Moths, Harmless Flying Insects or Your Nemesis?
Are you afraid of stepping out in the summer months when moths are everywhere?- Do you avoid the yard light in summer because it attracts large moths?
Does your heart skip a beat when you hear the fluttering of the moth wings?
Do you ever picture moths attacking you? You can’t explain to insect lovers why you can’t stand these amazing and seemingly harmless creatures even when you try to. Does this fear affect your functionality in some ways?
If you answered yes to these questions, you may have a moth phobia. Mottephobia is defined as an irrational fear of moths. Basic things like checking your food or clothes for moths are alright. Anything else other than this is exaggerated anxiety.
It is also okay not to be a fan of moths because of their appearance. However, screaming your head off or passing out when you see one is extreme. You will be able to treat moth phobia after getting to the bottom of its root cause.
What You Need to Know About Mottephobia
The term mottephobia comes from the German word “motte,” which means moth, and the Greek word “phobos,” which means fear. The fear of moths falls under specific animal anxiety phobias. It is not as common as other animal phobias like arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. This, however, does not mean that it is not widespread.
Fearing moths goes beyond disliking their dustlike appearance. It has everything to do with intense and uncontrolled anxiety that can lead to panic attacks. You will find that many people that are scared of moths have no problem with butterflies.
Ask people what they think of butterflies, and they will likely describe them with great affection in their eyes. In some communities, it is believed that moths stand for particular spiritual meanings. To be specific, it is widely believed that someone will die if a moth appears in your home.
What Causes Fear of Moths
We will need to juggle your memory to understand where your fear is coming from. Can you remember a specific traumatic experience with a moth when you were little? Were you ever locked up in a room full of moths at one point? Like many phobias, being scared of moths could have stemmed from an unpleasant childhood experience.
Many sufferers are afraid of moths for their appearance. To the eye, a moth does not appear as beautiful as a butterfly. Let’s face it; if a moth flies up to your face, which it does because it is highly unpredictable, you will consider the experience ugly.
Another possible reason why you are so scared of moths is the lack of exposure. You probably grew up where moths were not common. You probably never visited the woodlands. If you saw moths for the first time while on a school field trip, it is possible that you reacted and even got troubled. You couldn’t comprehend this dusty creature out to ruin your clothes. This later developed into full-blown fear.
Symptoms of Moth Phobia
On encountering moths, you will probably experience intense anxiety. The anxiety will aggravate into more anxious physical and psychological reactions, and become a full-blown panic attack in the worst cases. Symptoms are either physical or psychological.
A mottephobia test can be carried out to establish whether what you have is genuinely a moth phobia. If your anxiety has been around for at least six months, you are indeed phobic.
● Increased heartbeat.
● Standing still on one spot because you are unable to move.
● Shaking and trembling
● Taking off
● Difficulty in breathing
● Extreme anxiety when exposed to moths
● Extreme nervousness just by thinking about moths.
● Heating up of the body due to fear
● Inability to control the anxiety in public
Like other phobias, there is no designated treatment for moth fear. Professionals administer therapy to treat the fear while medications ease physical pain and anxiety.
You can try and unlearn some of the acquired beliefs about moths. The fear of moths spiritual meaning, for instance, is just a superstitious belief. You don’t have to pass out every time you spot a moth because you were made to believe that someone will die.
Train your mind to stop fearing moths. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts as a way to curb fear. The best way to address fear is to face it and not to run away from it. Reprogramming your mind is not easy, as it requires practice. Tell yourself repeatedly that moths don’t hurt.
Emotions are the driving engines of your life, and they are determined by what thoughts you allow into your mind. Think positive to be happy.
Therapy is the standard treatment for this fear administered by professionals. Exposure therapy has been found quite effective in treating the phobia of moths. A combination of therapies will help you get over your anxiety.
Augmented Reality Exposure Therapy
Augmented reality exposure therapy or simply ARET involves exposure to moths. As a sufferer, it will be uncomfortable at first, but gradually, you will get used to it. The phobic is first shown pictures and images of moths. After this, you will be introduced to real-life moths. You will grow from watching them from a distance to actually holding them.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
As a person scared of moths, a therapist will replace your irrational fears of moths with more rational ones. An analysis is conducted on your thoughts, and the therapist helps you find an alternate pleasant thought pattern.
As the name suggests, in talk therapy you will be required to talk about your fears freely to a professional. From what you share with the psychiatrist, they are able to know what approach they will take in helping you deal with your fears.
A psychiatrist will be able to establish the severity of the fear and the possible ways in which it can be reduced. Talking to a psychiatrist has to begin from somewhere. This means that in the first stages, you will help the therapist understand your problem by presenting it in your own words. You must be willing to cooperate so that they may establish your school of thought and help you deal with the fear.
Talk therapy also involves group chats. In group chats, you will share your fears with people who are going through similar challenges. It is nothing short of comforting to know that you are not going through a certain thing alone. In group chats, you will be able to also pick tips on how to deal with the anxiety from others.
How To Cope with the Phobia of Moths
Coping with moth phobia is not easy. You will eventually get over it with the right therapy and desensitization. It is okay not to be comfortable while in a room full of moths. It, however, is a cause for concern when one of these “scary moths” can make you pass out.
It is normal for those around you to laugh after seeing you react with fear to an insect. This should not intimidate you. Do all it takes to get better. While the fear may never go away completely, gradual therapy will help you reduce your anxiety and lessen the symptoms associated.
Moths may look frightening, but they are harmless. The statement that ‘looks are deceiving’ applies so well to these creatures. Avoiding moths is an easy way out that works well until you spot another scary moth. In the long run, not treating your fear will affect your functioning. The best approach to recovery is seeking professional help.
Medicines are not really suited to treat your anxiety. You will use them just for temporary pain relief.