The fear of pests especially spiders is quite common and often considered a rational phobia. However most people who are afraid of spiders react irrationally when confronted with the tiny eight legged terrors!
To cure Arachnophobia a new study is suggesting the idea of reconsolidation, used in application with spiders and those with arachnophobia. Reconsolidation methods purports that memories can either be strengthened or weakened when activated. Thus scientists are suggesting that those with arachnophobia should expose themselves to spiders therefore reconsolidating there ideas of the pest; with the hopes that the negative ideas will be weakened.
Prior research has shown that fearful memories can be forgotten or reconsolidated if a drug was administered at the point in which a fear is activated. Using this line of reasoning in the arachnid fear experiment researchers exposed 45 people with arachnophobia to a tarantula for two minutes and either gave them the drug propranolol, used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions, or a sugar pill placebo.
Results showed that those given propranolol drastically reduced their avoidance behavior and increased approach behavior to spiders over a year long period. Meaning that these participants who were previously afraid of spiders were now more likely to go near one!
Author of the study, Merel Kindt, had the following to say regarding the findings; “Here we show for the first time that an amnesic drug given in conjunction with memory reactivation transformed avoidance behavior to approach behavior in people with a real-life spider fear,”
Many believe that these findings and reconsolidation methods can be applicable to patients suffering from anxiety disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
If you are suffering from Arachnophobia but do not wish to be around a spider for a couple minutes you might want to try hypnosis; London Zoo officials say that in a group hypnosis session 97% of participants who had a fear a spiders choose to hold one after the session!
If you would rather avoid spiders altogether, but have the much feared pests roaming around your home or business, make sure to contact a pest control professional. If located in Orange County or Southern California contact the general and commercial pest control experts at Innovative Pest Solutions!