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to be really fed up with being arachnaphobic?

(177 Posts)
imonthefone Sat 01-Sep-12 12:26:22

Grrrrr...... I LOVE gardening; was just having a end(ish) of summer sort out...painting fences, moving sheds, getting rid of all the crap etc etc...

Im 40 years old...Ive always been frightened of spiders. i think Ive got better over the years. I can mostly deal with the harvestmen spindly things and the wolf type spiders if they dont touch me and I dont look directly at them. But what I really really cant abide are the BIG black ones that hang out in sheds....yeuck yeuck yeuck......Just come across 2...fighting, or maybe MATING (shudder) and thats the end of it....Had to come in, lost my breakfast in the kitchen sink. There are 5 bags of rubbish in the garden which I will not now be able to carry to the front of the house, put in my car and take to the tip..I will have to wait for a spider-hardy friend to come and do it for me

I am FED UP with it...I am otherwise normal, strong, independant, self sufficient kind of gal. Spiders reduce me to a hyperventilating shell......so humiliating....

what can i do?

irishchic Sat 01-Sep-12 12:40:14

I feel you pain OP. I am the same. It is so bloody self-limiting isnt it, esp at this time of the year!

Sallyingforth Sat 01-Sep-12 12:41:24

Lots of people have been cured of this irrational fear. Your GP will be able to refer you for help. London Zoo run regular courses. Google for something similar in your area.
You may well have learned your phobia from parents. It's important not to pass it on to your children.

Alameda Sat 01-Sep-12 12:45:50

you can have some treatment, if I'd known how curable phobias are I would have tackled mine years and years before I actually did - I just assumed the more severe the fear, the more difficult it would be to overcome

the friendly spider course at London Zoo was/is really good, I did it a few years ago and sometimes worry that my arachnophobia is coming back but it hasn't yet - they do a sort of multi-pronged thing, with you talking, them talking, then hypnosis and then exposure but most importantly they do a thorough check on the whole building first to make sure there are no spiders. There must be other similar courses around the country if that's not practical for you though.

arfur Sat 01-Sep-12 12:52:00

I was also cured by the friendly spider programme at London Zoo about 9 years ago. I can honestly say its one of the best things I've ever done and it really changed my life. Other hypnotherapists could I'm sure help too if you aren't close to/don't fancy the London zoo one smile

Alameda Sat 01-Sep-12 12:52:41

(really hate it when people say 'you must not have been phobic then, you just had a fear' when I was the sort of run out of the house NAKED, swerve the car off the road over an imaginary spider, drag strangers in off the street, phone people at 2am phobic. Grrrr!)

imonthefone Sat 01-Sep-12 12:54:44

really?--you can be cured?? i cant imagine not being frightened!

can you actually touch them when you have had treatment?

yeah sally i have already passed it on to dd1 sad, but so far dd2 loves spiders, she was prodding and poking at the big fat hairy ones this morning <puke puke puke>

strange though-neither my mum or dad are scared of them

imonthefone Sat 01-Sep-12 12:55:49

almeda I slept in the garden once blush

Alameda Sat 01-Sep-12 12:58:44

It was so incredible, I couldn't stop crying. It was just such a relief! It had dominated my whole life, I hadn't realised the extent of it. I am a total zealot for the course, went back a few times to do the spider encounter thing with the public and people just went hmm that I'd ever had a fear which annoyed me. Dave, the keeper, is a former arachnophobe.

It's SO treatable!

Mrsjay Sat 01-Sep-12 12:59:02

My dds are scared of spiders it is really draining Im like a ninja trying to catch them before they see it grin so I sort of feel your pain and panic I know what my teens are like , and yes to the zoo therapy I looked into it for my dds but edinburgh zoo doesn't offer it, I dont know what they are going to do when they get their own houses and ninja mum isnt there to rescue them

Lucyellensmum100 Sat 01-Sep-12 13:03:46

Give them names! Seriously, you need to give them names smile I have three spiders who live over my kitchen door. They are called Ken, legs and boris - i thought they were those big black hairy buggers that stomp around with boots on, but after i bit of research i think they are tube web spiders, which aren't indigenous but come have come over on the boats and are now quite common in the south of england. I think they are very very cool. I used to be terrified, now i am actually fascinated by them. It does help that i have got a voluntary job working, indirectly, with tarantulas as its a sort of saturation therapy! But they are absolutely fascinating creatures. I don't think id like for one to be "on me" i still might become hysterical, but i can sleep with one in the room now (so long as it has skulked off under the bed and is unlikely to fall on me in the night) and have picked up tarantulas.

My mum made me scared of spiders, i in turn made DD1 scared, was determined not to do the same with DD2, hence the naming! This of course is all well and good but did have to deal with the meltdown finding "boris" dead in the dishwasher caused and i had to fish him out, put his little corpse but up on the window ledge with his "friends", DD had ME in tears in the end she sobbed so much!

arfur Sat 01-Sep-12 13:04:12

I locked my mum out of the house once and refused to let her in because she wasn't there to deal with two buggers when I went to bed one night! Also knocked ds off his feet when he was a toddler as he picked up a teddy with a giant one on it (that was when i decided enough was enough). Makes me shudder to think how irrational they made me! And yes I have held tarantulas and will pick up hairy ones up in my hands if necessary (prefer to use glass and card method if possible tho wink) I don't find big uns attractive but I am definitely not afraid of them grin

Lucyellensmum100 Sat 01-Sep-12 13:07:24

back up, not but up!!

arfur Sat 01-Sep-12 13:09:26

And ds and dd both not afraid now, ds had started to show signs of my influence which was another motivator for me but is fine now I'm not bothered. And yes we always name ours too! Tho sadly hector boris and their mates have clearly all expired during our holiday - bloomin corpses everywhere! Now let's not get started on my issues with dead critters ....hmm

hackmum Sat 01-Sep-12 13:10:53

OP, I have often thought of doing the London Zoo course or something similar but the thought of not being frightened of spiders is in itself terrifying, iyswim. Apparently at the end of the course they give you a tarantula to hold and the thought of that just makes me quiver. So it's a bit of a vicious circle for me.

I do admire those of you who actually went and did it.

DillyTante Sat 01-Sep-12 13:22:39

Have thought the same for a long time. Bristol Zoo also do it I think.

Alameda Sat 01-Sep-12 13:34:13

they don't 'give you a tarantula to hold' but if you want to you can

they start with money spiders running near or over your hand anyway, but you don't have to touch them if you don't want to - all I wanted from the course was the ability to catch spiders with card and a glass MYSELF. I didn't touch any of the house spiders, skipped that whole bit but I did fall in love with the tarantula (Frieda) and got one myself soon after

DrWhoTakeTwo Sat 01-Sep-12 13:55:41

just reading this thread has me darting my eyes around the room looking for the horrible things. Im TERRIFIED of spiders it gets worse every year. Ive twice had to call dh home from work! luckily he works just down the street to get the massive ones about the size of the palm of my hand! (legs obviously) i was physically shaking and nearly sick, i hate to imagine what im going to do when he transfers to a company thats not within coming home distance. Im a grown woman with children but spiders reduce me to a scared child sad

quesadilla Sat 01-Sep-12 14:06:26

I hear you loud and clear. I have just moved into a suburban flat with a garden after over a decade of living in an urban area where you basically didn't need to think about spiders. It's awful: I was really up for having a garden and now I have realised how many spiders there are there it's massively put me off going out there.

I also had a big one on my BED if you please two weeks ago which is an abomination. My DH has had to sweep the bed for spiders prior to my getting in since.

Worst thing is I don't even actually want to be cured of my phobia: I loathe them and don't want them anywhere near me. I have been trawling the net for spider repellents but I'm loathe to actually buy one until I know if they work. Anyone tried these?

TapirBackRider Sat 01-Sep-12 15:27:51

quesadilla Dethlac - available from amazon. Brilliant stuff.

Silvercatowner Sat 01-Sep-12 15:32:03

I don't know whether a course would cure me of my phobia (although I'm nowhere near as bad as some here..). I'm only petrified of the big black bugglers that are around at the moment. Smaller ones - fine. There's a huntsman in my bathroom that i am getting quite fond of and regularly lift him out of the bath. Tarantulas - don't think there'd be a problem, unless they were poisonous.

TheSurgeonsMate Sat 01-Sep-12 15:36:31

I went for hypnotherapy, or so I thought, but a woman called Dawn Breslin (who is now on the telly) did a face tapping thingy on me instead. I was so sceptical I didn't even find out what "face tapping thingy" was called. But it did the job. She said if it hadn't, hypnosis would have been the next thing to try. I'd also advocate seeking a cure. It's not worth living with it.

goldenlula Sat 01-Sep-12 15:51:36

I would seriously like to get rid of my phobia. May look into the London zoo course thing.

alabasterangel Sat 01-Sep-12 15:57:33

Quesadilla - was so pleased you said that. I don't know if I want to be cured, as I just plain detest them and wouldn't want to like them and definitely wouldn't feel the need to have one anywhere near me whatsoever.

I am scared witless of spiders....and basically a lot of other stuff which I deem for some reason terrifying. For me it's the scuttling, making me jump, catching me unexpectedly, element of them. Makes my adrenalin course before I'm even properly gardening and the whole time I'm out there I'm going through a fight or flight feeling. Touching one under the rim of a plant pot, or having one touch (scuttle - shudder!!) across my hand, both of which have happened, is my idea of a complete nightmare.

We have a cellar (why did I buy a house with a cellar????) and due to the emergence of cellar spiders (revolting other worldly type things with stringy legs that vibrate madly if you touch them) I can no longer go into the cellar. Unfortunately the electric tripped one day and I absolutely had to go down and flick the switch. I wore trousers tucked into wellies, hair tied behind a scarf, and rubber gloves, and even then could only flick the switch with a stick not my hand!!

I'm also yukked out about snails and slugs and worms, and have quite a big dislike for woodlice, beetles, etc. I even struggle with ladybirds....confused

edam Sat 01-Sep-12 16:02:00

Sympathies. My sister had a dreadful phobia of spiders, really used to get hysterical - and she's a level-headed, practical sensible person generally. She managed to cure herself - got to the point where she was just sick of being ruled by this fear so had to do something about it.

Unhelpful thing is she can't remember how - claims to have just lost her fear. I am ruddy sure she actually DID something, some course or something, but can't recall which.

Now I live with dh who is a big wuss about spiders - I do feel for him but it is quite funny when you see a great big bloke built like a brick shithouse dancing around like a 1950s housewife in a sketch about mice. grin (Honestly, I'm not being evil, dh laughs about it too - only not when there's a spider actually there. It's just so incongruous, six feet of beefy dh scared of a little spider.)

He's not actually phobic as such, or at least wouldn't say he was - he just hates them and has to kill them. With the result that I'm the one who deals with spiders if at all possible using the old glass and carboard routine. I'm not that flipping keen on them, tbh, and would rather someone else had the responsibility...

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