Arachnophobes everywhere, fear no more. The fastest cure for arachnophobia has been discovered. Scientists say that it will only take you 120 seconds to cure your lifetime phobia.
There might be a small problem though. To be cured of this fear you’ll need to spend two minutes with an arachnid. Don’t be concerned because if you decide to do it you will be given proper treatment before facing one of your biggest fears. The medicines used are either propranolol, usually used for blood pressure problems or a placebo.
The study conducted by Merel Kindt at the Amsterdam University involved 45 participants. After being given the medication they spent two minutes with a tarantula. The volunteers who were given propranolol had a better response, showing more willingness to approach the spider.
The change of the behavior towards the spiders lasts for a whole year. People with disorders like PTSD or anxiety disorders will take the drug on a daily basis when the symptoms will diminish.
The scientific explanation is that the treatment involves not only amnesic medicines but also reconsolidation of the memories. Researchers believe that the memories can be changed. The memories can either be weakened or they can be strengthened. 15 years have passed since the concept of reconsolidation was improved by a doctor named Joseph LeDoux.
With a positive response to this new treatment, researchers think that the influence of other intense and fearful memories could be changed.
Although the volunteers showed small signs of arachnophobia, their cases weren’t so severe. Other studies will be conducted on people with harsher phobias, but until then be frightened of spiders no more. The cure has been found.