Photo by Daniele Barison on Unsplash

Phobias: Irrational Fears or Parts of Our Personality?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been a particular fan of bugs. Come to think of it, I don’t mind the ones that crawl; I’m quite okay with spiders, cockroaches. The insects that fly are the ones that really get my heart racing — and the bigger or more aggressive they are, the more anxious I get. Small flies and mosquitos are tolerable, but send over a bee, wasp, or giant moth, and I’ll run screaming in the other direction. After some googling, I learned that this particular fear is called Entomophobia, and more people suffer from it than you think.

Phobias suck. They make you feel like a nuisance at best and a little bitch at worst. Truth be told, I don’t seem to be scared of rational things like heights, the dark, or even street dogs that could potentially give me rabies. Even getting on a plane feels fine for the most part, and the fact that elevators can get stuck doesn’t deter me from using them on a regular basis. Yet, as I said, a small bee can send me running in the other direction or trying to hide under the table.

Speaking of bees and wasps, they are top on my list — mainly because they are pretty aggressive little creatures that can sense when you’re scared of them. Wasps are the worst because they can sting you as many times as possible and continue flying around like the little assholes they are. And I don’t even need to witness one in my vicinity to freak out — a simple stimulus such as a buzzing noise in my ear can make me jump.

I’ve been told repeatedly that phobias are irrational, but I can only partially agree with that. As humans, we value our space, so when something comes flying along that could easily get in your face, crawl into your clothes or even cause you harm, isn’t it natural to freak out? Maybe not to the extent that I do, but it’s still unpleasant nonetheless. And the worst part is we can’t even control flying insects — unless we catch them, they have all the power to bother or sting you as much as they want.

In order to understand this fear, I decided to dig deep into my brain and figure out what parallels I could draw between my phobia of insects and my personality. These are the points I came up with:

  • I don’t like unexpected noises or movements, to the extent that I can put a film on mute if I feel like there will be a jumpscare.
  • I hate feeling like I’m not in control, be it a single situation or my whole life in general.
  • I don’t like my personal space invaded, at least when there’s no intimacy involved.
  • I’ve been dealing with some physical issues that can cause nasty symptoms to flare up out of the blue; I can be comfortable one minute, and uncomfortable or in pain the next. Much like a sting. The psychological effect is often inevitable.

They say you are your own best therapist, and maybe there’s some truth to that because a lot of this is beginning to make sense. Either way, summer is rapidly approaching, and I’m beginning to get that anxious feeling again, which seems to worsen every year. I’ve jokingly told people that I need to go to a few hypnosis sessions, but I’m not sure it’s a joke anymore.

Regardless of where they come from, phobias suck — especially when you are instructed to try and stay as chill as possible in order to fix other things in your life. If all goes well, I’m going to have to find a way to deal with this and start enjoying summer. I mean, as soon as I get rid of this terrible cold and can actually get out of bed.



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Eve L

Eve L

Just your regular twenty-something millennial, trying to navigate her way through life on this giant floating rock and understand things by writing them down.