What You Need to Know About Arachnophobia - Deepstash
Arachnophobia

Arachnophobia, otherwise known as spider phobia, is the intenst fear of spiders and other arachnids.

  • Classified as a specific phobia, arachnophobia causes clinically significant distress that can impact an individual's quality of life.
  • When in contact with, or thinking about arachnids, individuals will likely feel fear and experience symptoms of anxiety almost immediately.

Keep in mind that while the fear of spiders is common, not every person who feels afraid or on edge around them has arachnophobia.

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Symptoms of Arachnophobia

Symptoms of arachnophobia may include:

  • Immediate fear and anxiety when you see or think about a spider
  • Fear or anxiety that is out of proportion to the danger the spider poses to you
  • Avoidance of spiders
  • Panic and/or anxiety responses, such as difficulty breathing, rapid heart beat, nausea, sweating, trembling, and a need to escape

The effects of arachnophobia can significantly impact your quality of life. For example, you may experience panic symptoms and not feel comfortable in your home knowing that a spider is in there.

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Causes of Arachnophobia
  • An evolutionary response: Research suggests that arachnophobia or a general aversion to spiders is hard-wired as an ancestral survival technique.
  • Cultural and/or religious beliefs: Some individuals within certain cultural or religious groups seem to have phobias that stem from these influences. making culture and religion potential factors in phobia development.
  • Genetic or family influences: Family environmental factors may also influence the development of phobias. If a parent has a specific phobia to something, a child may pick up on that fear and develop a phobic response to it.

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Treatment of Arachnophobia

Like other specific phobias, arachnophobia is most commonly treated with therapy, particularly cognitive behavioral techniques.

  • Cognitive reframing: This method helps you shift the way you look at something so you no longer perceive it as dangerous or stressful. This may eventually change your physical reaction to a triggering stimulus, such as seeing a spider.
  • systematic desensitization: In this method, you employ relaxation techniques and then confront your fears from the least fear-producing to the most.

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Coping with Arachnophobia

If you are experiencing symptoms of arachnophobia, there are ways you can cope.

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Diagnosis of Arachnophobia

A diagnosis for a specific phobia requires that the symptoms be present for at least six months and cause significant distress or a disruption to your life and well-being.

Your doctor or mental health clinician may ask you questions about your symptoms, their intensity, and their duration. They may also take a medical history, ask about your current coping skills, and find out what your treatment goals are.

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