Phobias are incredibly common throughout the world ranging from the fear of clowns to the fear of spiders, or, arachnophobia. Although the majority of people believe that a phobia is a fear – this is not the case. When an individual is suffering from a phobia they will experience symptoms much like an anxiety attack and these symptoms can bring forth an ample amount of physical risks. In terms of arachnophobia, a person experiences an incredibly immense amount of fear in the presence of a spider or even after hearing about an encounter with a spider.
Facts About Arachnophobia
1. Hypnotherapy is another incredibly common method of treatment for individuals suffering from arachnophobia.
2. In order to be diagnosed with a severe phobia, it must interfere with your daily life and prevent you from being able to perform daily tasks normally.
3. Many people with arachnophobia will enter a room and immediately search it to see if there are any spiders. If there happens to be a spider, they will monitor it closely as it maneuvers throughout the room.
4. Arachnophobia dates back thousands of years as many ancient civilizations viewed them as a contamination of water and food, therefore a severe fear developed.
5. There were some civilizations that believed spiders were the sole cause of the Bubonic Plague.
6. A phobia is mostly developed from a trauma or frightening experience that occurred during early childhood.
7. Virtual reality is commonly used to help treat phobias as psychiatrists will use VR glasses and VR gloves to simulate the idea of a spider crawling on a patient until they are able to overcome their phobia.
The Prevalence of Arachnophobia
Arachnophobia is known to be one of the top 10 worst phobias in the world, to be accurate it is the third worst phobia that people around the world suffer from. Over 30.5% of the entire population of the United States suffers from this intense fear, behind necrophobia (the fear of death) and glossophobia (the fear of public speaking). With that being said, dealing with a phobia can be an incredibly difficult venture but approximately 2% of the people suffering from this phobia seek assistance from a mental health professional.
There are many different levels of severity associated with arachnophobia. The majority of people who suffer from arachnophobia do not have an incredibly severe issue with spiders, though approximately 3.5% to 6.1% of the world’s population suffers from the worst level of arachnophobia.
The Reality of Dangerous Spiders
Many people who do not suffer from arachnophobia do not understand the difficulties associated with this disorder. The reason being that they are able to comprehend that even though there are a significant amount of spider species in the world, an incredibly small amount of them pose a serious threat to the general population. There are over 63,000 species of spiders in the world but a mere 2% of them are actually dangerous and harmful to humans. In many countries it is extremely rare for dangerous species to even exist.
Venomous Spiders and Danger to Humans
As previously mentioned, there are a significantly low amount of spiders in the world that are actually dangerous to humans. It is important to note that this does not reflect the amount of spiders in the world that are venomous. 99.9% of the spiders in North America are venomous but an incredibly small amount of them pose a real threat to humans. The three most common species of venomous spiders are:
1. Brown Recluse
2. Black Widow
3. Hobo Spider
How Arachnophobia is Treated
Unlike the vast majority of mental disorders that can easily be diagnosed through a series of tests, there isn’t a specific set of guidelines or tests that an individual can go through to know if they have arachnophobia. It is commonly known that the majority of people who deal with a small amount of issues associated with their phobia rarely seek medical treatment; sometimes your phobia can become overwhelming. Once you begin to notice that your fear is interfering with your everyday lifestyle, such as a fear of going outside or being unable to sleep at night, it is advised that you seek counseling or treatment from a mental health professional. For people who have severe symptoms associated with their arachnophobia, they may receive behavioral therapy sessions and anti-anxiety medications to help them get over their phobia.
You may encounter a situation in your life where you will want to attempt to get rid of your phobia of spiders on your own. This is an incredibly difficult thing to do as the majority of people wouldn’t be able to face their “fears” due to the severe physical detriments associated with a phobia. There have been cases of therapists self-curing their own phobias by participating in immersion therapy. With that being said, less than 10% of the people suffering from arachnophobia are able to find a personal remedy for their phobia.