The response to spiders shown by an Arachnophobic individual may seem irrational to others and often to the sufferer himself.
The origin of the word Arachnophobia is Greek, derived from the word ‘arachne’ which translates to spiders and 'phobos', means to dread or to fear. There is a Greek myth about a young woman named Arachne who challenged the Goddess Athena to a weaving contest. The end results with Arachne being turned into a spider by Athena.
The exact causes of Arachnophobia are different for different people:
- For some people, it is a learned response: they learn to fear spiders after having seen others being fearful.
- An imbalance in brain chemicals may be linked with Arachnophobia
- The fear of spiders can be a family or cultural trait: many people in Africa are known to fear large spiders whereas in South Africa, where they eat spiders, most are unafraid.
- Traumatic experience in the past involving spiders is another reason for Arachnophobia.
Many people see the fear of spiders as something innate. However, that can't be entirely true as we are only born with the fears of loud noises, Phonophobia, and the fear of falling, Basiphobia . However, there is evidence that the fear could also be part of evolutionary selection. Scientists have researched how the fear of spiders has evolved throughout history and from ancient times spiders have been linked to disease and infection. Some ancient cultures even blamed spiders for the bubonic plague! So, even though spiders do a lot of good for humans by eating vast quantities harmful insects, they have been seen unfairly as the bad guy for thousands of years.
Scientists who have studied this fear of spiders explain it to be a result of evolutionary selection. This means that Arachnophobia is an evolutionary response, since spiders, especially the venomous ones, have always been associated with infections and disease. Hence, the fear of spiders triggers a “disgust response” in many individuals.
A study conducted in the UK on 261 adults showed that nearly 32% women and 18% men in the group felt anxious, nervous or extremely frightened when confronted with a spider (real or images).
Initial symptoms of Arachnophobia or the fear of spiders may appear in one’s childhood or adolescence. However, following a traumatic episode, some or all of the following symptoms may be present at all ages when the sufferer is confronted with the object of the phobia, in this case, a spider.
Symptoms can include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Hot or cold flashes
- Chest pain
- Feeling of choking
- Inability to distinguish between reality and unreality
- Trembling and/or sweating
- Thoughts of death
- Nausea or other gastrointestinal distress
In some Arachnophobic individuals, these symptoms may be triggered merely by anticipating contact with a spider. Even the sight or mention of cobwebs can trigger such a response.
Why You Should Get Help:
Why See The Phobia Guru For Treatment:
Hypnotherapy is so effective with phobias because it tackles the underlying trigger of the phobia within the subconscious. Once a person has access to their subconscious they can eliminate their conditioned response to the stimulus. So instead of treating just the symptoms, hypnotherapy can heal the source for a lasting result. The best part about hypnotherapy and phobias is that often it only takes one session to completely get over the phobia, so you do not have to spend a lot of money on continual treatment. The NHS also promotes hypnotherapy as an effective treatment for phobias.
For spider fears, I help run an incredibly powerful and effective group therapy workshop called 'The Spider Courage Experience.' We have had 100% success rate so far and have been featured on ITV. The group therapy aspect makes this treatment even more effective and better yet, really fun! To find out more, go to www.spidercourage.com and book your place today. No need to waste anymore time being afraid of spiders!
Spider Phobia Workshop
This is a 4 hour workshop where you'll experience a combination of education, three therapeutic techniques and the ability to test that your phobia has gone by holding a tarantula and capture and releasing a house spider. This course is a collaboration between Adam Cox and Creature Courage and has a 100% success rate. The workshops takes place in London and the Chessington World of Adventures theme park. Once you've purchased your ticket we'll email you details. You can use the voucher for any location and is valid for 12 months. You can also transfer to a family member or friend if you'd like them to be free of their fear.