Arachnophobia is when you have an extreme or irrational fear of spiders – this is one of the oldest and most common phobias – there have even been films made about this!
Don’t worry, there are no photos of REAL spiders in this post – only cartoons or empty webs.
A phobia can be caused by a particular experience or situation where you are faced with your fear. Due to this initial reaction – the second time you face your fear, you may experience the same irrational feelings of terror – if this forms a pattern it is a phobia.
The key to getting over or overcoming a phobia is to face it, otherwise it may get worse over time. People usually deal with phobias by avoiding them but this can prevent you from doing certain activities which you may want to do and from living your life in general.
One of the best treatments for phobias is exposure therapy, which you can easily do yourself through self-help.
Self-Help for Arachnophobia (Fear of Spiders)
Facing your fear of spiders is key to conquering it.
You can help yourself through exposure therapy – but make sure to begin with something you can cope with/handle – exposure therapy may not work if you start with something too scary.
Follow my step-by-step approach for arachnophobia below:
- Step 1: Look at some pictures of spiders – start off slow and remind yourself that you are safe. It can also help to do something to distract yourself from the spiders or to soothe you – such as listening to relaxing music.
- Step 2: Look up information about spiders – they are actually more scared of you than you are of them! Knowing more about them, their habits, where they like to live etc, can help you to understand them and hopefully get over your fear.
- Step 3: Watch some videos of spiders – remind yourself that you are safe.
- Step 4: Visit a pet store or the zoo and look at some spiders – you are completely safe here, they’re behind glass or in tanks – they can’t get to you – just relax and breathe.
- Step 5: The next time you come across a spider in your house – remember to relax and breathe and leave the room if you feel uncomfortable. OR if possible and also if you feel comfortable enough doing so, get a glass and a sheet of paper – put the glass over the spider, wait until it crawls into the glass – RELAX. The spider is inside the glass – it can’t get to you – relax and breathe. Slide the sheet over the glass, take the spider outside and release it. I feel extremely guilty when I kill a spider (probably because they are defenseless against you) and I feel proud when I release one outside – so feel proud – don’t be scared, you have done a good thing.
If these steps don’t work for you, or if they are not specific enough for you, make your own step-by-step approach – if you need any help, please feel free to leave a comment below.