Spider app 'could help cure phobias'

  • 29 April 2014

Apps that could help people overcome their worst fears have been developed for smartphones.

One app claims to help people who are scared of spiders, using a technique called systematic desensitisation.

Users have to play video games that feature cartoon spiders which look cute and harmless.

Phobia Free
At first the spiders are cute and not very scary

As the game progresses, the spiders start to look more realistic. Eventually players have to help an injured tarantula.

Phobia Free
The spiders slowly become more realistic

The game was developed by two mental health experts.

However some experts have warned that apps should not be seen as a replacement for seeing a doctor.

Unusual phobias

About 10% of people have a phobia. We can be afraid of just about anything.

Arachnophobia - fear of spiders

Claustrophobia - fear of being trapped in a small space

Turophobia - fear of cheese

Coulrophobia - fear of clowns

Omphalophobia - fear of belly buttons

Triskaidekaphobia - fear of the number thirteen

Paraskevidekatriaphobia - fear of Why is fear of Friday 13th unlucky?

Globophobia - fear of balloons