Saturday, November 20, 2010

Got a Bug Phobia?

It's an amazing thing - something in the back of ancient brain tells us to avoid bugs; to jump, scream and squish any that come near. Of course there is a good arguement for learned behaviour.  A kid who is left alone will most likely pick up a carpenter (sow bug) and examine it.  Many of our behaviours come from observing the norms of those around us.  In a future posting I will introduce some really cool and safe bugs which young kids embrace with might too!

So, are you scared of bugs - is it a phobia?  You may recall a movie called Arachnophobia?   It highlighted one of the primary bug phobias - the fear of spiders (the phobia includes insects like scorpions).  Most people do not like spiders and other insects.  Choosing not to brush up against a spider's web or allowing some insect to scurry by at a safe distance is a normal, socially-driven discomfort with bugs.  They are creepy and crawly; how are we supposed to know which ones are safe?  Scan through this blog - when I highlight an insect I will discuss its ability to cause harm. 

When is it a phobia?   A phobia is a irrational, intense and persistent fear.  There is an excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the object/situation.  It's important to note that it is irrational - people say/think 'I should know better'.  For example, a person with a wasp phobia might react by letting go of a steering wheel and loosing all control of  car simply to get the thing off.   A key question is 'is it interfering with my life?'.  If so, and you wish to change this, check out a psychologist.  They do systematic desensitization - the thing of fear is gradually introduced over time and eventually you are able to move past it.  

This is a heavy topic.  Most bugs weigh less than your fingernail and most will not cause harm.  By the way, none of the hundreds of spiders which have walked across my hands have ever bitten me.  


  1. What kind of spider is this?

  2. Hey there,
    Thanks for visiting. Sorry, I love it but don't know it's name!


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