When you see a bug is your reaction worse than simply being “grossed out”? Many people have strong reactions to seeing a bug, even if the bug in question is not harmful or near them. Let’s find out why.
Entomophobia is fear or aversion to insects and can also be referred to as insect phobia. When an individual with entomophobia comes into contact with an insect, they have a slight to a severe emotional reaction that includes anxiety or panic. Let’s take a closer look at this unique phobia, what the signs and symptoms are, and if there is anything that can be done to change the attitude the individual has toward insects.
Signs and Symptoms of Entomophobia Include:
– Feeling of panic
– Feeling of terror
– Feeling of dread
– Rapid heartbeat
– Shortness of breath
– Uncontrollable crying
– The need to leave the area
Because the symptoms associated with entomophobia are related to other phobias, it takes an experienced, certified healthcare professional to reach a diagnosis. Generally, a psychologist or therapist will meet with the patient, show him or her photographs of insects and record what responses occur. These professionals will look to see what exactly is triggering the strong emotion: crawling objects or the insects themselves.
Entomophobia is treated in the same manner as other phobias. Ongoing therapy and counseling are provided for the patient, along with the adequate medications. Often times, there is an underlying reason for the phobia, so this will hopefully be addressed during the therapy sessions. The insects will be introduced slowly to the patient so that he or she can eventually overcome the phobia to insects.
Many times, people associate aversion with phobia. Yet these two terms are not synonymous. It is innate that humans are turned off from insects; we know this firsthand. A phobia, however, is what causes the immense fear and irrational behavior. Sometimes if the aversion is strong enough, it can turn into a phobia over time. The most notable cases of entomophobia have been with bees and ants. Industrialized countries are more likely to suffer from extreme phobias or aversions to insects because they are not used to insect infestations as in underdeveloped countries.