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Biggest phobia has to be spiders. If there's a spider in the room and I see it, I run out of it. I've had to get DH to kill a spider so I could take a shower before. And for some reason they like to congregate around our front door. I love animals, but I hate having to walk by the tarantulas inside a pet shop. I'll avoid it if I can. *shudder*
Other bugs as well: water bugs (the flying cockroaches that absolutely CANNOT be gotten rid of anywhere in Louisiana), bees (I was chased by a hive when I was 9 and stung several times), and pretty much anything that can sting or bite. I don't mind ladybugs or butterflies, but they're about the only bugs I can stand. But I don't go out of my way to find them and handle them.
Other fears/phobias: walking into a gym where everyone is working out and most of the people are buff and/or svelte. I feel so out of place and will avoid it if I can. It's why I work out at home.
Going outside after dark for anything. Even if it's just to step right outside the front door.
Having to use a check-out at a grocery store when the cashier is a cute guy or a girl in really good shape. I'll go out of my way or wait for a long time in a long line just so I don't have to deal with that. Esp. if I'm buying underclothes.
Children. They frighten the begeezuz out of me, especially if they're not related. If they are, I'm generally okay with them, but not completely.
Driving over tall bridges with water under them. We drive everywhere, and my family lives pretty far away, so we're constantly having to drive over ridiculously tall bridges that span some sort of body of water.
I try very hard to deal with things and listen to my inner voice's anxiety. For the most part I can force myself to do something that I really don't want to do, such as walking through the front door with all those spiders hanging out (they return no matter how many times you knock/spray/etc them down). I'm better at it if I'm with someone who supports me. If I'm alone, it's much, much worse.
Honestly, I just try not to think about my phobias. sometimes, as with spiders, I have pure gut reaction: RUN! With other things, like the bridges, it's not so bad. I just have to concentrate on the goal, and I can get through it.
You can't fail if you don't quit.
Driving. Driving on the highway, merging onto in terrifys me. Driving in congested areas with lots of cars around me, driving in unfamilliar area. Basically driving in general. Really ruins my life becuase there is so much you miss out on when you are afraid to drive yourslef there. I wish I had some advice on coping but I haven't found any yet. HATE it and would love to move forward from it, it's so debilitating.
social phobia... and large groups
Driving on freeway/highway...
small spaces... Hieghts.... alot more... those are just the ones that keep me from doing some things...
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Oral surgery? Yikes!
Hmm - maybe focus on the "after" it's over part, after a little recovery time, you'll feel much better. Millions of people have had it done, and made it. And just keep repeating the positive message to yourself.
I wasn't sure if they were sedating you, as in making you unconscious, or if you were going to be awake during the procedure? I think it would be easier to be knocked out, mostly because I'd rather get the least experience from that experience, but alot of people are really scared of going under, I've always sort of thought that if something happens to me - well I'd never know it, I would be unconcious.
I think it would be tough to be awake during it. Some dentists will let you take your Ipod, and listen to music or something that's relaxing during a lengthy procedure - which I think would be helpful to try and keep the mind elsewhere. Maybe even something more involving, like a book on tape or episode of This American Life (if you like them) that's sort of interesting?
Until then - it's going to be a long aprehensive wait till it's all over, just try to keep yourself as distracted as possible, and try to keep your mind and thoughts away from it. Easy to say, I know.
Hang in there! And let us know how it goes.
My phobia's are all rooted in claustraphobia. Elevators, crowds, tight confined spaces, traffic (and interstates), small rooms without windows...etc.
I definitely know that it's about being trapped and not being able to get out. (I have really bad anxiety and fear about police officers, that they will handcuff me and put me in the back of their cars, and in jail...which I KNOW is dumb because I don't break the law or anything!)
I think mine stem from a series of events in my childhood (I stepped on a metal grate and fell down a concrete hole, I had a babysitter that locked me in my room, my older sister used to put a blanket over my head and sit on me so I couldn't get out...etc..) But somehow knowing the causes doesn't make them go away! (Don't you wish they would!).
I've only been in an elevator once since age 10. It was when a friend convinced me that it would help me to overcome my fears. There was some snafu...and it took 5 minutes for the doors to open. Needless to say I vowed it would be a cold day in hell before I ever got into another elevator.
This past year has been really bad, and a lot of new ones have tried to pop up. I may not be strong enough to fight against the ones I've had for so long, but I have refused to give any more ground!
Has anyone worked with a psychologist to try and overcome their phobias? Did it do any good?
I wish you strength for this Starryblu and I am so glad you have an understanding dentist. I tried the hypnosis for the dental as all my other techniques weren't able to be put into action and I was grasping at straws. It worked for me, but I also had a very specific event that caused my fear so it might have helped to make it so successful. Later I tried hypnosis for weight loss..no such luck for that one Oh, well, I guess I wouldn't have found Spark if it had.
When we feel stuck, going nowhere~
even starting to slip backward~
we may actually be backing up to get a running start.
My phobias are mainly driving on interstates (it's that not being able to get off when I need to and feeling trapped) It's bad because it limits us taking a long vacation. It's weird too because I used to drive by myself on the interstate 8 hours at a time with no worries.
I am also fearfull of severe weather but I handle it better just because I don't want my son to have the same fears so as long as I can watch the weather on tv (bugs my husband because I will watch the radar constantly during the storm) but it calms me if I know what is going on and I have also learned a lot about reading radars and how to tell where the tornado indicators are, etc.
To Success in 2014!
Gail from Indiana!!!
You can find me on Facebook: Gail Greene- Alkire.
wow, these are some really fantastic replies, everyone!! and i can relate to many of your phobias that you've listed here. i've found many of the same situations that you've all mentioned here to be the same problems for me. i've had problems with social situations, agoraphobia, elevators and so on. i've worked my way through many of them, but there are some that i'm just not sure how to deal with.
one of mine is very similar to your root canal, Susan. i've always been told that hypnosis doesn't work though. i have a paralyzing fear of dentists and dental work. i've done really well trying to get past it. i have a very patient dentist that works with me, and i have been able to talk with him and have some work done. the problem is, he's had to send me to an oral surgeon to have two teeth extracted. i need to be sedated, and for some reason i am absolutely terrifed. it has to be done, i am in constant pain from the teeth. i have been to two oral surgeons for consultations. the first i couldn't go back to, i was too scared of him. the second was very nice, kind and patient and talked to me about my fears. but i am still so scared. my partner will go with me, i have a lot of support, but i am still so scared. i don't know how i am going to work my way through this. they tell me i can't even take my xanax the day of the procedure, as it will interact with what they will used to sedate me.
so...any further suggestions? i have tried positive self talk. i will be ok, it won't be as bad as i think it's going to be. my teeth won't hurt anymore. it will be over soon and i won't have to worry about it anymore. etc...nothing is working...
what would you do? i'm making myself crazy over this...
Yes I have a phobia of social interaction myself and elevators. I am ok with one on one interaction but in a crowd I totally start panicing. I don't like people being in front or behind me while waiting in line at the grocery store. On the elevators, I don't know what it is really, I don't know if its because I am so afraid I am going to get stuck in one or what.
I have phobias about social interaction...I want to be around other people but then freak out when I know that it is going to happen. I have panic attacks. I don't feel comfortable being in a movie theatre in the dark with strangers around me. I have a lot of issues, I think!
Linda - Florida
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I struggled with agrophobia, brought on by panic attacks, which shrunk my world for quite a few years. As I could really see myself eventually confining myself to the house, I knew I had to do something.
The way I did it was a sort of desensitization process. I first of all found an "anchor" to make me feel safe. At a quiet time I took an ativan and did some meditation with a Wintergreen Lifesaver in my mouth. It is a very distinct flavour (although hard to find now). I made the connection with calm and relaxed with the Lifesaver and not the ativan. So as I then went physically into uncomfortable situations and pushed my boundaries (little by little) as I knew it was the only way for me to overcome this, the Lifesaver literally became my lifesaver. Of course I always had Ativan in my pocket and an escape planned and gave myself permission to use it if needed. Most times knowing that, I didn't need it.
For my absolute crushing terror of a root canal, I had hypnosis, which completely worked like a charm.
Later, I overcame other fears and phobias, such as mustard (don't ask, phobias just are)by just having a very supportive person with me as I kept stepping into my fear, letting me step back when I had enough, and to be there when I tried again. It is so hard for me, AND I know that is the only way I can keep the fears from taking over my world. And now I can do it without Ativan or Lifesavers.
I wish you the best and I hope you do find a way to face your challenge.
When we feel stuck, going nowhere~
even starting to slip backward~
we may actually be backing up to get a running start.
I've never had a full on - lose control completely phobia. I more have things that make me very, very anxious to deal with.
For me, it usually turns up in social interactions. I notice with myself, there's a real ebb and flow. Sometimes I can't talk on the phone, and agonize and procrastinate over scheduling things like appointments, or simple phone calls for the period of a few weeks. Sometimes I can manage to do it with the thought of how happy I'll be once it's over.
I have a difficult time in sitting in meetings, in crowds. I think what helped was taking the pressure off myself, because I used to have the attitude that I had to go and sit still, and couldn't leave till it was over, and anything less then that was seen by myself as failure. But giving myself some ways out, helped me feel more in control, I get up and stand in the back sometimes (if appropriate) I tell myself I can get up and go the restroom, or get water, or get up and come back if I need to. And that helps.
Maybe instead of an all or nothing approach - which tends to exacerbate the feelings of anxiety, is there any way you can give yourself some emergency plan A, B, C's? So go into it with a game plan, and know what you can do, if your feelings seem overwhelming?
I have a fear of being in a place with lots of people. It really affects me when I am exercising at the YMCA. My medications help a little but trying to focus on something else in the room seems to help the most.
anyone here dealing with phobias?
i'm having an awful time right now...i'm having to face a big one and i'm not doing well at all.
just curious if anyone else had the same problem, and wondering how you handle them.
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