Phobia of Spiders | Arachnophobia

Arachnophobia is one of the most common phobias in the world. According to the phobia dictionary, arachnophobia is defined as the fear of spiders or other arachnids. Arachnids are classified as having eight legs and include spiders, scorpions, ticks, and harvest men (also known as daddy longlegs).

People who suffer from arachnophobia have anxiety when faced with a spider for other arachnid. Symptoms include sweating, nervousness, heart trouble, or trouble breathing. Some people who suffer from arachnophobia may even scream or cry when in the presence of an arachnid or other visible signs of their presence such as a web. Pictures, video, or even realistic drawings of spiders can also trigger these feelings. A person suffering from arachnophobia may experience a full on panic attack when faced with an actual living spider. They may also avoid the area in which they have seen the spider until they are certain that the spider is gone or they have overcome the panic attack.

There are many different reasons why a person may be afraid of spiders. A common thought is that because most spiders are venomous, though rarely dangerous to humans, a natural deep-seated fear emerges. Many psychologists hold it very strongly to this belief that the fear of spiders is an evolutionary process. The belief that people have evolved fear something that could be a danger to them is a widely held belief.

The belief that arachnophobia is an evolutionary fear is not held by all psychologists. There are some to believe that the fear of spiders is actually a cultural phenomenon. There are areas in New Guinea and South America in which spiders are considered a delicacy. Arachnophobia is not as common in these areas as people grew up with them as part of their food source. This leads some psychologists believe that rather than being a genetic trait to fear spiders, arachnophobia has become a cultural standard.

These same psychologists also believe that arachnophobia can be learned condition. A person who has been bitten by a spider, had a spider crawling on them as a young child, or have a parent or close relative or friend who is an arachnophobe has a greater tendency to develop arachnophobia themselves.

A person suffering from arachnophobia will do everything in their power to ensure that their area is spider free. This includes going to great lengths to ensure that no other bugs are located with it in their home, as most spiders will not come in to a residence without there being a food source. If the arachnophobe can ensure that there is nothing for the spider to eat on, there is a less chance of a spider being within the area.

Arachnophobia affects between 3.5 to 6.1% of the population, according to the phobia dictionary. Many notable celebrities are arachnophobes. Some of these names include:

Justin Timberlake
J.K. Rowling
Christopher Lee
Simon Pegg
Emma Stone
Selena Gomez
Matt Bellamy
For those suffering from arachnophobia there are ways to conquer your fear. Psychiatric treatment can help reduce the overpowering fear that a person may feel towards the spider. Through systematic desensitization, a person can learn to cope with the presence of spiders. This desensitization may be coupled with therapeutic medication in order to help the person combat their fears.

Arachnophobia does not have to rule a person’s life. While it is a common tendency to feel uneasiness and fear when presented with a spider, it is a fear that can be conquered. In addition to psychotherapy, advances in technology can also assist in conquering your fear spiders. There are apps and games that are often used by therapists to help treat arachnophobia.

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