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Posted By : NiceCupOfTea - 10/2/2017 7:24 AM
Hi. I don't normally post on this board, so you might not think I'm an anxious person but you'd be wrong. There is nothing under the sun I can't, and don't, worry about. Merely thinking of certain things - the future, the Tories, climate change, the destruction to the environment etc. etc. - is enough to induce a cold sense of dread.

However, I also have one specific phobia which is making my life miserable at the moment. I've been scared of spiders for as long as I can remember, but this year has been particularly bad. And it's particularly bad right now, because of autumn: the time of year that massive house spiders start entering your homes looking for an 8-legged mate.

I live in a country where they're not poisonous to humans - I've known since I was a small child that they can't physically harm me. It makes zero difference to the irrational fear I feel.

It's got to the point where it's affecting my sleep because I can't stop worrying about seeing a spider in my bedroom. Sometimes I think I see one for a split second, then realise it's a trick of the light or is something else. In a half-asleep state I sometimes think I see a spider on my headboard. Last night I had trouble fulling asleep because I couldn't stop thinking about spiders; the night before that I had bad dreams about them and woke up with a feeling of dread which lasted most of the day.

It's ridiculous! It will get better in a few weeks, as autumn turns into winter, but in the meantime I can't carry on like this every summer and autumn.

Has anyone successfully cured severe arachnophobia by themselves? If I could afford it, I'd gladly seek out therapy, but I can't. Or do I just resign myself to buying spider repellent sprays, spraying them everywhere, and hoping that they work?

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 10/2/2017 9:42 AM
Hi NCOT and welcome to the A/P!

I am sorry that you are dealing with this fear currently. I can relate to some degree...and in fact just did battle with a beastie in my bathroom last night!! Gaaahhh! I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that the hubs was already asleep...so I was left to dispatch with the unpleasant task, lol!

Phobias can be truly incapacitating, so I am not making light of your situation at all! I know how difficult it is to deal with the daily fears...and I am glad that you are reaching out and taking steps to get some help. It is exhausting to be constantly worried about such things!

Generally speaking phobias are treated with Exposure Therapy. The key principal being the breaking down of the fear by the repetitive facing down that which is causing the anxiety. This is usually done with a therapist, gradually in a controlled environment.

However, there is very likely a self help program for arachnophobia...being that this is a common issue. Would you like me to look up something for you? Just let me know.

The other tool that you can use for this and other worries are Therapy Worksheets. We have these in our Resources at the top of the main forum page here. You can work through worrisome thoughts and feelings, thus helping to diffuse the fears you have of an encounter by going through the steps in the self led worksheet options.

I hope that you can find something that helps you in your progress with this challenge. Let us know how we can be of further support...and post with us anytime. smile

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : NiceCupOfTea - 10/2/2017 1:23 PM
Thanks Scaredy Cat!

I'll certainly have a look at a self help programme for arachnophobia, if there are any. I think my main worry is that my fear runs too deep for me to be able to conquer it by myself :/ I live alone, which definitely makes it worse: I'm not nearly as scared of spiders when other people are around. But when I am alone again, any faux courage I gained from being in the presence of other people completely deserts me.

I'm fine with all other insects: it literally is just spiders. I dunno what I'm so scared of, other than I find them absolutely, 100% creepy.
Dx Crohn's in June 2000. (Yay skull)
Tried: 5-ASAs, azathioprine, 6MP, Remicade, methotrexate, Humira, diets.
1st surgery 20/2/13 - subtotal colectomy with end ileostomy.
2nd surgery 10/7/15 - ileorectal anastomosis. Stoma reversed and ileum connected to the rectum.
Current status: Chronic flare. Do I have any other kind?
Current meds: 50mg 6MP; Entyvio (started 3/11/16)

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 10/2/2017 1:56 PM
Yeah...how come it's always late at night...when we are alone in the bath or bedroom...at our most vulnerable??

Certain fears are hardwired in many of us. It's a survival mechanism. Your rational brain knows the spiders are harmless...your primitive brain...not so much!

Let me know if you need any help finding material...and keep us updated on your progress if you can.smile

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : NiceCupOfTea - 10/2/2017 3:16 PM
Thank you, SC. I will let you know if I see any spiders over the next few weeks and my reaction to them <_<.

I found this: www.wikihow.com/Overcome-the-Fear-of-Spiders

And this: /www.anxietyuk.org.uk/phobia-free-app-provides-a-fun-way-to-tackle-spider-phobia/

I couldn't find the app on the Google playstore though sad But it might be in the Apple store, if anyone is interested. In short, there doesn't seem to be a lot out there for individuals wanting to have a go at tackling their arachnophobia.
Dx Crohn's in June 2000. (Yay skull)
Tried: 5-ASAs, azathioprine, 6MP, Remicade, methotrexate, Humira, diets.
1st surgery 20/2/13 - subtotal colectomy with end ileostomy.
2nd surgery 10/7/15 - ileorectal anastomosis. Stoma reversed and ileum connected to the rectum.
Current status: Chronic flare. Do I have any other kind?
Current meds: 50mg 6MP; Entyvio (started 3/11/16)

Posted By : kellyinCali - 10/2/2017 6:00 PM
I too have this phobia. If I see a spider on my ceiling, I will not be able to sleep in the room. I will try to get it down with a broom but I will be jumping and screaming at the mere thought of being near the spider. It's completely irrational. I once had a spider that appeared to have a red belly (maybe?) and I was resigned to sleeping in a hotel for the night. Fortunately, a neighbor took care of it for me. I remember going to work and googling to see if what I saw was indeed a black widow. As a picture came up, it was if it came up in "slow motion." I was terrified and shivering as the image came on the screen. Every since then, I seemed to have been getting better. It might sound counter intuitive but looking at photos of spiders might help. That is what they would do in "exposure" therapy. I know since I looked at the picture, I have not had the same intense irrational fear that I once had.

Posted By : Tim Tam - 10/2/2017 6:29 PM
If you are having trouble sleeping, I take Melatonin supplement from the health food store, and it puts me to sleep without having to take a doctor's sleep pill.

I only take one at night and it works, but I'm also taking doctor medicine, Lithium for my mania and Mirtazapine for my depression, both of which also help me sleep. So if you're not taking any meds, you may have to take more than one, 1mg pill at night.

It comes in 5mg and 10mg pills, so 3 or 4 might be OK.

They say check with your doctor or druggist to see if Melatonin might not be good with pills you are already taking.

Someone on this site said "Knock-Out" supplement is very good also. "Knock-Out" has Melatonin with Valerian Root (supplement), which together are supposed to be very good for sleep.

You can buy them at health food stores or on the net. I use "Walgreens" drug store chain, and website, to buy my Melatonin.

My psychiatrist doesn't like just any health food store supplement, but she thinks Melatonin is OK, because it has been out for a long time.

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