chasedThe WP brought in an expert with a message of hope for those who live in fear; last Friday, they hosted an online chat with a psychoanalyst who "counsels those suffering from extreme cases of entomophobia."

Arlington, Va.: I have tried to restructure my thoughts regarding cicadas, but that doesn't seem to work. What else should I try?

Jerilyn Ross: Trying asking yourself, "What is the worst thing that will happen if I see a cicada, or if one lands on me?" Intellectually you know that they are completely harmless - they don't bite, carry germs, sting, etc., yet emotionally you are feeling as if something awful will happen. Although this sounds very simplistic, the answer to "What if?" is "So what!!" The absolute worst thing that will happen is that you will feel "yukky" or "uncomfortable" or "frightened", right? And NONE of those feelings every harmed anyone!

Of course, they could also crawl into your ears and eat your brain. Not to scare you or anything.

What we want to know is what you call a fear of pedantic yet simpering coverage of completely banal occurrences: You know, traffic, snow emergencies, cicadas. . .

Cicada Phobia [WP]


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