Arachnophobia is an extreme fear of spiders. Spiders are not everybody’s favorite insects; they are hated by most people on the planet, but next only to snakes. Many people of the Dark Ages believed that spiders contaminated food and water. Some even thought that spiders caused the bubonic plague. However, sufferers of arachnophobia have a disproportionate fear that affects their daily lives. It is assumed that a significant percentage of women and a slightly lesser percentage of men exhibit arachnophobia.
Though there is no single definitive cause for arachnophobia, there exist a few theories. There are some who believe that the fear has a cultural aspect to it. For example, whereas a number of Africans are afraid of giant-sized spiders, some residents of South America who eat large spiders are not scared of the insects at all.
Some evolutionary psychologists have suggested that arachnophobia may have developed because of the need to survive from spiders that are venomous. Another theory attributes the fear to a traumatizing event in one’s childhood that involved a spider. Whereas for some individuals the start of the phobia was a memorable ordeal, many others do not remember what led to the phobia.
Arachnophobia – Fear of Spiders: Symptoms And Treatment Options
Arachnophobia can be a thing of the past – no one need fear spiders again. There are treatment programs that really do work and there’s one we particularly recommend:
Symptoms of Arachnophobia
Those who suffer from arachnophobia are likely to experience or display some of the following psychological and physical symptoms: Though people who suffer from arachnophobia know that all spiders are not harmful, they experience anxiety or panic attacks at the mere sight of a spider, or sometimes even on sighting spider webs. Yet others experience anxiety as soon as they see pictures of spiders. They do not experience anxiety in places where there are no spiders.
Individuals with arachnophobia are preoccupied most of the time looking out for spiders. If they encounter one they may scream and run away from the place, or they watch the spider carefully, tracking its movements, and some of them freeze in their positions. They tend to limit those activities if there is a chance of encountering spiders: playing outdoors, camping, staying alone in the house, going to the zoo, etc. They do not go out alone at nights and thoroughly avoid going to those places where a spider was recently discovered. They may develop physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing, dry mouth, tightening of the chest, tremors, palpitations, dizziness, nausea, tingling sensation in fingers and toes, etc., among others. A person suffering from arachnophobia may be unable to kill or trap the spider.
Arachnophobia – Treatment Options
Just as with most other phobias, arachnophobia is initially assessed through interviews and a medical examination. Thereafter, the treatment is through psychological methods such as systematic desensitization, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and sometimes through medications. In systematic desensitization, the patient is made to write a list that contains situations which provoke varied degrees of anxiety. Then they are exposed in a graded manner (in a controlled environment) to the least provocative situation in the list, say viewing the picture of a spider. The procedure is done repeatedly till the anxiety is diminished. This is done for every item in the list.
CBT is a very effective form of therapy in that it teaches better ways to deal with the fears experienced when encountering a spider and lead a normal life without unnecessary disruptions. Muscle relaxation techniques are sometimes taught to make the therapy more effective. Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications may also be used.
Fear of Spiders – Treatment
You don’t have to live in fear of spiders – there are treatments and cures out there but, for those who suffer from arachnophobia, the fear of spiders (and it’s very common). Beat Your Fears recommends several proven self-help programs that’re GUARANTEED to put an end to your fear of spiders once and for all and to reverse associated symptoms such as panic attacks, OCD, agoraphobia etc – it’s risk free and guaranteed to work.