Arachnophobia:Anxiety caused in the presence of spiders

Ola Rembiszewska, In-Depth Editor

   Arachnophobia, otherwise known as the fear of spiders, is a fairly common phobia that, depending on the severity, may greatly impact the way a person lives. According to, a discussion website on mental health, one in twenty people in the U.S. experience this fear with women being more likely opposed to men. Though many people may dislike spiders, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have arachnophobia. 

       People with this fear may avoid camping trips, a walk in the woods or warm countries which are more abundant with spiders. According to, a website that focuses on mental health, when faced with a spider, a person with this phobia may react in two different ways. One way may be screaming and running out of the room, and another reaction may be calling someone over to get rid of the spider for you. 

          Someone with this fear may feel lightheaded, sweat excessively, breathe rapidly and feel shaky when facing a spider. Though the cause of this abnormal fear hasn’t been determined, some experts from believe that it may be due to the cultural beliefs about the nature and behaviors of spiders. The way a spider looks with its unusual appearance of eight legs and many eyes and the way it walks  may be a factor in itself. 

   These fears may also be further lead on because of the way a spider may be depicted in a horror film.According to, the 1990 horror film ‘Arachnophobia’ may have been an accurate representation of why people are scared of these insects. The film depicts a bunch of spiders spreading from their nest and infesting a man’s home where they spread all over the wall, doors, tv, sink and basically the entire house.

     When overcoming your fear, it is important to note that only two percent of the world’s spiders are harmful. Like many phobias, arachnophobia is commonly treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy. What this treatment does is helps block out negative thoughts associated with the fear and switch them to be thoughts that are more realistic and reasonable. There are also many more methods available like cognitive reframing that tries to change the way you look at something so you no longer see it as harmful and systematic desensitization which is a practice of different kinds of relaxation techniques which later lead to the confrontation of that fear. There are many starting steps a person with arachnophobia can take to get better and more relaxed when in a situation where a spider is present.