Katsaridaphobia is the morbid and irrational fear of cockroaches. Now, most people do find roaches to be disgusting and creepy. However, people with the phobia of roaches take this fear to the extreme. This is not the typical “bugs are gross” response that so many people have towards cockroaches. People with Katsaridaphobia have very severe responses to cockroaches, which will be discussed further on in this article.
Symptoms of Katsaridaphobia
Symptoms of Katsaridaphobia will vary from person to person, depending on their personality characteristics and state of mind. Furthermore, Katsaridaphobia sufferers can have any number of triggers, from actual cockroaches to just a simple photo of one. This and the severity of symptoms depend on the level of fear a person has.
Generally, symptoms of Katsaridaphobia include extreme fear of cockroaches, and just generally feeling uncomfortable or anxious when exposed to cockroaches, or any environment that they may dwell in.
If the level of fear is high enough, exposure may cause a panic attack. Panic attacks are heightened levels of fear and anxiety during which the sufferer experiences a variety of physical symptoms. These symptoms include rapid heart beat, difficulty breathing, weakness, fainting, dizziness, tingling or numbness in the hands, an extreme sense of terror, feeling a loss of
control, and chest pain.
Causes of Katsaridaphobia
Just like symptoms, causes of Katsaridaphobia vary by the individual. Typically, phobias are caused by traumatic events, which most often occur during childhood. Perhaps this person had multiple cockroaches near them at once. They may have also been bitten or scratched by a cockroach. A cockroach crawling on one’s body is another likely explanation going along the lines of trauma. The association between the fear and anxiety of the event with cockroaches leads to the fear of them in the long term.
Allergies to various animals are also very common. Although cockroach allergies are far less common than say, cats or dogs, it is possible. Knowing there is danger involved with contact with this animal could lead to a legitimate phobia of cockroaches to develop.
Other people with Katsaridaphobia may just simply find cockroaches scary. It is a generally accepted notion that they are not the most pleasant of creatures to be around. Some people may just be more disturbed by them than others. Phobias do not necessarily have to have an exact cause.
Treatment for Katsaridaphobia
Treatments also vary from one person to the next. What works best for one person may not work at all for another. However, there are some more common treatments for phobias.
Therapy is always a great first step option. Several types of therapy allow both the individual and the psychologist to better understand the root of the cockroach fear, which makes it much easier to treat. Other therapies can change the way a person reacts to the feared object or animal. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, is meant for this purpose. It helps to alleviate the fear by changing the way a person thinks about cockroaches. Shock or exposure therapy is also helpful because it desensitizes the person to cockroaches.
Medication is also helpful for those who experience extreme anxiety in situations where cockroaches are or may be present. Specially designed anxiety medication or anti-depressants both work for this purpose. These are also helpful during panic attacks. For the few who have cockroach allergies, allergy medication can also help take care of the allergy. The lesser danger may also cause the fear to die out.