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Published on March 14, 2023

The Most Common Phobias Connected to Parasitic Infections

by Psych Times Staff

Infection with parasites — for most patients, this is the most frightening and disgusting type of disease. The reasons for this attitude are clear: if diabetes or tachycardia are perceived at the level of “something’s wrong”, then a parasitic infection is perceived as “something’s inside”.

The presence of alien living beings inside the body causes stress in patients, which can develop into psychological fears that can bring a person to the brink of insanity. There are four phobias of this kind in total — and each of them deserves a separate analysis.

Peniaphobia (fear of poverty)

This fear develops in people with a low level of income, for whom any illness is a blow to the budget. Fortunately, in most cases, parasitic infections do not require long-term therapy.

As an example, strongyloidosis is a disease that affects up to 6% of US residents annually (depending on the region), and which is cured by taking 1-3 tablets of Stromectol (a drug based on ivermectin).

It is most profitable to use generics of Stromectol, freely sold in Canadian online pharmacies. Completely identical in composition, a Canadian pharmacy hydroxychloroquine can be sold only for 50% of the cost of the same drug in American pharmacies. It is important to clarify that in the advanced stages, treatment may indeed require serious financial costs.

Scoleciphobia (fear of worms)

The patient cannot accept the fact of the presence of living organisms inside themself — worms, giardia, etc. Easily susceptible to panic attacks, such patients are looking for quick solutions — often ineffective and even dangerous.

For example, when infected with helminths of the genus Dirofilaria, patients may try to cut out the parasite from under the skin with their own hands.

In such a situation, it is better to hospitalize the patient for the duration of treatment so that they remain under the supervision of doctors. If hospitalization is not possible, antidepressants can be an alternative.

Pathophobia (fear of an incurable disease)

Particularly suspicious individuals begin to doubt the effectiveness of the already completed treatment. Being confident that the parasites are still alive, patients demonstrate vivid examples of psychosomatic symptoms.

For example, with the above—mentioned strongyloidiasis, patients have a rash, signs of bronchitis, muscle pain and symptoms of myocarditis – although an objective study does not detect any traces of Strongyloides stercoralis in the body.

The best remedy in such a situation is to undergo a study in several different clinics. Yes, it will cost money, but the number of medical reports will do its job — the patient will have to admit to themselves that their fears and feelings are far-fetched.

Mysophobia (fear of infection)

Finally, some patients, having suffered a parasitic infection, begin to fear a re-infection and obsessively avoid everything that, at least theoretically, can serve as a way of transmitting the parasite.

In most cases, fears of this kind go away on their own within 1-2 months — patients simply get tired of observing all the restrictions that they have imposed on themselves. If the disorder persists for longer, it is better to seek help from a psychotherapist.

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