Many people suffer from the fear of wasps, hornets, yellowjackets, bumble bees and other winged insects of the order hymenoptera (i.e. insects with transparent wings). The reason for this is that this order of insects has a fearsome reputation. Wasps and many bees have a painful sting, and many people have been surprised as children by painful bites. Some are allergic to the wasp sting. In this case, their wasp phobia is reasonable, as the wasp can threaten their lives. However, there are many more people who aren’t allergic to wasps, yet still start screaming and running for their lives whenever any kind of buzzing, flying insect appears in their vicinity. This reaction is out of proportion to the actual threat the wasp or hornet presents to them.
The Latinate word to describe this irrational, excessive terror of wasps is spheksophobia. Unless you’re actually allergic to the venom of hornets, yellowjackets, or bees, this unnecessary fear will severely interfere with your life, especially if you plan to spend any time outdoors during the spring and summer months. The fact is, most common varieties of wasp won’t sting you unprovoked. The only way they’d be likely to sting you is if you directly attacked them, or their nest. Indeed, spheksophobia can even increase your chances of getting stung. If a bee or wasp lands on you and you panic and jerk your limbs around, the insect may panic as well–and sting you.
Causes Of Extreme Spheksophobia
What makes some people react in extreme ways to the sight of wasps, without being allergic to these insects? The phobia can have any number of causes. One of the most common is, of course, having been stung by a bee, wasp, or hornet as a child. What can make these early experiences so traumatic is how sudden and surprising bee and wasp stings often are. Most people who get stung do so because they’d accidentally disturbed the flying creature–for example, by unintentionally stepping on one while running barefoot through the grass. Others develop these fears because of repeated, emphatic warnings from parents or guardians.
Effective Techniques To Stop Fear Of Wasps
Whatever the cause, the fear, itself, tends to follow a predictable pattern in most individuals. This means that victims of this phobia respond well to treatments that involve mental re-conditioning, such as hypnotherapy and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). These techniques teach victims to analyze and discover for themselves the harmful thought patterns they wish to change.
Because the terror of a phobic person tends to a predictable pattern, these patterns can be recognized and changed. Think of how Pavlov’s dogs learned to “instinctively” salivate at the sound of a bell, despite the fact that they were born with no such instinct. Similarly, using a combination of NLP and hypnotherapy, you can learn to “instinctively” experience calm awareness in response to wasps (despite the fact that your “natural” reaction had previously been total panic). In this way, you can use potent psychological techniques to quell your fear of wasps.