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The Fear of Cockroaches ~ How to Cope

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Fear of Cockroaches
Fear of Cockroaches Header

The name given to those with an extreme fear of cockroaches is Katsaridaphobia. Unfortunately, these insects are very resilient creatures and will probably outlive you. This is because they can withstand up to 15 times of radiation than humans and can go for long periods without food. Another common term used is entomophobia as a general fear of insects and zoophobia for animals.

The fear is not a simple grossed out feeling but a more severe response; more like an irrational fear. Jeffrey Lockwood, an entomologist from the University of Wyoming, states that cockroaches top the list for the most feared insects. The number of people suffering from this fear goes well into millions. Sadly, most people don’t seek help because, for some people, the fear extends into a complete avoidance of even the mention of the word, cockroach.

Some of this disgust may arise from the association of roaches with garbage, feces and any other related disgusting environments. They are disease carriers so any contact with them might leave you in utter disgust and distress. According to Lockwood, roaches evoke fear and disgust, the top negative human emotions worldwide. Other than a food poisoning case, which is also rare, these creatures are really not harmful.

If you have ever squashed a roach, the stench is completely horrible. They store a significant amount of uric acid in their bodies which is released when they are squashed. Cockroaches are also considered to be one of the fastest land creatures on earth. Given all these reasons, Katsaridaphobia is entirely understandable, but that doesn’t mean it has to be acceptable. However, because it is learned, it can also be unlearned once you unearth the probable cases and seek treatment.

Causes of the Fear of Cockroaches

These creatures unapologetically invade our space and get comfortable. Their primary habitation is warm and dark places. Once or twice, they have gone as far as crawled or brushed against your skin. You most probable reaction if you suffer from this fear has been disgust or paralyzed fear.

History dictates that this reaction is evolutionary because, in earlier times, people slept in caves. They, therefore, had to stay alert to these predators and crawling creatures.
Sometimes the response is as a result of a previous traumatic experience that one may have undergone in the past. Maybe go back in your mind and try to recall your earliest memories or experiences with roaches. If a child was locked up in dark places with such creatures, for instance, there is a higher probability of this phobia developing.

As adults, children tend to imitate our behavior as they grow. If a parent exhibits such fear in front of a child when dealing with roaches, it is almost a sure bet that they will pass it on to their kids.

The good thing is that this phobia may go away as children grow older but sometimes it persists well into adulthood.

Symptoms of Katsaridaphobia

You may have this phobia and not even know it. Depending on some factors such as one’s state of mind and personality, the symptoms will vary from person to person. Triggers are also different in individuals. It may be the sound, the sight or even the mere mention of cockroaches. Here are some tell signs;
· Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). You may find yourself trying to clean your house obsessively to ensure that you do not spot a single roach. This includes regularly spraying every possible area that you think may harbor cockroaches.
· Screaming at the sight of cockroaches.
· Becoming paralyzed with fear at the sight of them.
· Fainting or a general feeling of weakness and dizziness.
· Difficulty in breathing upon seeing one.
· Increase in your heartbeat rate.
· Tingling or numbness in your hands.
· Experiencing a panic attack; a feeling of choking or almost chest pains.
Sometimes this fear may cause you to endanger yourself. For instance, picture a person running out in the street aimlessly trying to get a roach off of them. Or worse still, a person driving who suddenly spots a roach in their car. All hope is not lost as this fear can be done away with. Therapy today is a great option that provides solutions for different types of fear.

Overcoming the Fear of Cockroaches

· One of the treatment methods is called exposure therapy. Here, the patient looks at pictures of roaches, touches dead roaches, or is locked in a room with them. This, of course, is done gradually.
· Cognitive behavior therapy is also an effective method used for zoophobia such as Katsaridaphobia. This process involves changing the way a person thinks about cockroaches to alleviate the fear.
· Hypnotherapy is another proven approach to combat phobia of different animals and insects. It uses hypnosis in a bid to get to the cause of the problem (NLP) and re-programme your mind. This way, you condition your mind to a new pattern of thought and behavior. This, of course, elicits new reactions.
· Other options such as augmented/virtual realities have recently been introduced thanks to technological advancements. This involves the projection of computer images into the real world to appear as regular encounters. This method is also used for people suffering from mental illnesses.
· Medication such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and anxiolytics may be prescribed for those who experience panic attacks or extreme anxiety. There also exists allergy medication for those allergic to roaches.

It may not seem like a big deal to some, but such phobias can be downright debilitating to one’s life. Some people often have to live and walk with fear, constantly looking over their shoulders just to avoid an encounter with these roaches.

Different therapy options will of course work for different people. It is up to your therapist to decide the best course of action for you after a proper valuation and assessment. This will see you well on your way to recovery for a normal fear free life.

The fear of cockroaches does not have to control your life anymore. You do not have to like them, but you don’t have to be completely terrified of them either.

If you have spotted a roach in your home, you can get in touch with Professional Cockroach Exterminators in your own town or county. These Professionals will give you a Free Pest Control Services Quotes without any obligations.

Did You Know: People are only exposed to 1% of cockroaches? 99% of them live in the wild.