If you are afraid of spiders, then you are not alone. In fact, approximately 55% of women and 18% of men in the United States suffer from arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders. Although not everyone who does not like spiders has the actual phobia, there are some symptoms to watch out for. If you freeze or run away if you see a spider, refuse to go into a room that may have a spider, and if you will not go camping, hiking, or do any other outdoor activities for fear of seeing a spider, you may have arachnophobia.
According to licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, President of the Virtual Reality Medical Center in La Jolla, California, “A phobia is a diagnosable disorder that impacts your life negatively.” But don’t worry, there are treatments that can help. Virtual Reality (VR) exposure therapyhelps the sufferer desensitize to the stimuli that causes their phobia. For example, those who have arachnophobia may be exposed to VR scenarios of spiders in a non-threatening way to gradually decrease the fear at the patient’s own individual pace.