Arachnophobia is an acute, persistent and overwhelming fear of spiders. According to studies, around six percent of the population of the world suffers of this type of phobia. If you suspect that you might be arachnophobic, this article will help you identify and overcome arachnophobia and its symptoms.
When it comes to spiders, there’s a fine line between a phobia and common sense. After all, some spider species are venomous, so fearing of them might actually be good for your health. So the question is what amount of “spider fear” is deemed normal before one slips into a phobia?
Do I Have Arachnophobia?
Feeling repulsed or disgusted of spiders is not unusual and doesn’t necessarily mean that you are suffering from arachnophobia. In fact, a recent research found that 89 percent of respondents consider spiders “disgusting” and “scary”. If you think you might be arachnophobic, ask yourself whether your fear is just common sense or an actual phobia. Recall your reaction at your last encounter with a spider.
What did you do? Did you sweep it (frantically) on a sheet of paper and threw it out of the window? May be you whacked it with a slipper (ten times, just to be sure) or sucked it up in the hoover (and kept the hoover on for ten minutes straight just to be sure that the bugger won’t crawl back out)? If that’s the case, relax! You’re not arachnophobic. You’re just a normal person who believes in the benefits of spider control.
What are the Symptoms of Arachnophobia?
Arachnophobia sufferers experience severe panic attacks at encountering spiders and find themselves scared to the point where they’re completely unable to deal with the creature. Common physical symptoms exhibited by arachnophobia sufferers are excessive sweating, dry mouth, nausea, breathing difficulties and increased heartbeat rate. People diagnosed with arachnophobia feel quite literally paralysed with fear at sighting a spider.
Often, arachnophobia sufferers create an unrealistic perception of the spider – to them, it seems much bigger and in closer proximity that it actually is. Some arachnophobia sufferers believe that the spider is capable of plotting something evil against them.
How to Deal with Arachnophobia?
Arachnophobia is a fairly common condition, hence it’s the subject of numerous researches. If you’re struggling with arachnophobia, here are a few ideas that can help you fight it off for good:
- Educate yourself on spiders to better understand these creatures. Find out what species are common in your area and whether any of them is actually harmful. Knowing your “enemy” will make you feel more confident and will help you deal with your phobia. Learning the reality about spiders will make you realise that a big portion of your fear comes from widely-spread myths about spiders. You will find out that in fact spiders are mostly interested in hiding themselves from you and are much more scared of you than you’re of them.
- Visit your local zoo and check whether they’ve got an arachnophobia course. Most zoos in Europe and the United States offer such courses to help arachnophobia sufferers overcome their fear.
- Download a health app called Phobia Free, designed specifically to help people overcome arachnophobia. The app has been approved by the UK NHS and offers a complete course on how to deal with a spider control fear and overcome the symptoms of arachnophobia.
Dealing with arachnophobia starts with identifying that you’re suffering from an “irrational” fear, meaning that the fear is magnified as a result of common misconceptions, childhood trauma or simply due to mimicking other people’s reactions to spiders (if, for example, a family member demonstrates such fear). As soon as you identify the problem, conduct a research and find out organisations in your area that have a proven track record in helping arachnophobia sufferers.