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Katsaridaphobia -- roaches -- my experience - Printable Version

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Katsaridaphobia -- roaches -- my experience - PKDesh - 08-22-2016 05:03 AM

No one knows about my fear so I'm sharing it here. Perhaps this post will be of interest to others with the problem.

My katsaridaphobia has become almost paralyzing. The area in which I live is prone to palmetto bugs -- those giant black roaches. I see one maybe once a week despite a regular exterminator visit and clean habits.

I experience the following:

1) I frequently have, for lack of a better word, hallucinations, where I'm convinced I see movement in the corner of my vision, yet nothing is there. I think this is fueled by paranoia rather than psychotic symptoms.
2) The sudden compulsion to check my environment, everywhere, for roaches. Often triggered by the hallucinations. Also triggered by ANY subtle noise. Fridge clicking, a/c blowing the curtains against the wall...
3) I always have a can of poison within reach and never enter a room without it. I can't use the restroom without checking the entire room first.
4) My bedtime routine is to check the entire bedroom and bathroom for roaches. I stuff a sheet under the door so nothing can get in. I move all the furniture and open all the drawers to check them from all sides.
5) I'm afraid to open cabinets and closets for fear of seeing one in there, so they remain mostly empty. I live with minimal groceries and such as a result, only buying something new when it's necessary.
6) If I see one, I can't rest until it's dead, and will tear the place apart if necessary to get it, even though this hunt terrifies me, producing trembling, blushing, sweats, and sometimes hives. Even after it's dead I enter a kind of panicked hysteria, where I'm convinced they're all around. I'll spend almost every minute looking around for more, completely unable to relax. If it wasn't for my powerful meds I probably wouldn't sleep either.
7) I won't dare go outside at night, because that's when they come out. Even indoors, I'm in bed before dark.
8) My worst fear is one getting on me in bed, so I've rigged the bed legs and headboard bottoms with petroleum jelly. I read somewhere they won't crawl on that. I check underneath the box springs and mattress and behind the headboard every night.

As I type this it sounds kind of like OCD as well. Maybe both.

This has taken control of my life. Even as I wrote this, I had to stop for hours because I'm sure I saw one in the kitchen, but when I looked back after grabbing my poison, it was gone. I moved the fridge and looked in all the cabinets (took one hour by itself because of hesitation). Now I'm not sure if it was a hallucination or not. It seemed so real...

I'd be interested to hear from others with this phobia.


RE: Katsaridaphobia -- roaches -- my experience - pentatomidae-no - 09-25-2016 07:41 AM

(08-22-2016 05:03 AM)PKDesh Wrote:  No one knows about my fear so I'm sharing it here. Perhaps this post will be of interest to others with the problem.

My katsaridaphobia has become almost paralyzing. The area in which I live is prone to palmetto bugs -- those giant black roaches. I see one maybe once a week despite a regular exterminator visit and clean habits.

I experience the following:

1) I frequently have, for lack of a better word, hallucinations, where I'm convinced I see movement in the corner of my vision, yet nothing is there. I think this is fueled by paranoia rather than psychotic symptoms.
2) The sudden compulsion to check my environment, everywhere, for roaches. Often triggered by the hallucinations. Also triggered by ANY subtle noise. Fridge clicking, a/c blowing the curtains against the wall...
3) I always have a can of poison within reach and never enter a room without it. I can't use the restroom without checking the entire room first.
4) My bedtime routine is to check the entire bedroom and bathroom for roaches. I stuff a sheet under the door so nothing can get in. I move all the furniture and open all the drawers to check them from all sides.
5) I'm afraid to open cabinets and closets for fear of seeing one in there, so they remain mostly empty. I live with minimal groceries and such as a result, only buying something new when it's necessary.
6) If I see one, I can't rest until it's dead, and will tear the place apart if necessary to get it, even though this hunt terrifies me, producing trembling, blushing, sweats, and sometimes hives. Even after it's dead I enter a kind of panicked hysteria, where I'm convinced they're all around. I'll spend almost every minute looking around for more, completely unable to relax. If it wasn't for my powerful meds I probably wouldn't sleep either.
7) I won't dare go outside at night, because that's when they come out. Even indoors, I'm in bed before dark.
8) My worst fear is one getting on me in bed, so I've rigged the bed legs and headboard bottoms with petroleum jelly. I read somewhere they won't crawl on that. I check underneath the box springs and mattress and behind the headboard every night.

As I type this it sounds kind of like OCD as well. Maybe both.

This has taken control of my life. Even as I wrote this, I had to stop for hours because I'm sure I saw one in the kitchen, but when I looked back after grabbing my poison, it was gone. I moved the fridge and looked in all the cabinets (took one hour by itself because of hesitation). Now I'm not sure if it was a hallucination or not. It seemed so real...

I'd be interested to hear from others with this phobia.

I don't have katsaridaphobia, but I do have pentatomidaephobia (Fear of stinkbugs) And I completely understand what you're going through. for me it's taking constant showers and dousing everything I own in mint oil (Stinkbugs dont like mint) And now that it's stinkbug season in my town, I don't ever want to go outside. I don't open windows, I can barely fuction. It's gotten so bad that I had to move in with my sister so that someone else can get them for me. I actually started using pacifiers again so I could make sure that nothing got into my mouth while I was asleep. I try not to open my mouth as much as possible and wear bandanas so that I know there's nothing in my hair. I pull apart my food, I can't eat anything with cilantro. I tried exposure therapy years ago and it just made everything worse. I understand what you're going through 100%.