Getting stung can be painful, scary, and (in some cases) it can be fatal. When people have an intense and persistent fear of stings, they may suffer from Cnidophobia.
Stings from insects are the most common form of trigger for Cnidophobia. However, there are other types of stinging sensations that may also cause the same sense of panic and the same physical symptoms. One example of non-insect stings would be those from plants, such as stinging nettles. Plants and insects aren’t the only triggers in our world – sometimes, needles used in medical procedures can also be a trigger, because they sting the point of entry. These are just a few examples of triggers for the fear of stings.
Stinging Insects Terrify Some People
Most of us have experienced the unpleasantness of a bee or wasp sting. Sharp, burning pain at the sting “site” leaves the area red, swollen, and throbbing. For those with fatal allergies to bee stings, life may seem to revolve around avoided the dreaded, and very dangerous, source of allergy. Although people with bee sting allergies can carry Epi-pens that will short circuit a dangerous reaction, they will much prefer to stay away from insects that might cause them harm. The danger of a fatal or serious allergic reaction is the most well-known trigger for the fear of stings. Obviously, it’s easy to understand why someone would come to fear something that can actually kill them. After all, even people who don’t suffer from terrible reactions to insect stings can also be frightened of buzzing bees and hovering wasps. Stings hurt, and sometimes a swarm of insects can descent on an innocent victim, attacking them all over their body. Wasps have been known to kill humans with this “swarming” behavior.
Stinging Plants Can Be Another Common Trigger
The stinging nettle doesn’t look particularly menacing, but it can deliver some pain nonetheless. These plants are quite common in the rural countrysides of Europe and Asia, and they injure humans and animals who run across them, through many tiny trichomes (stinging hairs) that enter the skin, just like needles would.
The needles, or stinging hairs, are not the only problem. When they enter the skin, they actually deposit four chemicals into the skin, causing a burning or stinging sensation. Sometimes, pain from an encounter with the stinging nettle plan can last for up to seven days. Other times, relief will come within minutes. Ointments and creams can take the edge off of physical discomfort.
How To Cope
People who’ve been stung by bees, wasps, or stinging nettles may develop anxiety when they are around triggers. Even the sight of what they fear will provoke mad memories, and bring forth physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, panic, etc. There may an element of post-traumatic stress disorder present in those with Cnidophobia.
Treating this disorder, whether it is cause by a fear of needles, or plants in a quiet field, will require some insight into the root causes of the fear. Panic treatments and psychotherapy can help to release tension and allow for a life free of tension and illness.
The fear of stings is also referred to as:
- sting phobia
- afraid of stings
- sting fear
- etc, ,etc, etc