The world is full of small biting insects waiting to take a piece out of someone’s flesh. At least, that is the way a person suffering from Acarophobia sees the world. Acarophobia is the fear of small biting insects. While no one wants to be bitten by one of these creatures, most people aren’t consumed by fear and anxiety over coming into contact with one of these creatures. Some of the insects that an acarophobic may fear include ticks, bed bugs, mites, or scabies. For someone who suffers from this fear, it may not be readily apparent that the fear is actually of the bugs and not of what the bugs can do.
A person who suffers from acarophobia will have anxieties about insects and their personal space. Upon seeing a small insect that could potentially bite, the person may experience anxiety related symptoms. Shakiness, heart palpitations, high perspiration, and tremors are all symptoms that a person may experience. They could have a full on panic attack should an insect actually make contact with them. These people may also have itching for no real reason, difficulty breathing, and dizziness.
Acarophobia can deeply affect a person’s life. Those who are afflicted with this phobia often are on high alert trying to remain vigilant in the event that an insect is in the area. They may also find it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities such as gardening, going to a ball game, or even just enjoying a picnic with friends and family. Sleeping in unfamiliar beds may trigger an anxiety attack as the person will worry about bed bugs The sufferer may also insist on every area of their lives be an insect free zone, making it difficult for them to enjoy going to other people’s homes or even go to public places such as a shopping mall or work.
The common belief about acarophobia is that it is often rooted in a traumatic event that happened in the person’s childhood. It could be an incident with bed bugs at a friend’s home or a hotel; it could even be something that happened to a parent or friend and not necessarily to the sufferer. The person may not even remember the exact event that caused them to be afraid of these little biting insects. The event may not have been overtly traumatic but overtime it seemed that way and evolved itself into a full-blown phobia. A parent who suffers from acarophobia can even pass the fear on to their children. Children learn the behavior through watching their parents even though they never suffered from the event themselves.
Thankfully, for those who have acarophobia there is hope. In order for treatments to be successful, however, you must first be committed to change and be ready to face your fears. You can find a therapist that can help you navigate through a cognitive behavioral modification course. During this course, you will learn technics to manage your fear. You will learn coping mechanisms and focus on how you react in those situations. Some patients have also used hypnosis to overcome acarophobia. There are also some online programs that allow you to learn some of these behavior modification techniques on your own.
Those who want to quash completely the fear may also work with their therapist to root out what caused the fear in the first place. Facing this event can help you to overcome what has been bothering you since childhood. The important thing to remember about any treatment for this phobia is that it takes dedication and a real desire to change how you think and how you live.