traumatic experience, observational learning experience, or informational learning experiences such as constantly reading or hearing dangerous facts about insects or bugs. 

2. Biological factors

Psychologists also believe that biology plays an important role in the development of entomophobia. Genetic susceptibility puts an individual at a higher risk of developing anxiety as compared to others. 

3. Past experiences 

Negative past experiences related to bugs or insects might trigger entomophobia. Moreover, brain injuries (concussions) also might have an increased risk of developing such phobias. 

Diagnosis and Treatment of Entomophobia 

As I mentioned above, we all might have a fear of insects which can be normal. A person can only receive a diagnosis for entomophobia when the symptoms are severe, present for more than six months, and interrupt the overall quality of life.

It’s important to notice that not everyone who has a fear of insects receives a formal diagnosis. If you think you or your loved one might be struggling with entomophobia, the first step is to connect with an experienced mental health professional to seek proper diagnosis and assistance. 

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Coming forth to the treatment, the good news is that entomophobia can be cured with psychotherapy and medications effectively. 

Psychotherapy 

The first line treatment for entomophobia is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy helps in gradually exposing the source of the phobia and overcoming the fear by addressing negative thoughts, beliefs, and triggers related to the phobia. Below listed are some of the effective psychotherapy options for treating entomophobia: 

Exposure therapy 
Cognitive behavioral therapy 
Virtual reality therapy 

Medications 

Typically, no medication can cure any phobia however, medications are prescribed to treat specific symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. Below listed are some of the commonly prescribed medications for treating entomophobia: 

Antidepressants 
Antipsychotics 
Beta-blockers

Coping Strategies to Overcome Entomophobia 

Along with psychotherapy and medications, here’s what you can do to bring healthy lifestyle changes and overcome entomophobia: 

Practice deep breathing exercises to overcome anxiety, depression, or panic attacks. 
Learning more about fear and understanding your trigger points.
Practicing self-care by eating nutritious, sleeping right, and exercising regularly. 
Practicing relaxation and de-stressing techniques
Promoting self-care in everyday practices
Building your support network or joining a support group. 
Practice meditation techniques for overcoming fear.

Wrapping Up

I hope this blog helps you understand what entomophobia is and how to overcome it. Comment down and share your queries through the same or you can also write to us at Calm Sage. 

For more such content, connect with us through all social media platforms. 

Thanks for reading!

The post Identifying And Overcoming Entomophobia (Fear Of Bugs Or Insects) In Real Life appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.

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