Also known as insectophobia, entomophobia is an unreasonable and extreme fear of insects, bugs and other arthropods. The condition may manifest itself as an inability to tolerate viewing any type of bug or insect or focus more on the inability to tolerate touching insects or even worms. There are a number of specific phobias related to entomophobia, such as arachnophobia (the fear of spiders) and apiphobia (the fear of any type of bees).
The symptoms associated with this phobia are similar to the symptoms manifested with many other irrational fears. An entomophobic is likely to experience enough anxiety upon viewing or otherwise coming into contact with an insect that he or she experiences a full-blown series of panic attacks. With extreme cases, the individual may lose consciousness for a short period of time. Uncontrollable weeping or a strong desire to flee from the area are also common signs that indicate an individual is suffering with this particular phobia.
Because entomophobia symptoms are similar to those related to other phobias and various health ailments, it normally takes a trained healthcare professional to arrive at a verifiable entomophobia definition. In making the evaluation, the therapist or psychologist will seek to define entomophobia by means of observation of the symptoms that are manifested and what triggers are required to produce each symptom. This makes it possible to determine if the individual is suffering from a general fear of insects and crawling creatures, or is suffering with a more specific phobia of some type.
Once a professional diagnosis is achieved, it is possible to begin an effective entomophobia treatment series that is designed to address the degree of severity exhibited by the patient. Similar to other phobias, the treatments usually make use of both ongoing therapy and counseling coupled with the use of medications to provide some degree of relief from the symptoms. Medication can help to minimize the frequency and strength of panic attacks upon seeing a bug, while therapy can often identify the underlying causes and eventually defuse their power to trigger a reaction.
Loved ones can often benefit from learning more about entomophobia and what they can do in helping a friend or relative overcome the condition. Many therapists provide some general guidelines that can be employed to help loved ones recognize the signs and symptoms associated with the phobia. The guidelines also help the friend or relative to understand what they should and should not do in the event the patient faints or goes into a particularly severe panic attack.