Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Entomophobia
1. A persistent irrational fear of and compelling desire to avoid insects, mites, spiders, or similar phobic objects;
2. Significant distress from the disturbance despite recognition by the individual that the fear is excessive or unreasonable;
3. Not due to another mental disorder such as schizophrenia or obsessive compulsive disorder

I am terrified of bugs. When I see a spider in the bathroom, it freezes me to the spot. It takes a lot of willpower for me to be able to move again. I have no idea where this fear comes from! The other night there was an earwig ON MY ARM IN MY BED in the dark. Luckily I have a husband who does not suffer from entomophobia, and he was able to get rid of it before I completely freaked out.

A person who is very dear to me has some neurotic tendencies that lead him to be terrified of other people's germs. He goes to great lengths to avoid 'contaminated' food, and has been known to wash his hands until they bleed. Often, people with OCD characteristics are kind of expected to "get over it" because their fears seem unreasonable and silly to others. We all know that eating off the same plate as someone else or getting drooled on by a baby probably won't kill you.

But recently, I was thinking about my irrational fear of insects and spiders and realized that if someone expected me to just "get over it," I would have a really hard time with that. Although my fear is unreasonable, it is very real to me. So...maybe I can understand a little bit what it's like to be afraid of something, even when everyone else expects you not to be.

Do you have any irrational fears?


11 comments:

Lori said...

I'm incredibly afraid of kangaroos, grasshoppers, and big fish.

sallysue said...

Earwigs. Roaches. Crickets. ick!
There are others, but I can't think of them.

Shannon said...

I pretty much fear anything small, has more than two legs, and looks gross. Oh yeah, and I have this awful, horrible, irrational fear that I will be attacked in the middle of the night...sweet dreams ;). I loved your post!

lindo-711 said...

Rats and mice. I climb on top of things (or people, depending on whatever is nearest) whenever I see one.

This might not be such an irrational fear considering I used to have this recurring nightmare that hundreds of rodents were attacking me.

And I'm doing a lot better now that I haven't had that dream in over a year and I weekly have to force myself to walk past them at the pet store in order to buy frog food. Last night we watched a movie that included a mouse running across a room, and for the first time in forever, my fear didn't result in some physical movement.

The Petersons said...

I am afraid of the dark. I know it sounds childish, but I have an overactive imagination that makes it incredibly hard to be in the dark by myself. I always think someone is around the corner, or going to pop up in the window. It can be debilitating to the point where I won't get out of bed unless there is a little light.
I am also afraid of dogs. It stems from being attacked when I was really little-but I am slowly overcoming this fear...now it's not so bad.

Erica said...

Ladders -- being on them, driving behind a truck loaded with them, anything to do with ladders. I'm fine with a step stool, and I actually like heights, but I really hate ladders.

sallysue said...

I remembered two others: crossing rail-road tracks in a car, and escalators.

Somehow a train can magically appear and come and crush me without any warning.

And the little gap between solid ground and the escalator - well, it's really not that little of a gap. eep!

michele said...

well, since you asked:

1. Objects flying at my head (frisbees, footballs, basketballs, etc.)
2. being in small enclosed spaces
3. commitment
4. sitting/sleeping on old mangy couches or anything that looks old and dirty
5. Dusk--the time of day when it starts getting dark and objects all around get darker and start looking like monsters.
6. I'm sure I'll think of more.

Lori said...

Oh yeah, i'm also afraid of the dark. This stems from back when i took ambien and would halucinate shadow monsters attacking me frequently. I still make sam close all of the doors and closets in our room to make sure the shadow monsters cant break in.

NoSurfGirl said...

Yup.

I completely fear the ocean, and heights. Frozen, on the spot, just like you said. Oh, and also I have an irrational fear that I will somehow end up being the carnie (carney?) that works the Kamakaze ride at the fair and have to climb all the way up it every day and clean up throw up off the floor.

Anonymous said...

I have always been afraid of little dark spotlike pieces of ??? that sometimes float. They can appear in my cereal after I've been eating a while, or in the bathtub where the current might carry them towards me. (Sometimes I have seen them on land, too--on the linoleum near a corner--thank goodness there is no water.)

As a child they really scared me, but now, as a mature adult, I have overcome this childishness--I aggressively and quickly get them in a tissue and dispose of them so I can get on with life.