Search icon


15th Dec 2015

Two-Minute Miracle: The Fastest Cure For A Fear Of Spiders Has Been Discovered

But we don't even know if it's worth it.

Megan Cassidy

If you are a shadow of your former self after spider season, read on…

The spiders are finally retreating into their little caves (or wherever they go) and we can start to breathe.

Spider fear

But for those of us whose fear is so crippling that we are already starting to think about next year, this new research might come in handy.

Two experts in arachnophobia reckon they can cure anyone’s fear of the little critters in under two minutes, The Metro reports.

Researchers at the Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, have said that the best way to do it is to put the person in a room with the spider for two minutes.

However, this alone won’t cut it.

The researchers combined the exposure with a single dose of pharmalogical treatment – the medicines used are either a beta-blocker used to treat heart conditions and hypertension called propranolol, or a placebo.

The study, which examined 45 participants, showed that those who took propranolol had a better response to the tarantula than those who took the placebo initially.

And it wasn’t just instant.

In fact, the change in behaviour towards the spider lasted an entire year.

Researcher Merel Kindt explained:

“Here we show for the first time that an amnesic drug given in conjunction with memory reactivation transformed avoidance behaviour to approach behaviour in people with a real-life spider fear. The new treatment is more like surgery than therapy.”

That actually sounds scarier than the spider. Looks like we’re just stuck with the fear then.