Entomophobia or acarophobia, parasitic dermatophobia (PD) or delusional parasitosis (DP) is a disorder in which affected individuals has the mistaken but unshakable belief (delusion) that they are infected by insects, spiders, scorpion, ticks, mites, parasitic worms, bacteria, or other living organisms. As with all delusions, this belief cannot be corrected by reasoning, persuasion, or logical argument. To avoid them, they may always be cleaning rooms, floors, doors, windows and scratching. Many affected individuals are quite functional; for the minority, delusions of parasitic infection may interfere with usual activities. However, most insects are not harmful to humans and pose no threat, those who suffer with this phobia experience extreme anxiety at the mere thought or sight of an insect. Most patients consult dermatologists, veterinarians, pest control specialists, or entomologists. The DP cases are increasing worldwide; it remains an extremely unrepeatable disorder.
Acarophobia represents a nosologically inconsistent psychiatric clinical picture which is exceptional in that it is noticed among the clientele of those in charge of pest control, hygienists, health department medical officers and dermatologists rather than in psychiatric practice or mental hospitals. Apart from acarophobia in the course of schizophrenic, affective and organic psychoses as well as cases in which the phobia was induced by another individual, roughly half of the cases were 'pure' forms, i.e. monosymptomatic psychoses mainly occurring at advanced age and in females. Putative parasitisation relates not only to the subject's skin, but also to the premises where the person affected is living. Social isolation appears to rank high among essential causes. Four cases from a pest controller's practice are reported which could not be properly treated because of the subjects' lack of insight into their condition. In this light, it was the aim of the present study to focus the attention of pest controllers and hygienists on interdisciplinary co-operation with psychiatrists as well as with public health departments.
Could I have acarophobia if I get an itching feeling all over my body when I see little creatures such as ants, spiders or flies? Even when someone mention them, I instantly start itching. At one point, I scrubbed myself so hard I bled in the shower. Do I need to see the doc?
Acarophobia is the irrational fear of tiny insects that cause itching. Someone suffering from this condition can expect to experience a very high amount of anxiety from merely thinking of tiny insects that cause itching, let alone actually them in real life. In fact, their anxiety may be so intense that they may even endure a full blown panic attack as a result of it. Although such an influx of anxiety will not always be the case for everyone suffering from acarophobia, it is still very plausible to occur nonetheless.
Someone experiencing a full blown panic attack as a result of their acarophobia can expect to have an increased heart rate, an increased rate of breathing, higher blood pressure, muscle tension, trembling, and excessive sweating, among several other symptoms. Although panic attacks may not always be the case for everyone experiencing symptoms of acarophobia, it is still possible to occur, especially if their symptoms are very severe.
Someone suffering from acarophobia may find themselves avoiding that which they fear. They may take this to the extreme by ensuring that they cannot be exposed to tiny insects that cause itching in any way. For example, someone with this condition may spray bug poison around their home to the point of excess. Such excessive worry and irrational thinking is likely to be one of the main causes of their mental anguish.
Although someone with this condition may actively avoid their fear in an attempt to help them reduce their chances of experiencing any immediate anxiety, doing so may also worsen their symptoms of acarophobia in the long term due to the fact that they would also be justifying their fear to themselves by actively avoiding it.
As is the case with virtually every other phobia that exists, someone with acarophobia can expect anxiety to be the most prominent symptom of their condition. Also, as previously mentioned, their anxiety may be so extreme that they may even endure full blown panic attacks as a result of it. Depending on the severity of their panic attack, they may even need to be hospitalized. However, this will vary from person to person and will be dependent on many factors.
Furthermore, someone with acarophobia may go to painstaking efforts to ensure that they do not come into contact with their fear in any way. This may mean them not only avoiding areas where they may come into contact with their fear, but also that they may actively try to prevent it from happening by taking a more hands-on approach.
If someone were to have such genetics, then it may only require that they experience some sort of traumatic event for them to develop full blown acarophobia. Essentially, any sort of emotionally painful event that involved the various fears associated with acarophobia in some way may be enough for someone to develop this condition insofar as they have the proper genetics.
Although we do not know the exact causes of acarophobia, the consensus among most mental health professionals is that both genetics and environmental factors play very significant roles in the development of any given mental disorder. So, taking a closer look at these two different parameters may shed some light as to whether or not you may be at risk for developing acarophobia.
Just as there are no definitive causes of acarophobia, there are also no treatments that are specifically designed for this condition either. Nevertheless, there are still many different forms of treatment that can help to significantly improve many of the symptoms of acarophobia. Some of these treatments include exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and some psychiatric medications, among others.
Exposure therapy is one of the most common forms of treatment for people suffering from phobias. Exposure therapy works by having the therapist gradually expose the patient to their fear over a given period of time. With regards to acarophobia, the therapist may start off by exposing the patient to photos of tiny insects that cause itching and then eventually expose them to stock videos of tiny insects that cause itching. This would all be in an attempt to help desensitize the patient to their fear by repetitively exposing them to it. Theoretically, the more someone is exposed to something they fear, the less it will bother them over time.
CBT is another very common form of treatment that is often used to help people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), among other conditions. Moreover, it may also be effective at helping to treat people suffering from phobias like acarophobia as well. CBT works by having the therapist help the patient to uncover why it is that they think, feel, and behave the way they do with regards to a particular fear or concern they have.
Someone with acarophobia partaking in CBT can expect to learn why it is that they think the way they do about their fear, among other things. Understanding such things may help someone with acarophobia to take a more pragmatic approach when thinking about their fear of tiny insects that cause itching.
If you think you may have acarophobia or if you are suffering from some of the symptoms that have been described in this article, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated. Upon seeing your doctor, you may then be referred to see a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or a psychologist for further treatment.
There are many different aerobic modalities that you can partake in to help reduce your symptoms of acarophobia, such as swimming, biking, skiing, walking, and jogging. You can also acquire the many benefits of exercise by playing sports such as tennis, soccer, basketball, and racquetball, among many other sports. Engaging in some form of exercise consistently may be able to help relieve some of the pain associated with acarophobia over time.
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from acarophobia. In part, this is due to the meditative state of mind that yoga tends to emit in those who practice it on a consistent basis. Yoga can be thought of as meditation in motion. It can help to relieve some of the anxiety associated with acarophobia due to the mere fact that by engaging in yoga, your attention will be redirected to something more productive.
There are many different types of yoga that someone with acarophobia can benefit from, such as hatha yoga or hot yoga, among many others. Nevertheless, regardless of the many different forms of yoga that exist, virtually all of them can help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that is associated with acarophobia.
If you have never practiced yoga before, then it may be in your best interest to take a class or watch some guided videos that can help you through each pose. Just like with meditation, the more you practice yoga, the more adept you will become at it. Besides helping you to reduce your symptoms of acarophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.
Beverages like coffee and tea are often high in caffeine, as well as some energy drinks. In fact, even some foods have caffeine in them as well, such as dark chocolate. Being more conscious of your daily caffeine consumption may help you to reduce some of the symptoms associated with acarophobia.
DBT is a very effective form of treatment for people struggling with emotion regulation. It is often used to treat people suffering from borderline personality disorder. Nevertheless, it can also be very advantageous for someone suffering from anxiety disorders like acarophobia too. This is due to the numerous amount of coping skills you can expect to learn in a DBT group. These groups typically last about 6 months long and can have anywhere from two people to several people depending on how many join the group. 781b155fdc