These cute little Ladybug creatures come in all kinds of cute little colors, there are red and orange, and black ones of course, as well as unusual colors like white, yellow, blue and even purple … well maybe!
Am I scaring you? Well if I am then that could be because you have a fear of Ladybugs. But you’re not alone, thousands – indeed probably hundreds of thousands of people across the globe have a similar fear, some even have a wider fear of more than just Ladybugs.
Let’s dive in a little deeper, but first, the quick answer for you.
Fear of Ladybugs? There is an officially recognized fear of Ladybugs (Ladybirds) known as Coccinellidaephobia. This forms part of a wider fear called Entomophobia which is a known fear of one or more insect varieties. Sufferers may incur similar reactions to other phobias, such as sweating or increased breathing.
But why would a person be afraid of Ladybugs? Well let’s take a look why.
Entomophobia / Insectophobia
I’m going to go into Entomophobia (also called Insectophobia) a little more in a later article but for now, suffice to say, it does exist as a recognized phobia of either just one, a few, many or all insect varieties. It can manifest itself in different ways for different people – but symptoms are akin to those of other phobias.
Coccinellidaephobia is simply an extension of Entomophobia, being specific to Coccinellidae – or ladybugs
Here’s an audio recording of how to pronounce ‘Coccinellidaephobia‘
What Causes Coccinellidaephobia
Like many other phobias, there is often a trigger to this kind of irrational state. After all, most people suffering from this would know deep down that it’s just a harmless insect, in fact, they probably know ladybugs are great beneficial insects. In most cases, people almost feel foolish for having such a fear – but they shouldn’t.
We have to recognise that fears are indeed irrational, but to the sufferer they’re very real states of mental and physical emotion brough about by a trigger element.
Often the trigger is a past incident, perhaps a childhood clash with a Bloom of Ladybugs, or an uneasy feeling of the Ladybug that landed on them. Perhaps as a child they accidentally swallowed one (not pleasant really). The point is it could be invoked by a plethora of potential experiences.
So when does it happen and what does a sufferer of Coccinellidaephobia feel like?
When Does Coccinellidaephobia Occur?
This may occur at different moments for different people. For some this will merely be the sight of a Ladybug, it might be a sighting regardless of the color. It could be specific to certain colors.
Alternatively, it could be when the sufferer sees a Ladybug with its wings (Elytra) extended open, or perhaps when a Ladybug is in flight or when there’s a whole group of them.
For others, it might be when a Ladybug lands on them. Perhaps the sensation of the Ladybug on their skin, or a tangent of being afraid of being bitten.
If you were to ask a sufferer what it was about them that they feared, there’s a good chance they could be very specific about the circumstances in which it’s okay and those in which it’s not.
Symptoms of Coccinellidaephobia
Much the same as other phobias, the recipient could suffer a number of symptoms, the main ones being those below and generally increasing in fear with increased proximity…
- Fight, flight or freeze Syndrome
- Cold sweats or sweating
- Raised hair follicles
- Feeling Flushed
- Dry mouth
- Increased breathing and heart rate
Did I miss anything? If you’re a sufferer I’d love to hear your comments below.
How to Overcome Coccinellidaephobia
If you want proper medical advice, then I’d recommend consulting a doctor, or a specialist therapist who deals with phobias. But as a general rule when dealing with phobias, here are some steps you could take to overcome them
Step 1 – Recognition
And by that, I don’t just mean you accepting that you may have it, but also asking your friends and family to understand it is a real thing for you and request their support rather than any potentially light-hearted ridicule.
Step 2 – Assessment
Is it actually a problem for you to suffer from this, is it important for you that you get over this feeling, does it occur often enough to warrant some self-help, or does it prevent you from living your life? If the answer is yes – it is important, then read on
STEP 3 – Learning
More often than not, we usually have a greater fear of things we do not know or understand. Starting a new job, or having an operation might be good examples. By learning more about the subject we’re more likely to remove the fear we may have developed over them.
Start by learning something small about them, perhaps once a day pick up a book and pick out some new detail you didn’t know.
This website may help, I’d recommend two articles to ease you into the subject and get you started – plus they contain no scary Ladybug images.
Once you’ve learnt plenty about them, try the next step.
STEP 4 – Imagery
Often, one way we must face our fears is by exposure. But I’m not suggesting you buy ladybugs, even though you can actually buy ladybugs! What I’d suggest is that you embark on a gradual process of exposure to these creatures.
Start small, have a small desktop icon on your PC, or Laptop. Or have one lying around your desk or on a pin board. Nowhere that might scare you. But where you’re likely to come in frequent contact with it. Perhaps start with one of my own cartoon Ladybug collection below? Then maybe upgrade to some real-life images later.
STEP 5 – Contact
Once you’ve got used to having Ladybugs in your eye-line. If you feel comfortable enough, then start to look for them in real life, perhaps remain at a distance to start with, then slowly increase your contact with them. If at any point it doesn’t feel comfortable, then move back a step or two.
Increased exposure should have the effect of reconditioning the brain, retraining it against the learned response it previously had. But remember, if in doubt seek professional counsel.
I hope this has been helpful for you, as I said earlier I’d love to hear your comments if you have a fear of Ladybugs in any circumstance. Plus I hope my non-professional therapy 5 Steps advice helps you in some way.
You never know, you may come to love Ladybugs!