Do you have a mouse phobia or a rat phobia?
Mouse phobia or musophobia comes from the Latin ‘mus’ meaning mouse. Murophobia and suriphobia are other less common names give to mice and rat phobias.
It’s pretty common to have a fear of mice, rats and other things that scuttle round the floors of our living spaces. These fears are hard wired into us; we are born with a natural disposition to be afraid of these things, because it’s possible this information gets passed down in our DNA.
20,000 years ago, our survival was dependent on being alert to small creatures that scuttled round on the floor of our then living spaces (dark caves).
Mouse Phobias may have a historical basis
Less than a 1000 years ago, the Black Plague carried by rats, wiped out around half of Europe’s population. How terrifying it must have been for our ancestors to live during this time, to experience the loss of close family and friends. It’s understandable how this experience would give rise to rodent phobias.
Serious trauma can become encoded into our DNA. It has been suggested that holocaust survivor children are more prone to higher levels of anxiety.
The study of epigenetics will continue and may highlight that some of us have a genetic predisposition to certain mental illnesses and a serious rodent phobia could be classified as an illness.
With phobias there is usually an environmental trigger that switches this condition on.
These switches can be an uncomfortable encounter in childhood, watching a horror movie or learning from a parent.
Phobias tend to develop during childhood, before the brain has fully developed and matured.
If you’re a parent and don’t want to give your child a mouse phobia read this.
In my experience there are reasons completely unrelated to a mouse sighting or interaction that cause this type of phobia to develop. The unconscious mind has decided they are a threat.
Symptoms of a mouse phobia
When someone has a mouse phobia, the symptoms vary person to person, depending on their level of fear. These symptoms are because of the ‘fight or flight response’ that is being activated in the limbic or mammalian brain. Once activated a surge of adrenaline into our body prepares us to ‘fight, or flight’. Hard to fight a mouse that you can’t catch or see, easier to take flight and wait until the threat has passed.
In some extreme cases, people can’t stay in their own homes; they are constantly in a state of hyper vigilance because of their rodent phobia. This affects sleep, medication is sometimes prescribed whilst further help is sought.
In working with clients with mouse phobias, I use advanced New Code NLP alongside hypnosis to free my clients of their phobias. It can be quite an easy phobia to resolve. However don’t expect to start keeping them as pets.