Musophobia or Muriphobia- Fear of mice

Rat movies have now been a trend on films like Raratouille and Toms and Jerry mouse. These films may be fun for most of us but for those who have fear of mice termed as Musophobia or Muriphobia, this can cause trauma and anxiety and there’s nothing funny about it whenever they see it even just on films.

This phobia is distinct from the reasonable concern about rats and mice who are contaminating food and water. The symptoms of Musophobia typically include extreme anxiety, dread and anything associated with panic such as shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, inability to articulate words or sentences, dry mouth and shaking.

This cause may be a protective mechanism which was probably created in the past when the person had a traumatic experience with a mouse or rat. Examples of this could be a household having been invaded or infested with mice. Some people are grossed out by how mice and rats feel, while others are afraid of being nibbled on.

In many cases a phobic fear of mice is a socially induced conditioned response, combined with the startle response common in many animals, including humans, rather than a real disorder.

The standard treatment of animal phobia is systematic desensitization and this can be done in the consulting room or in hypnosis. It is also helpful to encourage patients to experience some positive associations with mice. Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy are also helpful ways in treating this phobia.