Free Christina Petrellis Essay Example
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This paper will be a discussion of the phobia known as arachnophobia, which is the extreme and irrational fear of spiders and other arachnids like scorpions. A phobia is different from a regular fear because the thought of it can continually bother the sufferer so that the fear itself is a bigger problem than the risk from the thing they are afraid of. An arachnophobic person is terrified of spiders even when there are no spiders anywhere nearby.
It is normal to be a little scared of a spider. It would be unusual to like the idea of having one crawling on you. One who suffers with a phobia of spiders, however, has a much more intense reaction which verges on panic at the thought. Physical symptoms can occur, which include sweating, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, and feeling nauseous. People may scream, cry or refuse to enter any place they feel may have spiders present. Millions of people around the world suffer from arachnophobia. It is one of the ten most common phobias that occur, afflicting between 3.5 and 6 percent of the population. Half of all women and a quarter of men in the United States are experiencing it to some degree.
The reason why people suffer from this and other phobias remains unclear to psychologists. One theory, held in evolutionary psychology, is that the phobia could be an exaggerated form of an instinctive response, which kept early people safe and helped them to survive. The good news is that arachnophobia can be treated by any of the general therapies used. Exposure therapy involves repeated attempts to put the afraid person in the same area where a spider is or they believe one could be. The attempts are longer as therapy continues, based on the person’s increasing tolerance to the exposure without having a panic attack induced. This is also called systematic desensitization.
Relaxation techniques can be taught which help to keep a patient calm. Medications can also be useful, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), beta blockers and sedatives. Hypnosis has shown to be effective in treating phobias. Group therapy can be beneficial, often in the style of cognitive behavioral therapy. The group setting allows patients to confront their fears. New and developing technologies have made possible the use of computers applications, games and virtual reality simulations for the exposure therapy as well.
Arachnophobia sufferers generally develop their fears early in life. New research even suggests that we may be born with the fear of spiders, to help our survival outdoors. The goal of therapy is not to eliminate the fear completely, but rather to make it more manageable. The hope is that the person will have a reasonable, rather than extreme response to their fear, so that they no longer suffer from panic but can effectively react to a situation when they need to.
On the entire planet, there are only seven kinds of spiders that could be labelled as dangerous to people. Spiders are not aggressive usually, but bite when threatened as their defense. Actually, spiders cannot eat solid food, and they need for anything they eat to be in a liquid state first. This is the kind of information we can share with the arachnophobia sufferer to help them conquer their fears. Unfortunately, most of the people with arachnophobia do not seek treatment. This may be because they can deal with it on their own, or from social stigmas. Some well-known celebrities including Justin Timberlake and Emma Stone have been said to have arachnophobia.
Success rates of overcoming arachnophobia with treatment are above ninety percent. It is treatable, just like most other mental health issues. Phobias are the most common mental health issue in our nation toady.
“Arachnophobia”. Retrieved from http://www.mentallyhealthy.co.uk/anxiety/phobias/arachnophobia.html Mar.2 2015
“Arachnophobia Facts and Statistics” (Nov. 2 2008) Retrieved from http://www.ofear.com/t- arachnophobia-facts-statistics Mar.2 2015
“Arachnophobia” Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arachnophobia Mar 2 2015
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