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- Anxiety Disorders
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.
Hubs on 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.
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.
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.
Phobia Info On The Web
Do You Suffer From Irrational Fears and Phobias?
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.