Spiders are our friends

I’ve been looking around for an interesting topic to write on. I figured I would write something that pertains to me and likely the general public. If you’re anything like me you are deathly afraid of spiders (or bugs in general). This past summer I managed to nearly kill my entire family because a spider crawled onto my lap while I was driving. I’m convinced my irrational fear of bugs will somehow bring me to my demise.

spider-memeBeing that I am relatively interested in mental health, I thought I’d share some information on how phobias (more specifically arachnophobia) physically alter the chemical dynamics of the brain. According to Science Daily, the amygdala is an almond shape bundle of neurons deep in the brain. It is linked to understanding emotions (i.e fear and pleasure). Miranda White of Bryn Mawr College stated these neural connections emerge all over the brain, giving us little control over what we fear. There is a possibility that if your amygdala has been damaged, you will have consistent irrational fears; regardless if they are deemed harmless.

Psychologist came to the conclusion that phobia’s come from both experience and conditioning. An example of conditioning is getting a stomach flu from Chipotle and never eating at the restaurant again because it made you sick. According to psychologist Davey’s behavior study on children and arachnophobia, it found most children either stated they had no negative history with spiders or simply couldn’t remember the first time they became fearful of them. Interesting how you can be conditioned to fear something you have no experience with.

Steps to take if you’re having an anxiety attack. I don’t have anxiety attacks due to my fear of insects, however you never know who’s reading this that may need help.

  • Ground yourself. It’s harmless and will be over soon.
  • Try and control your breathing.
  • Distract yourself by thinking of something else or putting your mind in a place where you feel safe.
  • Tell someone about how you feel if you’re with people. If not, see if you can call someone.

Every now and then I stumble upon a meme that is a bathroom full of roaches; the caption asks “Would you stay in this bathroom over night for ten million dollars?”. As for me there’s not enough money available on this planet to make me to sit in a bathroom full of roaches. What about you?


4 thoughts on “Spiders are our friends

  1. Anna Strahle

    This is such an interesting post because I have been afraid of spiders since I can remember. When I was younger, whenever I would see a spider (or any scary bug) in my room, I would refuse to sleep in my bed until it was killed. Of course, I would not be the one to do the killing, and would run out screaming for my dad to come and do the job. Recently, I have realized that I have started to overcome this fear, and I can actually kill the bug myself without screaming. I will still get that jump of fear inside me, but it is no longer a life or death situation. I decided to do my own research into how to grow out of fears, and I found an article explaining how a lady trained herself to no longer be afraid of spiders in just one hour. She recommended taking the perspective of the spider, and explains how she started to feel a sense of compassion for the small scared animal. I think it will be a long time before I can reach that step, but I can definitely tell that I am gaining more control over my irrational fear.

  2. Mya Legend Avant

    I wonder if you can get over anxiety so easily? I realize that the tips given above may be good for fear but if someone has a true phobia can the really get over it by talking themselves down. For instance I used to watch a little girl back home sometimes and she was terrified of bugs, there were several instance in which she had a bad experince with them. The one time that I can think of is when there was a trash clean up, and she got a couple ticks on her. No one likes ticks, but we live in the country and it just a part of nature, so we always check after a clean up and then take them off if they are on us. However this little girl was terrified, all I can remember risk her crying so hard her eyes turned red. Even after the ticks were off of her she was still fidgety. I felt so bad everyone was telling her so was ok but she would not listen. We tried to talk her down and even though she was ok the next week I saw her she never went on a road clean up again.

    1. Ademilola Esther Badejo Post author

      These steps aren’t the be all end all. Anxiety is a way more complex issue then that. I am deathly afraid of bugs. Attempting to calm down probably wouldn’t work for me until I am removed from the situation. I don’t go on swings because a worm landed on my shoulder and that was in the 5th grade.

  3. Hannah Marni Stern

    Hi from a fellow arachnophobia struggler! I found this very interesting because I didn’t know that my fears are kept in my amygdala, and that some are unrelated to past experiences and simply ingrained in my brain. So when I read this article http://marlinchronicle.vwc.edu/?p=1331 which discusses why phobias are irrational, its easier said than done to get over them.

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