Lepidopterophobia – The Fear of Butterflies

Butterflies or Moths– Beautiful or Creepy?

Does the mere idea of butterflies make you uncomfortable? Do you dread visiting parks and gardens because you might encounter flying insects?

Have you ever woken up screaming from a nightmare about winged scary creatures? No, you did not dream about bats; instead, butterflies and moths were the villains.

Are you afraid that others will judge you a bit off center because of your fear of moths?

All of these questions lead to two possible answers – Lepidopterophobia or Mottephobia.

As uncommon as it may seem, a fear of bugs is very real. Celebrities with Lepidopterophobia include actress Nicole Kidman and model Kylie Jenner. During an interview, Jenner said that without a butterfly’s artsy wings, it is just a bug.

If you suffer from an extreme fear of butterflies, know that there is hope. Read on to find out solutions to overcome this setback.

QUICK FACT: Butterflies and Moths are very useful insects as they pollinate needed plants. They are known as accidental pollinators.

What Is Lepidopterophobia?

Lepidopterophobia refers to an overwhelming fear of butterflies and moths. People with this condition react strongly when an insect accidentally touches or crawls on their skin. They may even get the jitters at the mere sight or thought of a winged bug.

Why the phobia starts varies, but insects or bugs that flutter are the usual suspects. This phobia is related to Entomophobia (fear of insects) and Mottephobia (fear of moths). Sometimes, lepidopterophobics are also scared of birds and other flying creatures.

It tends to form in early childhood up to the teenage years. For some, a swarm of butterflies and moths may trigger specific childhood trauma or a negative experience. Sudden development of this phobia can occur when someone goes through a lot of stress. It can also be caused by the loss of a loved one, especially if the event is associated with insects.

If you have this condition, you probably find it difficult to explain. You cannot put into words how much it startles you to see people wearing butterfly-patterned clothes or accessories. Nobody understands why you leave the room when moths appear on TV. Others may find moths and butterflies pretty, but they just creep you out.

How can you cope with irrational thoughts about butterflies and other flying critters?

Symptoms of Lepidopterophobia

Naturally, symptoms of this phobia can differ from one person to another. Retention of this fear happens in the pituitary gland in the brain. A phobia is clinically diagnosed when it lasts for 6 months or more.

Note that your body and mind are affected by this extreme aversion. Here are symptoms that distinguish people suffering from Lepidopterophobia.

Physical Symptoms

● Heart palpitations
● Hyperventilation
● Insomnia
● Difficulty breathing
● Shivering
● Flight reaction
● Crying
● Dry mouth
● Panic attacks
● Sweating
● Headaches
● Dizziness

Psychological Symptoms

● Avoiding leaving home
● Stress
● Avoiding going to the zoo, park, or public places with trees
● Anxiety attacks
● Depression
● Suicidal thoughts
● A constant need to scratch and touch skin

Self-Help for Lepidopterophobia

Accepting that butterflies are harmless can be overwhelming at first. Your reaction may seem a little exaggerated and unrealistic, even to yourself. It is the core concept of a phobia to not make any sense.

Overcoming phobias takes immense strength and trying different treatments. Do not lose hope. Every phobia can become manageable once you take the right care.
Take smaller steps to get help. Desensitizing yourself is a gradual process.

What Can I Do to Overcome Lepidopterophobia?

Facing your fear is the best course of action. Research studies suggest that a lack of control over the mind and body can lead to developing phobias.

One of the most effective ways to get rid of the fear is to practice relaxation and breathing techniques. Try meditating for a few minutes each day. Eventually, you will believe you are in control of the situation, which may boost your confidence.

There is an approach called Mere Exposure Effect. Slowly, gather information about these insects. Then, expose yourself to butterflies and moths in a controlled atmosphere. As you gain familiarity, your fear would gradually wane.

You could even use your creative platform to attempt to face this fear. For instance, draw a picture of a butterfly or a moth from an internet page. Professionals suggest that lowering your caffeine intake may prove beneficial as it relaxes you.

Getting Professional Help

Attend more CBT sessions (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy). CBT sessions can help you with your thought processes. Share your fear with different groups and gain help. A phobia tends to hold you back from socializing, so a regular support group is invaluable.

Talk therapies exist. Let yourself talk to people about your phobia. It will remind you that you are not a sole sufferer in this journey.

It can never hurt you to consult an expert on this subject. Talk to your therapist and gain more knowledge about why it is bothering you. Together, you can discover the reason behind your paralyzing fear of moths.

Helping Children Cope with Lepidopterophobia

A child is quite different from an adult, so parents play a vital role in helping them cope with irrational fears. Parents need to constantly encourage their children to talk about what is irritating or scaring them.

It is mandatory to reassure and boost children’s confidence levels. A child, if necessary, must have consulted with a pediatrician. Art therapy and exposure therapy will help children with this phobia. They will be able to recognize the harmless aspect of butterflies and let go of their stress.

Follow These Simple Techniques

A phobia is when a fear becomes excessive to the extent that it disrupts everyday life. It will not disappear immediately. But there is always a solution to completely own your fear.
There are multiple therapies and professional help to seek so that you can throw Lepidopterophobia under the bus. First and foremost, it is of utmost importance to build self-trust.
Whenever you feel a panic attack starting, remember to take a deep breath, and repeat to yourself – “I am bigger than this irrational fear.”

Phobias from a conflicting thought process in your mind. This in turn weakens the nervous system, blocking it. Other signs include straining the muscles or clumping blood vessels in different places of your body. Therapies like acupuncture help reduce stress. Meditation or yoga can calm your nerves down, too.

When to Seek Medical Help

If your child’s life is hindered by constant thoughts of fear, then it is essential to seek medical help. Do this as soon as you can, especially if they are unable to find any purpose or meaning in life.

Phobias can worsen to an extent where it builds a wall between you and
● Your work
● Your daily routine
● Your relationships
● Your personal goals
● Your public life

To get over an anxious spot, it is vital to understand when you should seek help. Self-harm is a major reason to consider professional and medicinal help to bring you back to normal. Do not let the phobia of butterflies ever stop you or your child from experiencing life to the fullest.

When you have learned how to interact with the realities of these negative thoughts, you will feel like you are on top of the world. Realization, acceptance, and conscious effort to curb irrational fear of butterflies and moths are important. With positive thoughts and wise decisions, you can conquer Lepidopterophobia.

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