Cockroaches are really tough bugs. They can go for days without eating and handle way more radiation than people. This might freak out people with a strong fear of cockroaches, called Katsaridaphobia. So, how do you overcome fear of cockroaches? Someone with this fear might get super anxious when they’re close to a cockroach, see one, or even just think about it.


What does the term Katsaridaphobia mean?

How to Overcome Fear of Cockroaches

Katsaridaphobia is when someone is super scared of cockroaches, even if there is no real danger. People with this fear feel way more anxious than usual around cockroaches, and sometimes they might even have really intense panic attacks that need hospital care.¹ Unlike some other fears, this one is actually connected to something that could be harmful.

Signs of Katsaridaphobia

When afflicted by Katsaridaphobia, people commonly endure pronounced sensations of anxiety or panic. Moreover, those affected might grapple with feelings of shame or remorse due to their reactions to cockroaches, often amplified by the responses of others to their extreme fear.


In certain instances, this fear could escalate to a generalized anxiety disorder or other phobias. Signs of Katsaridaphobia often include:²

  • Heightened anxiety
  • Temporary paralysis
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Episodes of panic
  • Nausea
  • Sensation of choking
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Vocal outbursts or tears
  • Overwhelming fear
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Chest discomfort

Diagnostic Criteria for Specific Phobias, Including Katsaridaphobia, in DSM-5

As per the DSM-5,³ doctors use the following rules to diagnose specific phobias like Katsaridaphobia:

Feeling really scared for no good reasonHaving an intense fear or worry about something specific, even when it’s not warranted, like a fear of cockroaches.
Right away, feeling very anxiousThe fear or anxiety is immediate in the presence of a specific object or situation.
Trying hard to stay away or feeling super upsetThe individual actively avoids the object or situation that triggers the fear or confronts it with extreme distress.
Making life harderFear, anxiety, or avoidance interferes with daily life and important activities, such as relationships, work, or hobbies.
Lasting for six monthsThe fear, anxiety, or avoidance behavior persists for at least 6 months, indicating that it’s not a fleeting or temporary issue.
Not from another problemThe symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder. They aren’t related to panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.

How to Overcome Fear of Cockroaches

Having explained what Katsaridaphobia is really all about, how do you overcome it? Below are the ways to overcome fear of cockroaches:


1. Get Used to Cockroaches Scaring You

With exposure therapy, you will be able to beat the fear of roaches in your home or anywhere. It is the best way to help with being scared of cockroaches and involves a kind of talking therapy called exposure therapy.⁴

This therapy works on changing how you react to things you are scared of, including cockroaches. It starts with looking at pictures of cockroaches, talking about them, and later on, facing a real cockroach.

This way of therapy is really good for treating fears like being scared of cockroaches. To find therapists who do this kind of treatment, you can search for mental health professionals who use exposure therapy in your area.

2. Overcome Roach Fear with Thinking and Behavior Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, which is also called CBT, is a method that mental health experts use to help with fears like being scared of cockroaches. In CBT, they use exposure therapy and other methods to help you see and overcome fear of cockroaches in a better way.⁵

This method will also help you change your thoughts about being afraid of them in the first place, so you can feel more in control of your feelings and thoughts instead of feeling too scared. Therapists for this kind of therapy can be found by searching for mental health professionals who use cognitive behavioral therapy.

3. Medicine Options

Usually, talking therapies like exposure therapy and CBT work well for most people who are afraid of cockroaches. But in some cases, medicines can be used to make things better, especially if the fear causes anxiety or panic.

Here are some types of medicines that can help you to stop being scared of cockroaches:

  1. Antidepressants
  2. Relaxing medicines
  3. Beta blockers
  4. Medicines for anxiety

You can find therapists who can guide you with these medicines by searching for mental health professionals who know how to manage such medications.


You have done great checking out this article about overcoming the fear of cockroaches. If you are battling with this fear, it might feel like a big challenge but do not lose hope. Lots of experts will help you with mental health work on this fear using exposure therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy.

If you are looking for help, you can find these experts online – they’re good at treating fears like this one about roaches.


  1. Katsaridaphobia (Fear of Cockroaches). Psych Times
  2. Cockroaches: The insect we’re programmed to fear. BBC Future
  3. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR). American Psychiatric Association
  4. Exposure Therapy. Healthline
  5. What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

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