Suffering With Arachnophobia

For the most part, I’m quite brave when it comes to animals. I’ve held a bird of prey, allowed a snake to be wrapped around my shoulders and even stroked a crocodile. I’m a lover of most animals… well… most…. The truth is, I can’t stand spiders or many other creepy crawlies for that matter. It’s currently my least favourite part of the year where they seem to grow in numbers and start invading the house; The start of Autumn must be spider mating season or something.

I think because I’m so afraid of spiders I have developed a sense that allows me to spot them more easily. If I do see a spider in the room I’ll either freeze on the spot or run away to get help. If the spider isn’t removed successfully then I’ll have to re-locate to another part of the house and will not be able to use that room again for quite some time. There was a spider in the living room a couple of weeks ago and I still have to thoroughly search the area before I’m willing to sit down in there. In my own room I don’t like leaving the door or window open – even when it’s really hot and stuffy – as I feel this lessens the chance of anything crawling in. I have silly rituals, like before I go to bed I have to check under the pillows.

Arachnophobia isn’t always taken very seriously. I remember at school the boys would play pranks; one time they even threw a real spider at a group of girls. I tried to act cool so as not to draw attention to my own phobia. Some people try to reassure me by telling me that they can’t really hurt me, but it just leaves me feeling worse like I’m being silly; A phobia is after all, considered to be an irrational fear of something. While a spider may not be able to physically hurt me, the truth is that seeing one still bothers me on a psychological level. If there is a spider nearby I can’t concentrate and will just stare at it in full alertness in case it starts to make a move. My skin starts to itch and I end up slapping or scratching at it. My sleep tends to suffer too and sometimes I even have nightmares.

I’ve always had arachnophobia and I’m not even sure why. In some parts of the world spiders can be poisonous and so I wonder if it is an instinctual feeling that has gone on overdrive. It’s actually a bit of a nightmare to live with because while other fears – like heights – are more easily avoidable it’s pretty difficult to stop spiders from entering your house. At times it can prevent me from getting things done; if a spider has put a web across the back door then there’s no way I’m leaving the house that way. I don’t much enjoy being in the garden anyway as it feels like the domain of the spiders.

I know that I could probably try and fix my phobia through exposure, but even the idea of that freaks me out too much. Most people have a fear of something and this is just mine. I guess I just have to grit my teeth until the season ends.

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About wallcat

I have a strong passion for computing. In particular programming for which I am able to use a variety of languages including C++, Visual C#, Blitz Basic, Actionscript 2.0, Python and Lua. I also enjoy web-design and have some knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP/SQL and Javascript. As well as programming I have a strong background in art and enjoy drawing in my spare time. When I’m not sat at my computer I like to keep fit by going to the gym or using my exercise ball.

3 responses to “Suffering With Arachnophobia”

  1. Pasduil says :

    I hear phobias can be treated very effectively with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

    Spiders is far from the strangest or “silliest” one I’ve come across. I know someone who’s afraid of bananas, and there was a fascinating show about a man who was afraid of baked beans.

    • wallcat says :

      Yeah, it is one of the more common phobias. I still feel a little silly though every time I have to grab someone and plead for them to remove a spider from the room, lol. I’ve come across strange phobias too, like a fear of buttons or knee-caps; makes you wonder what starts them

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