Overcoming phobias can be quite difficult for most of us, especially if the things we fear can be commonly seen indoors and outdoors. One of those phobias that can be hard to overcome is entomophobia, which is the fear of insects since bugs are abundant almost anywhere on Earth. However, much like all phobias, there are multiple ways for you to get rid of your entomophobia, although the effectiveness of these methods would still rely on how motivated you are in overcoming your fear. Here are the different ways on how to overcome entomophobia or insect phobia.
Know More about Your Phobia
The first thing that you will need to do in order to overcome your fear of insects is to actually accept that you have a phobia for them, and this will allow you to understand more about the phobia and what you can do to prevent it from controlling your life.
Do some research on entomophobia and see the causes of the fear, as well the effects that it has on your mental health. Most experts would also recommend that you write down what you fear most about insects so that you will be able to pinpoint the triggers of your phobia. By knowing the roots of the fear, it will enable you to have a better understanding of it and know how to prevent it.
Think Positive Thoughts about Insects
Most people would often have a fear of bugs because they would often see those animals as “unnatural” because of how many eyes or legs they have, and this perception of insects would lead them to have more negative thoughts that would eventually become a phobia. The negative thoughts associated with bugs usually are, “they have poison,” “they are creepy to look at,” and “they are dirty.”
Those negative thoughts are the cause for most of the fear you have with them, but if you have a better understanding of their anatomy and nature, you would see that those negative thoughts aren’t true at all. First, there are only some bugs that have poison in their bodies, and not all of those poisonous bugs could harm humans. Second, they are actually creepy to look at for a reason, and that is because their anatomy, like more legs or eyes, allows them to thrive or survive in their environment, so you would need to think that their creepiness is only natural. Third, insects are not actually dirty, as most of them are capable of grooming themselves.
The key to overcoming the phobia is to prevent yourself from thinking negative thoughts about insects, which you can do by just thinking about them in a positive light. The best positive thoughts you can think about bugs are that they have a special beauty about each of them, that they serve a purpose in the ecosystem, and that they are smaller than you, so they cannot hurt you. Keeping these positive thoughts in your mind will prevent you from thinking negatively about the insects and worsen your phobia.
Face Your Fear
After understanding your phobia and thinking positive thoughts about insects, it may actually be time to face your fears. This process is often called “exposure therapy,” wherein you will need to be exposed to the things that you are afraid of in order to overcome them. Your exposure to bugs should be done gradually, which means that you would first need to see only a few bugs at first, then the number of insects you see should gradually increase.
You also have the option to touch the insects in order to make the therapy more effective, although this task could be quite difficult for some. If you are unable to touch them, the important part of overcoming your fear is to only not be afraid of the insects if you see them anywhere, as you would rarely touch them in real situations anyway, like bugs in sand on the beach or insects in the corners of the living room.
Seek Help from a Psychiatrist
If the methods mentioned above aren’t working to stop your phobia, then it is probably best if you consult a psychiatrist to have someone give you a hands-on treatment for your mental health. You could seek help from a psychiatrist if the phobia actually affects your daily life to the point where you can go to work or school without feeling the fear, as the mental health expert will provide the best advice and medications for your problems.
Having an extreme phobia of insects could usually lead to severe anxiety, and this disorder would need to be treated by a psychiatrist for proper treatment. It is alright to seek help if you cannot overcome your fear, as letting it affect your life can be dangerous to your mental health. It is also important to understand that getting rid of a phobia is difficult for everyone and that overcoming it doesn’t happen on a fly. Accept your fears and seek help if you cannot deal with the phobia on your own.