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Arachnophobia: Uncontrollable fear of spiders

Don’t worry. There are no pictures of spiders in this post.

I can never understand why posts showing you how to get rid of spiders always have pictures of terrifying ones. We all know what spiders look like and if we’re searching how to get rid, chances are we don’t love them!

Anyone thinking of writing an article, do NOT include pictures.

This is something that is actually really personal, but I know some others will relate and need to know that they’re not crazy, or at least not alone.

I’m going to attempt to explain my fear, but not sure words are enough. Many people are afraid of spiders, it’s one of the most common fears in Europe. However, I do not have a general fear of these creatures, I have a full on, panic attack inducing phobia.

Some of the things that happen when I come across a spider:

Panic attack

Sweating

Shaking

Freezing on the spot

Crying

Screaming

Jumping around like an idiot

Acting like a bitch (shouting for help and bossing my lovely spider catchers about)

I’m sure there are more, and people will have different symptoms. Either way, I think you’re at the point of being able (able, like its desirable) to call yourself an arachnophobe when you have the above symptoms, you’re letting it affect your life,  and you’re thinking about it and anxious when it’s not present.

I will absolutely not go to certain places due to spiders. Australia is out!

If I see a spider, I kill it on sight, and can’t even fathom keeping it alive and getting it outside. Impossible! And I’m sorry to spider lovers, but I really cannot express how much I wish I could let them run free.

I check my bed every single night.

I look around in rooms to make sure they’re ‘safe’.

I often (especially if a spider is lost in the house) shake out my clothes.

I check my shoes before putting them on.

My main motivation for cleaning and tidying is to minimise the risk of seeing one.

I’m sure you’re starting to get the picture. I come across as pretty normal most of the time, but this is not normal behaviour. It is irrational. And when it’s irrational, that’s when it becomes a phobia.

There are loads of tips online but anyone with a fear as bad as mine wouldn’t be able to try them. I can’t spray spiders, or pick them up to put them outside no matter how large the cup/bucket is, there are mixed opinions on natural products like peppermint oil. Also, the posts to help have pictures!

I go through stages, but lately my anxiety has increased. I have come across some large spiders in my house and it only seems to be while I’m home alone! They’re out to get me!

I’m dreading the weekend as I’ll be on my own! I have things to do tonight, but can’t do them as I can’t relax or get into a mindset to tackle any tasks as the last one I started resulted in spider number 2 of the night!

My house isn’t very cluttered or messy. It’s warm though so probably a nice little home for them.

I’d love to give tips on how to get rid of them, but unfortunately that’s not possible. They will always be creeping around. Instead, I want to try to find a way to conquer my phobia. I have been reading about working my way up from pictures to small spiders to large ones and am going to try. I only seem to get the giants though!

I have improved so much this week. I currently have one under a cup. I found it inside and am surprised I didn’t smash the cup! I believe that’s fight or flight as it drove me mad for a week when I lost the last one. I would never normally be able to do that.

I’m really tired. I daren’t go to bed as have already seen 2 tonight and don’t trust there not to be a third. Also, one of them is alive under a cup and I don’t trust my boyfriend not to come in late and lose it!

I am currently sat with feet firmly up on sofa, eyes darting around the room. This has and can go on for many hours.

Here are some things that are not helpful to sufferers:

1. It’s more scared of you than you are of it.
Yeah, I don’t think so!

2. It’s gone now.
Nope, it’s in the house waiting to creep around again.

3. You’re being stupid. It’s just a spider.
I know it’s just a spider! I didn’t choose the wuss life, the wuss life chose me.

4. Just pick one up and you’ll get over it.
Are you actually insane?!

5. They eat insects. Imagine how many there’d be otherwise.
I can kill those myself thank you!

I have described it as being like a mental condition, as the anxiety actually hinders my life daily. It gets laughed at! But it really is conditioning that gets it to this point. I believe when it’s this bad, it is learned and conditioned behaviour. Why is it we deal with and discuss other conditions of the mind, but phobias are laughable?

Has anyone tried to fob you off and act like you’re just being silly? Someone actually asked if I say it to be a cute, silly girl. I wish you could see my face right now!

Anyone else out there have a life absorbing phobia? Anybody managed to get help or get rid of the phobia?

Help me out, keep me awake!

P.s. Let’s try and keep any comments a spider story free zone. I need to try and sleep at some point!

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21 Comments

  • Reply allirae21

    I am so right there with you! I check my shoes too.

    16 September 2015 at 01:45
    • Reply Tea Is For Tina

      It’s horrible isn’t it. I can never quite explain to people how bad it is x

      16 September 2015 at 06:13
      • Reply winonadinampo

        I can’t relate because as I’ve said in my post I don’t have any particular phobia, but as I’ve read your case I feel for you it’s seems quite hard living like that, in constant fear of the … u know what I mean. did you try to consult some experts on phobia? maybe they can help you. that’s all.

        16 September 2015 at 15:18
        • Reply Tea Is For Tina

          Thank you for understanding. I am at that point now where I do feel I should get in touch with somebody. However, the main suggestion seems to be to try to unlearn the phobia, which can be started at home. I think I’ll try at home and then get an expert if it doesn’t help x

          16 September 2015 at 15:21
          • winonadinampo

            yup, you can do that first and maybe you can overcome it one step at a time.

            16 September 2015 at 15:23
          • Tea Is For Tina

            Hopefully. I’m feeling positive…until my next encounter! 🙂

            16 September 2015 at 15:24
  • Reply Lizi's Life

    I feel your pain for I too have an uncontrollable fear of spiders. I can do none of what people say you should do to get rid of them. One person told me brush them into a sweeping brush and take the brush outside…hell no, that means I have to get way to close.
    I remember a time, as a teenager, spotting a massive (we’re talking mega huge) on the wall in the living room. I sat in the kitchen staring for 2 hours at it until my gran came home to catch it. My theory, if I can see it, it can’t get me!

    16 September 2015 at 06:12
    • Reply Tea Is For Tina

      Ha yes! That’s what I always did. I hate when people say get glass and paper as if it’s that simple. To get them by myself it’s always a Hoover if I can.
      However, I have taken a huge step as couldn’t handle it if I lost them and managed to get closer and kill one. But I can’t even move its body!
      Because I saw 2 last night, I just dreamt of them too! Ahh! X

      16 September 2015 at 06:17
  • Reply Phobia, Schmobia – I wish! | Tea is for Tina

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    16 September 2015 at 14:51
  • Reply angloswiss

    oh, sorry, too late, you have already seen my photo of my spider, I have 200 other photos, but I will not be uploading them on my blog – yet. Since I sort of overcame my fear of them, I don’t worry so much. What I hate are fly babies and other insect babies – they make me squirm.

    16 September 2015 at 15:24
    • Reply Tea Is For Tina

      Haha! I’ll forgive this one. To be honest, I’m kind of okay with pictures after the initial shock. It might even help a bit to appreciate their beauty (assuming they have some!). Oh yes, I’m not a fan of anything like that really. But I’m a little braver with those.

      16 September 2015 at 15:28
  • Reply Cheeks

    I’m totally with you, this is one of my biggest, crippling fears. Killing spiders is a no-no for me though, the idea of them being squished is so scary! Thankfully I don’t have as many problems now that I live in my current apartment, but when I had a tiny room filled with furniture back at my family home, it was a nightmare. I never felt safe with spiders creeping and preying in all the tiny spaces behind the furniture that wasn’t touching the walls. I do have a story that scarred me for life pretty much, but I’m going to spare you here 😀 Don’t think I’ll ever get over this phobia.

    16 September 2015 at 21:05
    • Reply Tea Is For Tina

      Oh no. Even though it’s comforting, I hate the fact that someone goes through the same thing.
      Ha thanks, don’t think I could have dealt with that tonight. Had an absolute freak out before bed!
      I hate squishing them too, but I can’t have them roaming around.
      I’ve never really had much of a problem with them in the past, this is my first ‘spider season’ in this flat and I have a feeling I’ll be looking elsewhere for next year!
      I’m determined to get better as it rules my life a bit. Have you tried anything to get past it? X

      16 September 2015 at 21:58
      • Reply Cheeks

        I really don’t understand why there has to be such a difference in how we perceive animals, like why do butterflies have to be universally beautiful, but spiders so terrifying to so many of us?
        Haha, I get paranoid every time after I think about that story. So it’s not like I love telling it anyway 😀
        I haven’t tried anything, at least nothing that would work. It’s one of those obstacles I just don’t know where to even start :O

        17 September 2015 at 07:58
        • Reply Tea Is For Tina

          I’m going to try building up from a tiny spider. I will learn to love it, pet it and play with it! Then…gradually, I will try to deal with bigger ones. Ha! We’ll see!
          I’m also going to try to work on anxiety related to it, that’s the worst part for me! We can do it!

          17 September 2015 at 09:55
  • Reply Laura Gabrielle Feasey

    Haha, it shouldn’t make me laugh, but as you know I’m just as bad, so I can only laugh! I also check my shoes, and my bed, and Australia just sounds like a nightmare… 😩

    1 February 2016 at 09:32
    • Reply Tea Is For Tina

      I understand! It’s insane! At least I accept that much…haha 🙂

      1 February 2016 at 13:39
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