Fear of butterflies or lepidopterophobia, the word for fear of butterflies, originates from the Greek word Lepidoptera (the group or class of insects that includes butterflies, moths, skippers, and other winged insects). This phobia is closely related to Entomophobia (the fear of insects) or Mottephobia – the fear of moths. Actress Nicole Kidman is believed to suffer from lepidopterophobia.
People with a fear of butterflies are terrified of most winged insects. Typically, they experience a disgust response upon seeing these creatures. They feel anxiety, nausea, or panic, especially when they see butterflies.
Many sufferers of this phobia claim to be afraid of the lanceolate wings of these insects. The branches are usually covered in scales and are brown or black to top them off. The color scales and their constant fluttering trigger a fear or anxiety response in the phobic’s mind.
Causes of Lepidopterophobia
- This surprisingly common fear of butterfly phobia has the following causes behind it:
- As mentioned before, the constant fluttering of these winged creatures can cause intense fear in the mind of the Lepidopterophobic.
- The phobic is afraid that the insect may accidentally brush his skin, giving the sensation that it crawls, crawls, or bites.
- Many people living with Lepidopterophobia tend to be afraid of birds.
- Their fear may be related to humans’ evolutionary anxiety associated with flying creatures.
- Not surprisingly, a person with a fear of butterflies is also afraid of hummingbirds or other rapidly fluttering birds/insects.
- Butterflies and moths tend to exist in swarms.
- The habit of swarming is often related to locusts or bees.
- A negative or traumatic experience with these insects in childhood may have triggered Lepidopterophobia.
People under a lot of stress or who have undiagnosed depression or anxiety disorders after a divorce, the death of a loved one, or even the loss of a job, etc., may suddenly develop a fear of butterflies.
You may also be interested in reading: The Fear Of Vegetables: Causes, Symptoms, Overcoming.
- This can develop into a delusional parasitic disease, a mental condition in which the sufferer constantly “feels” insects crawling or burrowing on his skin.
- In extreme cases, this can lead to self-mutilation after intense scratching.
Symptoms of fear of butterfly phobia
- Some people with lepidopterophobia are afraid to even look at photos of butterflies.
- They experience deep anxiety, disgust, or panic when seeing or thinking of butterflies.
- They may experience several symptoms such as chills, trying to run or run away, crying or screaming, shaking, sweating, heart palpitations, dry mouth, rapid and shallow breathing, etc., seeing a butterfly or a moth.
- In severe cases, the patient may experience intense scratching of the skin or the refusal to leave the house due to the encounter with butterflies or moths.
- Most people who suffer from it avoid gardens, parks, zoos, or flower shops where there is the possibility of finding butterflies.
- Phobics often imagine being attacked by these winged creatures. A constant movie or negative images can run through one’s mind, typically about being attacked by butterflies.
- Sleep and appetite can be affected in some patients.
Gradual desensitization is the best way to overcome lepidopterophobia. You can start by slowly exposing yourself to butterflies by following these steps:
- Start by looking at the photos on the Internet.
- Draw a butterfly.
- Look at realistic pictures or photos and videos about butterflies/moths.
- Use self-help books or opt for group therapy, etc.
Talk about your fear.
- Your loved ones and friends must support you in this matter.
- In case of extreme phobia that affects daily life, it is worth consulting a professional therapist.
- Please note that the self-help techniques mentioned above will not show immediate results.
- Although it is possible to overcome the fear of butterflies completely, the results will not be instantaneous.
- The process can take days, weeks, or even years for lepidopterophobia to resolve fully.
Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.