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Arachnophobia – Treatment, Definition, Symptoms, Causes

Definition of Arachnophobia


Arachnophobia is a specific phobia, namely, fear of spiders, . The sufferer is called an arachnophobe. The condition is considered as a phobia when the person cannot complete his or her daily activities due to the thought of having spiders within contact or reach.


This fear, which is basically considered to be an abnormal fear of spiders, becomes alarming as the effects become intense. It has been noted that people who suffer from arachnophobia will show great repulsion to spiders.

According to epidemiological reports, most sufferers of arachnophobia are women. About 50 percent of women are affected, and 10 percent of men also suffer. It is normal to fear spiders when a situation presents itself. Every day, we see people who fear spiders but that feeling does not alter their daily work nor does it make them halt life due to the fear.

Symptoms of Arachnophobia

A person can become irrational when it comes to fear, but the individual can overcome fear when he or she is willing or able to control his or her feelings and thoughts. It is considered to be an abnormal fear when manifestations of arachnophobia are identified:

  • The sight of a spider can cause the sufferer to panic. Running away from the stimulant can be observed. There are also instances where the person is stunned to do anything once a spider is in sight.Panic attack after seeing a spider as a sign of arachnophobia image

Picture  – Panic attack after seeing a spider as a sign of arachnophobia

  • The sufferer will likely avoid situations in which he or she may be confronted by a spiders. His or her first impulse is to be away from spiders. Killing the spider is a hard task for them.
  • The sight of spiders can induce excessive sweating, cold, clammy skin, increased breathing, lightheadedness, and increased heart rate. These are signs of panic.

Effects on Life

Arachnophobia has a great impact on life. This condition can alter a person’s regular daily activities. There are a number of life situations that become affected once the fear sinks in. Performance at work can also be affected as the fear has been simulated during work.

Arachnophobes generally becomes agitated when it comes to spiders. The sight of them makes them twinge, possibly causing social stigma in some cases. There is also a possibility that those who suffer from arachnophobia becomes unaware that the fear is greatly affecting his or her daily living.

Causes of Arachnophobia

Arachnophobia has been known as a behavioral condition that is presented with a number of causes or possible roots. However, it has been noted that this condition is due to an unknown cause. There are a number of precipitating factors that are associated with the condition, and these include the following:

  • Negative experience with a spider can generate the cause of fear. It becomes untoward and results in such because the experience may be traumatic.
  • A childhood encounter with a spider, even if the situation is not that traumatizing, can result in fear. For instance, when elders introduce spiders as generally harmful insects to a child, this subjective perception triggered by misinformation can be carried on for many years, creating a fear out of it.
  • Lack of information is also a possible cause. Belief is a great force for someone to continue to think negatively about something. The fear of spiders can be caused by knowing little facts about spiders.

Treatment of Arachnophobia

Treatment for arachnophobia is aimed at alleviating the symptoms of fear and possible resolving the phobia by determining the root cause of the condition. There are a number of proposed treatment remedies for arachnophobia.

  • Medical treatment. This includes the use of medications that can assist in the reduction of anxiety. The known medications are anxiolytics which can relieve the fear at the moment of the attack.
  • Psychotherapy. This is a common treatment for phobias which is usually done along with medical treatment. The treatment course includes inducing the fear and providing ways to deal with the fear of spiders. The conjunction of both therapies allow the treatment course to produce desirable results.
  • Homeopathic treatment. This is believed to be a natural treatment for phobias which include herbal medications and supplements that are organized by a known expert or specialist.
  • Systemic desensitization. This is widely common in the field of phobias. This treatment course  focuses on the condition of the mind and body. The technique includes the principles which summarize classical conditioning. Presenting the feared object (spider) to the patient in a manner employed in behavioral therapy can somehow help the patient gradually face the fear rather than avert from it. This then helps a person overcome the fear. Systemic desensitization can also include relaxation techniques which are very helpful in the process. Deep breathing exercises are taught to arachnophobes. Muscle relaxation techniques, which are included in the process help reduce tension build-up in the body once the stimulant is present. In order to reduce stress, visualization techniques are provided, helping the person advance his or her state of mental relaxation.

Know that fear can impede life’s activities. It is best treated when a person is willing to accept that the fear of spiders has become an irrational mind set form. From this altered attitude, the person will thus have an easier time to overcome this condition.

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