Arachnophobia - Fear of Spiders
12-29-2008, 09:45 PM
Arachnophobia - Fear of Spiders
Arachnophobia is the scientific name for the fear of spiders. It is the most common example of an animal-based phobia and many people experience it mildly. For some people it has very intense effects. Different people suffer to different degrees and to those who do not suffer them phobias seem irrational, the afflicted person reacts intensely to the merest sign of the phobia causing animal. It is often difficult, if not impossible, for those of us not suffering to make any sense of what they are experiencing. Phobias can be stimulated by many animals but spiders are the most common source. Phobias do not infer a cowardly or otherwise weak mind, Bowers of the Antarctic, an intrepid explorer of the most inhospitable places on earth was apparently terrified of spiders. People who suffer badly can not even enter a room without having someone else check it for spiders first.
Maybe part of arachnophobia is a result of our adult alienation from the beauty of the world, and it is a fact that most serious sufferers are middle aged and older. It is also a fact that 9 out of ten recorded suffers are female. This of course may well reflect our social gender expectations in that men find it much harder to admit to being frightened of anything.
A fear of spiders can dictate where someone chooses to live, go on vacation, work or what sports or hobbies are enjoyed. Symptoms may include excessive sweating or clamminess, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, nausea and dizziness.
Often this fear is caused by an incident earlier in life which was frightening. People sometimes have the misconception that such a frightening event would have to be a long-lasting or memorable ordeal. Many people don't even remember the events which led to their phobia. The mind can create a phobia based on an instant of panic.
A few tips to help overcome your fear of spiders:
[list]Spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them.
When overcoming your fear, don't be upset if your time actually decreases. Phobias are not easy to overcome and it takes patience.
If you're helping someone overcome a phobia of spiders, make sure they are comfortable and don't try to scare them, remember they are trusting you to help them and saying or doing something that scares them will most likely make their phobia worse.
Try to figure out why you're afraid of spiders or what it is about them that makes them scary to you. Talk to a trustworthy friend or family member and have them help you slowly overcome your specific reason of fearing spiders.
Try watching little children movies or reading little children's story books on spiders.
Remember that even though there are spiders all over the world, not every single one of them is going to come into contact with you.
Spiders are very good at keeping your home free of other bugs and pests, if there were no spiders in the world, we'd be up to our necks in bugs!
Take the time out to appreciate the beauty of these creatures, watch documentaries and learn more about them.
Some spiders ARE dangerous. Be careful even if you aren't scared of them. A tiny bite can leave a big impact when playing with the wrong spider. An important step you can take includes learning to identify all the venomous spiders in your area. Also, learn about the common habitat of these spiders. The Black Widow, for example, is one of the easiest spiders to identify and can be extremely numerous in old trashpiles and dark places.
Don't think that the spiders in horror movies or stories are how spiders act in real life! Spiders do not see humans as prey or try to hunt them.[/list:u]
Here are a few steps that could also help overcome your fear of spiders:
[list]Expose yourself and face your fears - You must face your fear to overcome it. When there is a spider around, don't automatically smash it. Take time to examine the spider, but at a distance that if it is life-threatening, you have time to do your justice to it.
Accept and understand that spiders are a natural part of this world - Know that spiders are everywhere, and unavoidable. You will never fully escape the presence of spiders.
Educate yourself on Spiders - Know which spiders native to your region of the world are harmful and know what they look like. There are very few spiders in some countries that are actually deadly. Other areas of the world have more risky varieties. For those that may be harmful, there is almost always a cure at your local hospital.
Learn to overcome your fearful behavior - Spiders don't hate you because you hate them. Even though you may daily stomp away at these pests, it isn't every day that they come plunging at you meat-hungry. Don't over-react.
Start the process of overcoming your fear - Have someone you trust and feel safe with buy some toy spiders and some pictures. To truly overcome your fear, you have to learn how to deal with spiders in your presence. Starting with something small like a toy or picture helps a lot. Sit near the person you trust and have them slowly and quietly take out the toy or picture and try to sit still for a couple of seconds. Each day when you feel comfortable, try to increase your time spent with the toy spider or picture. When you feel safe or comfortable enough, try touching the toy or picture. Again as time goes by when you feel even more comfortable, increase your time spent having contact with the toy or picture.
When you see a spider on the wall, stand far away from it and keep looking at it 'till you get that scared feeling. Then, slowly move a little closer and stand for some time. Keep doing it till you are next to or very close to the spider. Keep in mind that it will not harm you. Then try to scare the spider away. Keep chasing it out of the window, room or whatever it is on/in. When you have done that you will feel that you are not scared of spiders anymore. [/list:u]
Getting rid of spiders the safe way
Take an old stick, such as a broom handle (4-6 feet long) and tie or duct-tape a rag or towel on one end. This will form a slight ball. If you want, you can spray the rag with Raid or Black Flag; this would kill any live spiders that you pick up. This is not always necessary, since they will get wrapped in their own web anyway.
Use a towel end up, go into the rafters, corners, ceiling edges and other areas the webs are, and spin your new tool through the edges of their webs. Remember a web has to connect on the edges, so don't just go whipping through the middle.
Using a spin motion you wrap the web on the rag, and not just leave it hanging. When done throw the rag into the outside garbage.
Repeat this about every two months.
If the spider is on the ceiling, get a clear cup or glass (so you can see through it) and a rigid slip of paper or index card.
Place a chair or stool under the spider and carefully stand on the sturdy chair or stool. Be careful not to fall.
With the cup or glass and card in hand, quickly place the cup over the spider securely. Tap the edges of the cup to attempt to make the spider fall in. When it does, take the index card and slip it in between the ceiling and the cup.
Take the spider outside, and set it free.
This same method can be used for a spider on the floor or wall.
If the spider is dangling from a web, place the cup under the spider. you may need to clip the web with scissors. Place the card over the spider, and take it outside to set it free.
For more dangerous spiders:
Some toy companies make a special vacuums that suck up bugs, Or, you can use your dust buster. If the vacuum is strong enough, you can use this to suck up a brown recluse. A black widow may be too heavy.
Use the same steps as used for the harmless spiders, except with bigger materials to reduce the chances of being bitten.
Set them free far from any houses.
If, by any chance you do get bitten, use a rubber band or something else to cut off your circlulation where you got bitten. Immediately call the emergency services and poison control, and tell them what just happened. Don't panic, because panicking will make the venom travel faster in your bloodstream. Keep the bite at a height lower than your heart level until the ambulance and specialists arrive.
Despite all these safety tips, it may be best to spray the spider for the safety of others and yourself.
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01-03-2009, 05:04 AM
Re: Arachnophobia - Fear of Spiders
hey thanks for all the tips i will be sure and TRY some of them... though not to confident on it :laugh:
if i see you tomorrow out my window...
just say hi so i knowi'm being watched!
07-01-2009, 12:53 PM
Re: Arachnophobia - Fear of Spiders
UGH. Spiders. Arachnid-y imagery SCARES THE CRAP OUTTA ME. I'm not afraid of the danger factor. Just of the way they LOOK. And behave. *shudder*, those hairy bodies, big bottoms, crawly legs, and FANGS?! Holy moly. No no no no. Stop the images!