Is an ant afraid of people
I'm not going to the cellar!
The manifestations of arachnophobia are very different. Some people just get their heart racing when they see a spider and for heaven's sake don't want to touch it at all.
Others are so afraid that it will limit their quality of life. You no longer go into the basement, avoid the balcony, the garage, the garden - after all, a spider could be lurking anywhere. "There are people who first check every room they enter for spiders," says Krämer.
Whether a spider phobia should be treated depends on two criteria: How severely are those affected thereby restricted in everyday life? And how much do they suffer from their fear?
The fear of spiders can be defeated
Anyone who decides to seek help has great chances of being able to free themselves from panic. "Exposure therapy is a very successful method; usually just a few sessions are enough to help those affected," says Krämer.
Initially, they talk about the spider, the therapist looks at pictures and films with the phobic. Then the spatial approach to the spider begins. Until the fearful one dares to touch the animal. Although this is not always necessary.
"At the beginning of the therapy, the patient's goal is clarified," says Krämer. "Does he really want to be able to touch a spider or is it enough for him to be able to sit relaxed in a room with a spider running along the wall?"
Anxiety disorders increase with age
If a person with arachnophobia sees a spider, he will panic. The pulse accelerates, the heart is racing, the hands are drenched in sweat. Many then think they are freaking out or having a heart attack.
"We show that you can bear the fear and nothing happens, nobody goes crazy, nobody gets a heart attack. If you do that for a while, you can clearly see how the panic curve goes down again," says Krämer.
In Germany around five percent of people suffer from arachnophobia, including significantly more women than men. Many of them do not even know that there is a simple and quickly effective therapy for this fear.
At the latest when someone feels affected by the phobia, they should seek help. Because such anxiety disorders are chronic - that is, they get worse and worse as you get older.
In addition: Anyone who suffers from an anxiety disorder risks developing further anxiety disorders, as the fear can shift to other situations.
Conscious handling is the best prevention
Parents are particularly important to ensure that arachnophobia does not develop in the first place. They should teach their children that spiders are part of nature and not dangerous.
"It is important that parents do not set an example of avoidance, they should not panic in front of the children and deal confidently with the situation and the spider," says psychotherapist Krämer.
It helps to deal intensively with the spider, to get information about these animals and maybe even to look for them together in the grass. Such a natural, conscious approach is the best preventive measure.
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