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 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:
Arachnophobia – Fear of Spiders: Symptoms And Treatment Options
Any one with arachnophobia will go out of their way in a bid to ensure they don’t come into any sort of contact with a spider. In the enevitable event that they spot a spider in their own home they’ll either want to run or freeze. Either way they’re going to need third party help to kill or trap and remove the spider.
Left to develop and avoidance kicks in. Camping trips, hiking or countryside activities become a thing of the past. No more trips to the zoo, no more outdoor sports. Sheds, garages and old buildings become no go areas. When it gets to this stage the simple fear of spiders becomes life changing and restrictive.
Symptoms of Arachnophobia
Though people who suffer from arachnophobia know that most spiders are not harmful, they experience anxiety or panic attacks at the mere sight of any spider. In more exteme cases it only takes the sighting of a spider web to trigger this reaction. Some Arachnopobes even experience anxiety if they see a mere pictures of a spiders. They do not experience anxiety in places where there are no spiders.
Individuals with a fear of spiders are preoccupied most of the time looking out for the little 8 legged critters. If they encounter one you may hear the scream, see them roted to the spot and unable to move or see them do the opposite and run away from the place. In less extreme cases the reaction may just be to watch the spider carefully, tracking its movements to ensure it doesn’t get any closer. They tend to limit those activities if there is a chance of encountering spiders. This could mean 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.
Physical symptoms such as may develop:
- Shortness of breath,
- Difficulty in swallowing,
- Dry mouth,
- Tightening of the chest,
- Tingling sensation in fingers and toes,
A person suffering from arachnophobia may also be unable to kill or trap the spider. They may not even be able to go anywhere near it or be in the same room as it.
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.
Hypnotherapy is also widely recognised and used in the treatment of arachnophobia.
Muscle relaxation techniques are sometimes taught to make the therapy more effective.
Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications may also be used. These only help relax – they don’t cure the fear itself.
Fear of Spiders – Self-Help Treatment
Face to face therapy may be the most recgnised treatment option. This canprove costly and time consuming though. For that reason we suggest you may want to check out a self-hypnosis treatment program called: Overcome Fear Of Spiders. It’s a simple and easy to follow audio download. You can follow it at your own pace and in your own time. Not only is it very effective and highly recognised. It’s also incredibly cost-effective! At less than $15 it represents amazing value for money. In addition, it also comes with a 90 day money back guarantee if it doesn’t work for you.
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