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What to do when someone you know is arachnophobic

What to do when someone you know is arachnophobic

Few people like spiders and can resist the urge to kill them or remove them upon sight, but there is a huge difference between not liking an insect and being downright terrified of it. Fear of spiders, or arachnophobia, is one of the most common phobias, and, sometimes, it can prevent people from enjoying their life. If someone you know experiences a state of extreme anxiety and fear when simply hearing that there’s a spider around, then he or she is most likely arachnophobic and you need to be as supportive as possible and help them cope with this issue. Of course, long term help can only be obtained by joining arachnophobia courses London, but there are also a few things that you can do as a friend to make them feel better.




Understand what they’re going through


If you’re not afraid of spiders yourself, then your friend’s behaviour around spiders may seem like an overreaction. It’s not. Phobias are more than just simple fears, usually caused by childhood traumatic events, and they cause unpleasant symptoms such as panic attacks, anxiety, cold sweats and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can be so severe that sometimes people even isolate themselves to avoid the thing that makes them so terrified. So, if your friend doesn’t want to go with you on a picnic for fear of seeing a spider, he or she is not just looking for attention; they genuinely have a phobia and you should understand that.

Don’t make fun of them or force them to face their fear


One of the biggest mistake than you can make when someone you know has spider phobia is take this too lightly and make fun of them. That will not make their problem go away; in fact, they will feel all the more uncomfortable and anxious. Also, remember that phobias have deep psychological causes and you can’t just “cure” your friend by forcing them to face their fears. This should be done systematically, with professional help. It’s definitely not a good idea to surprise your friend with a tarantula one day and insist that they touch it!

Encourage them to go to arachnophobia courses


Living with phobias can be paralysing and stressful. It can prevent your friend from enjoying life and cause all sorts of social and personal issues, so it pays off to seek professional help. There are many clinics that offer counselling and therapy for various phobias and they take place in a safe environment, under professional supervision.