Phobias Really Cramp Da Style
As in all phobias, roach phobia is irrational. It doesn't make sense. It is crippling.
People with this phobia do anything they can to avoid roaches. Unfortunately, avoidance is a tactic that would not really work when it comes to roaches, because these six-legged terrors are EVERYWHERE. And they are here to stay.
|I was once a very successful roach breeder. Meet Big|
Mama and some of her babies.
I remember my earliest memory of roaches stalking me as a child (recounted HERE). I continued to have horrifying experiences with cockroaches into adulthood. Thing is, I dissected cockroaches in high school and also as a Entomology graduate student at Virginia Tech. And 'The Ultimate' - had a stint as Cockroach Rancher boasting 500 hissing cockroaches.
All this roach-handling should have blown away my phobia.
Well all that helped. A lot. But I'm still afraid of them!
(Read Fear of Cockroaches to help deal with the phobia).
How Do Phobias Start?
I delved into what creates a phobia, in the book Hypnotism: A Hypnosis Training and Techniques Manual and found that phobias can be learned, created by a traumatic event, or a way of coping with generalized fear i.e. by placing all that unformed fear into (for example) a fear of spiders. I don't think I have a 'second hand fear' - getting the fear from my parents - because neither my Ma or Pa are scared of cockroaches. My Pa, growing up, slept on the wood floor in the family grocery shop and had cockroaches running all over him all night. Roaches don't bother him at all.
My phobia most likely originated at childhood (which I talk about in my previous post).
Strangely, although I was terrified of roaches, I had a morbid curiosity about them. I remember picking up The Nest from the used book store, and tortured myself reading it from beginning to the end. It's about cockroaches that develop a taste for human flesh. I might actually even watch the movie The Nest.
By the way, while cockroaches won't bite a chunk out of your thigh, they do eat the skin and other particles that fall off humans.
Hmm, now that I'm thinking about this - could my hands-on approach to tackling my cockroach phobia have led to me study entomology? After all, I did take up scuba diving to face head on my fear of drowning. (I now love scuba diving, but am resigned to aquaphobia for life).
Do you have a fear of cockroaches? How do you cope? Or not? Would love to hear from you!
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