A fear of bugs is a common phobia shared by children and adults alike. Sometimes, there will be no determinable root cause. In many cases, fear of bugs usually comes from an aversion to creepy crawlers. Most people don’t like the feeling of having small legs running over one’s skin. The thought of a sharp proboscis piercing your skin can even be scarier.
Most bugs are harmless, and are natural parts of the ecosystem. Without bugs like bees, beetles, spiders, and the like, the environment would become imbalanced. However, some bugs do bring sicknesses and disease, which is one reason humans dislike their presence.
The trouble lies when a simple aversion to bugs turns into a phobia. People who have such phobias might avoid getting out of the house altogether, for fear of flying insects landing on them. Insects can also haunt people in their nightmares. A simple sighting of a small spider or fly indoors might bring panic attacks.
Curing a fear of bugs will involve conditioning oneself to believe that bugs are harmless. If it’s the case of fear in children, here are steps you can take:
Acknowledge the fear, but suggest harmless behavior. In children, it’s often unhealthy to suppress fears and keep them unrecognized. Acknowledge your child’s fears, but let him react to these in positive ways. For example, it’s better to walk away rather than scream and jump up when one sees a bug.
Lead by example. Show your child how to respond to bugs. For example, when you sight a spider, help it crawl out of your house. Or, relocate it yourself, using non-harmful means.
Introduce bugs to your child. Most scientific interest will start at a young age. Encourage your child to explore the world of bugs by buying him big exploration kits. These can be used to capture harmless bugs in containers with covers and holes. You can also buy him three-dimensional bug models. Those with organs and body parts that can be assembled can be helpful in starting an interest in biology.
Use multimedia. Another way of acknowledging bugs as normal parts of human life is by watching films about bugs. Recent movies like A Bug’s Life, Antz, and Bee Movie are popular among kids because of their animation.
Adult phobias can also be cured through different means. Because these might be rooted in deeper fears, some mental conditioning will be needed.
Try hypnotism. Through this method, a psychiatrist or hypnotist will try to get you in a very relaxed state. He will then try to use his powers of suggestion to persuade you that bugs are harmless.
Desensitize yourself. Another way of addressing irrational fears is by desensitizing yourself to them. Try ignoring the presence of bugs at home. Or keep a pet bug or spider in a jar. By being used to their presence, you are desensitizing yourself. Next time you see a bug, you won’t react too strongly.
Remember to keep a positive attitude when dealing with fears. Don’t emphasize the fear. Rather, emphasize the positive things you can do to address the fears.