You may have heard about the clock spider which is an Internet epidemic spread all over the world in 2003, when a community forum user uploaded 3 pictures taken in Australia majorly show about a giant hairy spider living behind the clock. The first picture shows that wall clocks with four scrawny and hairy legs while the second one is the zoom – out image of a giant, hairy and horrifying spider. The last one is truly nightmare for those who suffer from arachnophobia (fear of spiders or scorpions) when it shows that spider in a very close view.
From these pictures, thousands of memes and gifs are created about spiders and the fear of them. In fact, spiders are just as normal as humans with eight eyes, eight legs with skeletons to build up the bodies and fangs to penetrate skin to inject venom in order to immobilize preys. They are considered as an unspeakable fear of 50% women and another 10% of men who suffer from arachnophobia even though most of them are small, delicate and completely harmless creatures.
How to distinguish Arachnophobia and General Dislike
If you abhor spiders, that may not the case of arachnophobia. Arachnophobia refers to severe horror. Many people will jump and try as much as they can to get rid of the spider if those creatures happen to be on their skin. However, jumping off is not sufficient if you are suffering from arachnophobia.
There are several factors to determine whether you are suffering from arachnophobia or not:
- Persistent and Massive Horror
You may not just jump off the ground when you feel a creepy spider every once in a blue moon, however, you will try to climb on the nearest and furthest furniture from the approaching danger with the fastest speed you can. Both the presence and even only the apprehension of that hairy eight – legged creatures will drive you into the state of dreadful panic which will result in rapid pulse rate, sharp intake of breath, shaking, sweating and screaming and even worse faint. In some severe case, even the spider webs will trigger you as well.
- Immediate Scare Response
As far as you concern, a spider or a scorpion is near you, like on the wall next to you or under your chair is equally horrifying as it is on your skin. It means when you detect a spider or may just suspect that you may see one, your body will automatically response at once. Nonetheless, in a few cases, the appearance or anticipated presence of a spider will not always trigger the fear. Therefore it is distinguished as the difference between a situation with predisposed phobic response and a situationally bound.
- Avoidance of Spiders
You will try to avoid spiders at all cost, such as spending hours cleaning and weeping the floor where you happen to see a spider once or avoiding going to basement since you believe that you may see one there or sometimes even mention the name of the creature. Plus, your fear reaction must not simply indicate like jumping off the ground to get rid of it or just stay away from spider when it comes near you, it is something that is excessive and psychological burden like obsessive-compulsive disorder or panic disorder.
In order to get rid of arachnophobia you need a systematic desensitization, which is also called exposure therapy. In this treatment, the patient will be exposed to the object that they fear in a safe and controlled manner.
Before you start the treatment, you need to put yourself in a relaxed mode with relaxation practices, and by giving any negative beliefs and thought that may intensifying your fear. You need to control your breath, self – hypnosis and visualization schedule to help yourself calm and relaxed.
After that, you start your practices
- Try to imagine spiders image until you do not fear them anymore (This may requires massive effort and hardworking practices)
- Look at images of spiders until you do not fear them anymore (try with natural spiders photograph and increase the difficulties by the spooky level)
- Watch video of spiders until you do not fear them anymore (practice in the same ways with pictures)
- Look at the real spiders (harmless one and choose the one you feel the least scary to the scariest one)
- Interact with real spiders (again, harmless one) until you do not fear them anymore.
The key throughout these practices is the commitment. Start at the first step and practice until the fear has gone away. Keep going on even though how long it might take. It is important to remember that most of spiders are non – venomous and completely harmless so practicing these techniques will effectively help you overcome this fear.