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.
Being 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?