Senseless Phobia

(Day 17 Writing Assignment: Address one of your worst fears.)

Cockroaches scare the life out of me. I give out the same scream as if I am being attacked by a swarm even when there is just a lone roach either slowly crawling up the wall or lifeless and curled up on the floor. It’s embarrassing but true.

I get goosebumps at the sight of a single cockroach 10 feet away, dead or alive. My stomach churns at their awful pungent scent, because it means they’re either nearby or in great numbers if I can literally get a whiff of them. I cannot stand the sight of even a mere photograph of these creepy crawlers.

I thought it was genetic because I am not alone in my family to share the same senseless phobia. Strangely, I don’t have the same reaction when I see a spider, a colony of ants or generally any other kind of bug out there. It’s just for this specific brown, flat, eery, ugly insect.

I discovered that there is actually a name for the fear of cockroaches. It was a relief to know that this affliction is shared by many others around the world. If Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders and Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes, I shamefully suffer from Katsaridaphobia.

I do not think however, that my fear of these sewer monsters is severe. According to research, those who suffer from Katsaridophobia generally exhibit a variety of physical symptoms like rapid heart beat, difficulty breathing, weakness, fainting, dizziness, tingling or numbness in the hands, an extreme sense of terror, feeling a loss of control, and chest pain. Although the tiny hairs on my arms are on alert, my stomach is in knots and perhaps my heart rate is about 10 (or more) times faster than usual, I don’t get into a full panic attack and eventually lose consciousness at the sight of these critters.

My initial and only reaction upon seeing even just one of them is to scream my lungs out and to run away…fast. Perhaps I should consider myself lucky.roach


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