Phobias Community
Fear of Moths, Butterflies, and Birds
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Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder where one has a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Discuss topics including social phobias, claustrophobia and treatment options.

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Fear of Moths, Butterflies, and Birds

I have had this lifelong phobia since childhood.  I don't even remember where or how it started.  It is so embarrassing as people naturally laugh and make fun of it, but it is debilitating as it restricts where I can go--I avoid places where these creatures might be, can't eat at restaurants outdoors for fear of birds hopping nearby, etc.  Anyone else had this phobia and been cured.  Can hypnosis help?  Any ideas?
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I am very afraid of moth wing dust. My solution came in finding the cause. When I was 6, my grandmother died. She had worn cream makeup for her whole life. The funeral home put powdered make up on her. The dust on looks like her makeup. All summer long I carry a spray bottle with me and when I see a moth, I wet it down with the water. It keeps me okay.
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I'm afraid of Moths as well I will run out of a room or run away outside if I see one I think they look nasty! and carry Viruses!
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That makes sense about your grandmother and the funeral home makeup, I'm sorry to hear about that. But if you can help it, please do not spray water on the moths (or butterflies for that matter) that dust you see on their wings helps them to fly. They need it to fly, and therefore live. They are not trying to hurt you, they are just living their own lives which might happen to intersect with yours from time to time. Without spraying the moth look at the dust on its wings again. See how fine and small it is? How itt glitters and twinkles in the various lights? Almost like tiny diamonds... And remember what miss Monroe said, " Diamonds are a girl's best friend! something that is so tiny and twinkly cant possibly hurt you right? :) Moths are beneficial pollinators, dont spray water on their delicate wings or spray off those beautiful diamonds!

I'm no moth doctor, but if moths carry viruses, but they are most likely just that- viruses for moths! (or perhaps predators of moths- which I am assuming you are not ;) No need to worry about that.
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This is my suggestion on how to start getting over the phobia (I've been using this personally recently for my " picky arachnophobia" that had been getting worse and it's helping already!) First, ask yourself waht exactly it is that you don't like or that scares you about these creatures. At first your response might be "Everything!" but you're going to have to dig deeper than that if you want to move past this (Remember- the only way out of it is through it!) For instance, is something about their looks, possibly their wings or the way the wings work and move? The seemingly erratic flight patterns, or the way they might come near you and invade your space without caring? Specific things like that. Have your answers? Now you're ready to address them one by one. I bet you might be thinking I'm going to say you must think back on the past long and hard to find out the root cause of each. Nope! Although you can spend some time doing that if you'd like, some times you just can't think of an explaination and that's why it's a phobia- an inexplicable fear of something. My therapist said to me we can't always know the why, at least not right this moment, but we can know the how.
Step 2) is probably going to be a bit scary and uncomfortable. It combines exposure therapy,which can work very well for phobias- with knowledge. It is often said humans fear the unknown, which is where the " know"ledge part comes in. And if knowledge is power, then this is a way to not only have power over your phobia (and yourself) but to power through it! If youre not catching my drift, you need to learn about what you are afraid of. Learn about those creatures, who, not only what, they really are and why they do the things they do. To use my earlier example, if the butterfly's erratic flight pattern bothers you, ask yourself why they fly that way. Nature always has a reason for why things happen the way they do, even if not immediately apparent. That erratic flight pattern of many butterfly species is to bewilder and befuddle any would be predators. See? Learn about the creature in general, but pay extra attention to the things on that list you made for step one. Online research is a great place to start your learning, as are the books at your local library. As a nature photographer, i try to find the beauty and wonder in even the creepy things, like the first sun rays glistening off the silvery dew drops on the golden thread of a spiders web. I encourage you to do the same. Start by looking at clear pictures that you find attractive and not too scary. Then when you're feeling brave enough try observing an individual animal, preferably in its natural habitat, but captivity works if you're still frightened. Marvel at what it does and use your new found knowledge to undrstand why it does those things. You just might see them in a whole new way! Remind yourself that they are part of the natural world just like you, that they have a place and a purpose there, and because you both live in this world together your paths may cross occasionally. They are not out to hurt you and they go about their busy lives just as you do (albeit, a little differently than you) and when you meet they are at a distinct disadvantage dispite your fear and this meeting between "natural world neighbors" doesn't have to be negative for either side.
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