How to Deal With Arachnophobia

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Are you, or a loved one, struggling with arachnophobia? If you are so afraid of spiders, that you often find yourself experiencing both physical and mental discomfort, then you may be dealing with arachnophobia.

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Are you, or a loved one, struggling with arachnophobia? If you are so afraid of spiders, that you often find yourself experiencing both physical and mental discomfort, then you may be dealing with arachnophobia. If you are worried that your functioning may be impaired because of your fear, you may need to read up on what arachnophobia is and how to deal with it. You can improve your condition, and your life along with it, if you decide to step up and take charge of your phobia. It is very much possible and many have done it already, so why not you as well!

Reasons for Arachnophobia

The first step to dealing with arachnophobia is understanding the condition and what its causes are. Arachnophobia may develop due to a series of events and predispositions, so before you proceed onto the practical part of dealing with the condition, it may be useful to gain at least some insight into what it stems from.

Your Phobia

After you have learned about arachnophobia and what may be causing it, it is time to look into your personal situation. In order to handle your fear, and take conscious control of your life, first it is important to understand what is the impact of arachnophobia in your life. The amount of fear, and the way it manifests itself, is not the same for everyone. In fact, there are a few types of arachnophobia, which we have categorized based on the way a person behaves around spiders, and the amount of fear that person experiences.

Two General Types

Generally speaking, we can distinguish two types of people who have a strong fear of spiders. “Avoiders” are those who cannot take seeing or interacting with a spider in any form. They avoid looking at the animal, even if it is right in front of them.  Those people struggle to avoid spiders at all times, even though this is counterproductive, since it is impossible to do.

“Monitors”, on the other hand, or the other group of spider-fearing people, prefer to keep a close eye on the spiders that are nearby, hence the name of the category. People who prefer to “monitor” spiders may find themselves feeling unable to take their eyes off of the spider, even if that breeds disgust and fear.

If you can’t yet recognize yourself within either of those types, think about the way you usually behave, upon seeing a spider, and decide how many of your actions can be attributed to one of the groups and how many – to the other.

When you have determined which type your arachnophobia falls under, it is time to look deeper into how strong your fear is. We have devised a system, where each type falls into one of 4 categories. Additionally, steps to help you deal with arachnophobia, whatever kind it may be, have been provided.

Monitors

If you are a “monitor” with mild arachnophobia, you may not be too concerned by spiders, but still have an uneasy, bothersome feeling around them, and may feel the need to watch any spider in the room.
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“Monitors” with strong arachnophobia are put on edge by spiders and have the need to keep a watchful eye on them, even if that disrupts their daily routine by a  significant amount.
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Those “monitors” who struggle with severe arachnophobia have a difficult time, on a daily basis, because of their strong fear of spiders. Both the physical and mental symptoms are easily noticeable and make your everyday life challenging.
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Debilitating arachnophobia for “monitors” may mean that you are unable to function, the way you would like to, because of your phobia. The fear you experience is so strong, that it has a crippling impact on your life.
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Avoiders

If you are an “avoider” with mild arachnophobia, you probably experience fear that is not too strong, but is still enough to be bothersome. You prefer not to see or encounter spiders, but that behavior doesn’t get too much in the way of your everyday activities.
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“Avoiders” with strong arachnophobia, may feel that their fear is sometimes getting in the way of normal daily activities and may occasionally experience physical symptoms of arachnophobia.
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People, who categorize themselves as “avoiders” and struggle with severe arachnophobia, would be strongly affected by the fear. They would often experience the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic, and their lives would be heavily influenced by the condition.
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For “avoiders” with debilitating arachnophobia, leading a daily life free of fear is extremely challenging. They may have the experience of being crippled by their phobia.
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Additional Information

If you, or a loved one, are suffering from arachnophobia, you can find the appropriate steps needed, to deal with your condition. If, however, you have been tracking your progress, and find that it is difficult to do on your own, remember that a licensed psychologist can always help.

In case you have tried the steps provided here, but you have not been able to muster up the courage to use a real live spider, it would be recommended that you find an alternative, such as a toy spider. Although this may feel a bit silly at first, it is a good first step, before moving on to actual spiders.

How to cite this article: 

(Nov 30, 2015). How to Deal With Arachnophobia. Retrieved Feb 28, 2017 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/arachnophobia