Living in a Constant Irrational State of Fear

A Personal Struggle

For as long as I can remember I have been thinking of ways in which I could possibly die. Most of the time I can find incredibly elaborate ways that start out as innocent actions or things that could happen in every day life. It took me a little while to decide if I would actually tell this story to people at large, but then I realized that most people who know me - know of my quirks and phobias. So if I can share this with someone who suffers a similar situation, perhaps it will help them too.

Phobias

Phobias are the IRRATIONAL fear of something that interferes with every day activities and daily living. If the phobia interferes with you enjoying life or cause you to preoccupy your thoughts with these fears, it is IRRATIONAL and is considered a phobia.

I will start by saying that I have not be diagnosed with any sort of phobic disorder. I do not have any sort of medical doctor or therapist who keeps track of my progress or therapy. I simply know that I am an 'anxious patient' as one psychiatrist calls me. This is why I call my phobias 'quirks' instead of disorders because I am not being treated and I am fully aware that I am incredibly IRRATIONAL.

Those are the geese on my work's lawn. I took the picture from far far away!
Those are the geese on my work's lawn. I took the picture from far far away!

Regular 'ol Fears

I have fears of heights, snakes, spiders, likely anything that has more than 2 legs and do not have fur. So insects in general. Haunted houses are something I refuse to participate in. I have fears of certain animals like geese and rats. However, these fears do not preoccupy my mind that much. There are times when I think of ways these types of fears could cause me harm, but for the most part I can cross a bridge or kill a spider, I can walk passed geese and duck around bees or wasps without much panic.

Fun Story:

We have geese that frequent the parking lot of my work. They walk around in clusters and they sit in the grass around the sidewalks where I have to walk to get to my car. I usually find myself avoiding their path because I have such an image that runs through my brain when I see geese. I am afraid that one day I am going to turn my back on a goose and it will attack me from behind. I get this mental picture of a goose flying up and landing on my shoulders, wrapping its wings around my face and pecking at my head. Lots of squacking and flapping of wings are involved in this mental image. So I avoid geese as much as possible. If I can't avoid them, I can walk passed them, but my heart rate goes up increasingly and frankly I always look over my shoulders.

My car
My car

Do You Suffer From Irrational Fears and Phobias?

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Stories of My Phobias

Amaxophobia (Fear of Riding In Cars): I was in a car accident with a drunk driver when I was 16 years old. We flew in the car a good 50 feet and totaled that car. Luckily I had a seatbelt on and the airbag went off. Neither of us was seriously injured. So why do I have a fear of cars? I can't explain it. I am better if I am driving, but that's really not much better. When I am the passenger in a car, I am nervous wreck. I have to be able to see where we are going and what is going on around the car. This means either I sit in the middle of the backseat or I sit in the front seat at all times. I use the imaginary brake a lot. My perception of how fast we are going, how fast other cars are going and how close things are is very skewed. Suddenly slamming on your breaks will cause me to go into full panic mode, excess speed will throw me into grabbing mode (including the driver's arm) I don't really think when I am in this type of situation.

Demophobia (Fear of Crowds): I don't have a trigger to speak of on this, I just one day realized that I didn't really like being in small spaces with large crowds. In most cases I can handle a large space with large crowds, because I can distance myself from people. For the most part, it feels like a combination of fear of crowds and fear of small spaces. I can find myself very short of breath and unable to focus. This is definitely when I am alone in a place where I don't know anyone else. Being smooshed in a room with a bunch of strangers is not my idea of a good time.

Claustrophobia (Fear of suffocation): This is one that I also don't have a trigger for, but it is one that causes my partner the most grief. I cannot have my face covered - ever. This means that I can't have a blanket over my face, I can't let the shirt I am putting on cover my face, I can't dry my face off with a towel, I can't bury my face in someone's shoulder in a hug or something similar. However, I do have a rule and it's a bit embarrassing. But, it really is based in what I feel when my face is covered. I have three breaths before I feel like I can't breathe anymore. I have gone into full blown panic attacks when I can't get out from under the blanket before those three breaths are over with. I have passed the three breaths and not died, but still, I cannot shake the fear. In addition to this, I find that I cannot stand to see ANYONE else cover their face. Including my dog. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

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11 comments

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia

That must be hard although in some ways, maybe I have the same problem. I just freak out by having to fly. I have tried tablet, alcohol. One mothers day they were handing out sample drinks of wild turkey for a special treat on mothers day. I ended up a crying drunk.

I have always been afraid of pregnancy, for no appearant reason. Yet I nearly died when my daughter was born as I blue up like a ballon and they had to give me a forcup delivery. (blood poisoning)cannot think of proper name must be old age brain goes dead at times.

Terrified of snakes aharks and crocodiles. Yes I do understand where you are coming from that's for sure. Great article. thanks for sharing this.


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA

I developed a fear of heights at some point in my life. I know I wasn't afraid before the mid 70's, but sometime in there, for no reason whatsoever, I developed this.

It sometimes manifests driving over bridges. It's strange, because given the same bridge, one day it doesn't bother me a bit but on another I am white-knuckled the whole way across. The Tobin bridge in Boston does that to me often. Other bridges, even much higher bridges, may not bother me at all.

My suspicion is that it is wind or vibration creating a subsonic sound that I am unconsciously reacting to, but that doesn't help the fear!


rgarnett profile image

rgarnett 6 years ago from KC, MO Author

Eileen - thanks for sharing your phobias. I never really thought about being scared of pregnancy, but maybe that is why I am not trying to so hard, even though I want a baby - I never really thought about it. Of course, I have never flown before and I have thought it might be fun, but I have a feeling if I were to go on an airplane, I would be a basket case. I don't know if I would need to be sitting on a window seat so I could see things like in a car or if I wouldn't want that because I don't want to see things since I don't like heights.


rgarnett profile image

rgarnett 6 years ago from KC, MO Author

Pcunix - Yea, I don't really know where the crowds fear came from. Its more recent. I can pinpoint most of my other fears, even though I don't know what it is that makes me scared. I did get pictures of the geese in my work's lawn - I am going to swap out the pictures on here ;P Thanks for sharing your own fears!


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 6 years ago from Washington MI

I have a fear of snakes, i mean you couldn't pay me a million dollars to even look at one. I freak out. I often wonder if phobia's carry over in families because my 4 siblings and mom and dad also have this phobia.

I have OCD as well and tend to lean toward hypochondria sometimes,so there is always some kind of fear going on. I really enjoyed reading your hub. Makes one think. Rated up :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, I have unexplainable panic attacks, but I think this was a combination of events at home and an over active thyroid. I do believe that all your phobias are because of your car crash, the airbag could have made you feel like you were suffocating, hence the not covering your face, and the agraphobia could be that you are scared that because you are outside where there are cars and people, everything is not in your control, i.e. a car accident near you, or someone dropping down in front of you, not sure about the geese though! lol cheers nell


rgarnett profile image

rgarnett 6 years ago from KC, MO Author

Oh the geese, Nell, the geese! LOL, its a nightmare at work. Not nearly as bad in the winter time, but then of course you have to worry about icy parking lots and breaking a leg ;P You definitely bring up a good point. I wasn't nearly as scared about things until I had that wreck.


Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 6 years ago from London

Thanks for your comment on my needle phobia hub. After you said you're phobic about everything I needed to come here and have a look, lol!

Thanks for sharing your stories, I'm sure lots of people can relate to a lot of these. The geese one is unfortunate, especially as you have to pass them when you go to work. Although I don't share this phobia, I can see that they're not the friendliest of creatures, they can be pretty mean!


rgarnett profile image

rgarnett 6 years ago from KC, MO Author

Moon Daisy, I am glad to see that we share phobia issues. May not share the same phobias, but I appreciate your empathy on mine! I really enjoyed your needle phobia hub and it was a great comfort to know I am not alone in the phobia department! Thanks for reading!


None 2 years ago

Checkout books and links at http://www.anxietycentral.org - it takes time and effort to overcome or reduce these problems.


rgarnett profile image

rgarnett 2 years ago from KC, MO Author

@None, thanks, I appreciate your reading and commenting. I am actually working with a therapist weekly on these issues.

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