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Fear of spiders (arachnophobia): causes, symptoms, and treatment

Arachnophobia is fear, in fact the fear of spiders. These phobias can make daily work very difficult. Fortunately, there are effective treatments to treat it.

  1. Arachnophobia – what are the possible causes?
  2. Arachnophobia – what are the symptoms?
  3. Arachnophobia – what is the treatment?

Arachnophobia, or fear of spiders or other similar invertebrates, is one of the most common types of phobias. People react differently when they see spiders. Some people feel fear, others scream and cry and even run away. What is characterized by this disease?

A person suffering from arachnophobia not only feels anxious when seeing a spider, but also sees it in a distorted way. He believes that he is dangerous and treacherous, threatening his life and even health. The fear even conjures up the image of a spider walking on your hand or tangled in your hair.

Scientists from Ohio State University found that people with arachnophobia alter perception. They consider spiders to be larger and more dangerous than they actually are.

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Arachnophobia – what are the possible causes?

Where does arachnophobia come from? Fear of spiders may begin in childhood. When children see that their parents or siblings react with fear when they see spiders, they start to feel afraid of them themselves. According to another theory, arachnophobia is caused by a primal fear in the genes. He is the one who is telling you to take your legs below the belt when you see the danger, that is, the spiders.

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According to psychoanalysis, a fear of spiders is a projection of anal inclinations. The spider is seen as something dirty and disgusting. Sources of phobias are also seen between the ages of 4 and 7, in the Oedipus period. In this case, the spider is a symbol of an aggressive male. Some psychoanalysts believe that the spider personifies its pent-up aggression. On a daily basis, such a person does not admit to feeling angry, so the fear of him comes down to the spider.

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Arachnophobia – what are the symptoms?

How do people with arachnophobia react to contact with a spider? They generally avoid places to find them – terrariums, attics, or cellars. If they come across it, they scream or shout, and some cry. There are cases when people with this common phobia cannot move, they are petrified.

They are not supported by any rational argument that most spiders are not poisonous. Moreover, most people with arachnophobia realize that only a small percentage of spiders can threaten them.

Arachnophobia is not just a fear of spiders. This common phobia is accompanied by other physical symptoms during times of extreme stress, such as:

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A woman with phobia, forcibly washing her hands

Arachnophobia – what is the treatment?

In most cases, fear of spiders does not require treatment. A person with arachnophobia simply avoids places where they might encounter spiders. The problem arises when arachnophobia interferes with daily functioning. In such cases, psychological treatment is necessary.

In the case of fear of spiders, the most common treatment is desensitization (desensitization) and suppression of the reaction. It is about the gradual reduction in response to a specific stimulus. A person with arachnophobia looks at pictures of spiders and listens to the interpretations of a therapist, putting them in a positive light (he says, for example, that they are helpful). The next stage is getting used to spiders, for example watching them in the terrarium, climbing into windows, and even touching them. The desensitization method generally gives good results, even several months after completing the treatment.

Another way to treat arachnophobia is internal therapy. There is no time for taming here, the patient is thrown “in the deep”. The therapist places the spider on the shoulder or arm of the person who feels fear. Each time the anxiety reaction to the stimulus should be weaker and weaker.

The above advice cannot replace a visit to a specialist. Remember that if there are any health problems, consult a doctor.

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