Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders and other arachnids. It is one of the most common fears in the world, and it is unclear why. It is debated on whether it is an evolutionary fear, a cultural fear, or a learned one. But it is a fear that can be lessened or removed with time, willingness, and patience.
The most popular treatment is desensitization. This should be done gradually so as to not stress yourself out and strengthen the fear.
- Start slowly. Begin by researching spiders. Remember to make sure your research source is reliable. A lot of yoo-hoos post a lot of false information on the internet about how terrible spiders are. Go to well-known and recommended websites and even look for books in the library. Yes, libraries still exist. Figure out which ones are harmful and which ones aren’t.
- Now, start looking at pictures online of less intimidating-looking spiders, such as little jumping spiders. Some even find jumping spiders to be cute, with expressive eyes and furry little bodies.
- To further desensitize without direct contact with spiders is to watch videos. People post videos of themselves handling or feeding jumping spiders and of orb weavers making their webs. Watching these videos of them making their webs can be intriguing and educational. Documentaries are the best, because it mixes exposure and education.
- Once you’re ready, expose yourself to real spiders. I’m sure you might find some in your yard or around your house. Just observe from a distance, or go visit a tarantula in a pet store. You’ll find that they don’t do much but sit around.
- Optional step: you may want to take it a step further and hold a spider. Make sure the spider is not harmful. All orb weavers, jumping spiders, and daddy long-legs (cellar spiders) are harmless and are all very common. Make sure to do your research ahead of time. At this point you should be very proud of yourself, as you’ve successfully gotten over your fear.
Remember that this should be done gradually, not all at once. It can take people weeks, months, even years to get over a major phobia. Don’t rush yourself, and don’t get frustrated or upset.
Other devices that can be used to overcome this fear include:
- Simply thinking about spiders. Put yourself in this situation: Spiders live on every continent except Antarctica. They are everywhere. You would have had more bad experiences with them if they are so terrible, don’t you think?
- Remember that spiders are beneficial. We would be wading through swarms of mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and other pests on a daily basis if it weren’t for our friendly neighborhood spiders.
- Realize that spiders don’t attack people on purpose. If you’ve been bitten, you’ve probably either threatened the spider or its eggs, or it got caught up in your clothing or got pinched by you and was simply struggling to find a way out. We are not the spiders’ prey, so they don’t have any reason to want to bite us.
- As silly as it sounds, get spider toys and fake spiders. Leave them in obvious places. You’ll know they’re not real and they can’t harm you, and your brain will form an association with the shape of them.
- Look up how to identify the harmful spiders. Once you learn which ones to avoid, you’ll have an idea of the safe ones to be around. This also makes you stop to examine the spiders you’re looking at.
- When you see a spider, don’t run or smash it. Just stand back and watch it until you don’t feel afraid anymore.
- When you see a spider in your house, catch it in a cup and examine it. Try looking online for an identification for it (or ask me). Give it a name if you want. You can then safely set it free away from your house.
- On the extreme end of the spectrum, you could keep a spider as a pet. Large jumping spiders make good pets, and tarantulas are incredibly practical. Feeding your pet and watching it grow helps you develop a bond with this spider. Once you associate this love and care for a single spider, your compassion will radiate to all spiders. Humans have natural compassion.
- Be patient. You can’t get rid of a fear overnight, and sometimes you can’t get rid of it completely. That is okay. Just accept the fact that as humans, we have to coexist with spiders on a daily basis and without them, life would probably suck.
I wish you the best of luck. Remember, spiders are our friends!
Happy hunting, spiderlings!
Your Noble Spider Night, Sir P. Audax.
This is my personal favorite educational link to show people: http://www.burkemuseum.org/spidermyth/
Mabel and Dipper Goes to Silent Hill…. (C) Daryl Toh Liem Zhan 2012.
The twins’ darkest mystery begins when Grunkle Stan takes a detour from the highway after their close escape from the cops. Halfway through the unfamiliar path, their car broke down and they found themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere.
That is until Mabel found a sign that says ‘Welcome to Silent Hill’. Hoping to find some gas, Grunkle Stan left the twins in the car but hours passed and he never came back. The twins decided to walk into the fog covered town and look for him… but what they found is a town full of darker secrets than the one they’ve left behind in Oregon.
This is what happens when I’m listening to Silent Hill soundtracks while looking at Gravity Falls fan art.