Fear Of Spiders(Arachnophobia): Characteristics, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

The fear of spiders or arachnophobia is related to the fear that people feel of spiders, sometimes this fear becomes an uncontrollable and irrational feeling of spiders. Although it is one of the most common zoophobias ( animal phobias ) in the West, it is rarer in other parts of the world.


  • A member of the phobic family, arachnophobia is a psychological disorder characterized by an irrepressible fear of spiders.
  • This fear can be more or less intense depending on the individual.
  • It can only be triggered near a spider, but many spiders are also very concerned about spider images, sometimes to the point of having to suddenly leave a movie theater if a spider appears on the screen, for example.
  • They may also be scared beforehand and spend long minutes checking under each piece of furniture that no spiders have entered their home, before they can relax.


The main symptom of arachnophobia is the appearance of serious anguish in the presence of a spider and / or in its evocation, which can manifest itself in different ways:

  • Screams.
  • Uncontrollable crying.
  • Feeling of paralysis (or, conversely, impulsive flight as far as possible from the spider),
  • Tachycardia.
  • Discomfort or even fainting in some cases.

Another classic sign of spider-phobia is avoidance maneuvers to minimize the risk of encountering a spider.

  • An arachnophobic can refuse many invitations (barbecue, stay in the country), except in winter, since this season is not very favorable for spiders.

You may also be interested in reading: Fear of being alone


  • Arachnophobia is sometimes related to childhood trauma, such as a painful spider bite, but it is far from systematic.
  • Today, the exact causes of arachnophobia remain quite mysterious and are the subject of various theories.
  • One of the most common links between fear of spiders and a cultural phenomenon.
  • In the Middle Ages, spiders were considered (wrongly) as vectors of the Black Death in the West.
  • This fear could have remained anchored in society and would have been further reinforced by the often negative image of spiders conveyed by books and numerous films (Arachnophobia or the giant spider in The Lord of the Rings).
  • This would also explain why arachnophobia is so rare in Africa and Asia, where the spider is perceived more positively.


  • Arachnophobia can be difficult to experience on a daily basis, but there are solutions such as cognitive-behavioral therapies, which are generally effective in gradually tame fear.
  • Hypnosis is also a possible option to calm the phobia of spiders.

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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.

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