Surveys conducted allowed sociologists to conclude that arachnophobia, or fear of spiders, affects about half of all women and about 20% of the male population. What is this disease? How and why does it appear? And is it possible to stop being afraid of spiders?
What is arachnophobia? Arachnophobia in literal translation from ancient Greek means fear of arthropods. The prevalence of this phobia is the reason why it was singled out in a separate category. The problem is so large that scientists are developing a number of methods to combat it.
People who suffer from this phobia are called arachnophobia. No matter how strange it may sound, there are arachnophobes among famous people, who for many are models for imitation. Among them, the actor, the hero of the Harry Potter film is Rupert Green. Also terribly afraid of spiders is the pet of all women, American actor Johnny Depp.
The 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, was also included in this list. And the phobia of the German poet Johann Friedrich von Schiller was so strong that only with one kind of spider the poet became ill.
If you compare a spider to a man, then the latter has much more advantages, ranging from the size and ending with methods of fighting arthropods. But still, from the realization of this, the number of arachnophobes does not become less.
What are the causes of this fear?
Scientists have been working on this issue for far not the first year and managed to put forward several assumptions about this.
The causes of arachnophobia lie in the fact that it is human nature to be afraid of everything that is outwardly different from it. And the depth of fear depends on how much the creature is different from the person. But spiders are absolutely different from people, and not only spiders. Then the question arises, why are people most afraid of spiders?
Another reason, according to scientists, in the characteristics of the animal itself. They can very suddenly appear near a person, which frightens incredibly, because the human ear can not catch such subtle sounds of their approach. In addition, it is almost impossible to foresee any intention or further route of movement of the animal. Able to frighten and the speed of its movement, given the small size of the body.
The development of arachnophobia could be facilitated by the danger of some species of spiders, which in fact can cause harm to health and life. Medical statistics indicate that from 1000 to 5000 people die every year from spider bites.
Children, in the process of their development, adopt many habits, including fears, those people who brought him up. That is, arachnophobia can occur without an obvious reason, only because the spiders were afraid of adults. At the same time, often children of young age find spiders very nice and funny creatures.
There are regions where spiders are not only not afraid, but also boldly consume. And this says that arachnophobia is a behavioral pattern, learned by the manner of behavior.
Is it possible to recover from arachnophobia?
A person experiencing a wild fear, numbness of the limbs, palpitations and other unpleasant sensations when seeing arthropods, dreams of getting rid of it.
Psychotherapists resort in this case to behavioral or behavioral therapy. This is one of the most modern methods that allows you to get rid of unwanted forms of behavior with a substitute for other, useful skills.
When working with arachnophobe, the specialist gradually brings the patient closer to the spider, but does this solely with the consent of the patient and very gradually. The effectiveness of this technique is proved by the fact that many former arachnophobes, after successful treatment, produce spiders as pets. This phenomenon is called hypercompensation of fear, that is, the patient does not just get rid of his fears, but also dominates him.
There are other methods to combat arachnophobia, but they do not have such a result, as behavioral therapy. For example, computer programs based on the constant approximation of a person to a picture of a spider. The effect of such treatment, of course, is, but it is much weaker than in case of contact with living representatives of arthropods.
Are spiders really so terrible?
Spiders never show aggression first, that is, they do not attack, but on the contrary – are protected. Yes, and to meet a venomous spider is not so easy, because almost all of them are listed in the Red Book. These include:
- Latrodectus tredecimguttatus;
- Brown recluse spider
- Latrodectus geometricus;
- Eresus kollari
They pose a danger to life and health, but only in cases when you do not know some details about them. If we talk about Mediterranean black widow, then the danger is presented only by females, which are several times larger than males. Tarantula bites, which can cause an allergic reaction, are not very pleasant, and a rather painful tumor forms on the site of the bite. However, to reduce the likelihood of negative consequences is quite easy it is enough to burn the place of the bite with a match. Eresus kollari bites are not very pleasant, but do not pose a danger to either life or health, unpleasant sensations at the bite site take place in 2-6 days.
The same can be said about the bites of the cross and dropsy – they are painful, but not dangerous.
From all that has been said above, it can be concluded that some species of spiders are actually a danger to human health, but in most cases their bites cause temporary inconveniences.
The number of really dangerous species is not very high, so it’s not every person who can face them in everyday life. Also, remember that the spider, even the most poisonous, does not attack first, so you have to deal with it calmly, without forcing it to defend itself.
Advice of specialists
Arachnophobia is considered one of the most common fears, and to be afraid of spiders, both women and men. But this ailment can be cured today, getting rid of fear forever. Only it is very important, that the help was rendered by the expert who will manage to pick up an individual technique of treatment for each patient.
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