Our home is always being visited by insects, especially by spiders, but not many people like them, in fact, they are even afraid of them.
According to a UK study, involving 261 adults, 32% of women and 18% of men felt uncomfortable, nervous, or frightened when seeing a spider, either real or an image.
This fear of spiders, Arachnophobia, incited scientists to determine the real reason for its occurrence, but there have been given several explanations.
One of the explanations of scientists is that this fear results from evolutionary selection, meaning it is an evolutionary response because in the past spiders, especially the venomous ones, have always been linked to the occurrence of infections and diseases. Therefore, people when seeing a spider have a “disgust response”.
There is also a “spider trauma” analyzed by the University of Maastricht in their study that refers to a scary event involving spider and that triggers in a particular person fear of arachnids. This event could have happen in the childhood, but still remained in the adulthood and although forgotten it always triggers the feeling of fear of spiders.
However, according to Tim Sexton, Manager at the Attenborough Nature Centre in Nottingham, England, spider phobia is completely unfounded, believing that this fear is passed from the parents to their children. Sexton maintains that this fear has been learned at an early age and remains throughout our life.
“We see our parents being scared about spiders and it’s something we learn from them.”
This finding is partly backed up by Alan Manevitz, MD, clinical psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He agrees with this finding of Sexton, but adds that this fear could come from direct experience, science, biology, or TV, where we gain the knowledge that they can be poisonous and thus being afraid of their bite.
Dr. Manevitz states:
“Therefore, when we see a spider near us, a natural response is to feel fear and avoid the spider.”
In addition to this, he states that arachnophobia is one of the most common phobias in the states. But, spiders are everywhere, and can appear anytime, and this contributes to a feeling of constant tension and stress.
Due to this fear of spiders, many people miss out all those wonderful travels in foreign countries, walks in nature, holidays, and any other outside activity. This fear should not limit you in your life as spiders are just a part of nature. If you are afraid of them, always remember this fact, there are 63,000 species of spiders in the world, but only 2% of them can be threatening to you.
You need to change the attitude towards these insects, and Sexton emphasizes the importance of spiders in nature and their wonderful role in our world, being “nature’s very own pest control service.”
Sexton says that we should try to appreciate their existence on this planet and try to look at them as our pets or as someone that has come to visit our home.
He advises the following:
“They could be a nice pet for you, so give it a name, learn to love it and enjoy watching it in your home.”