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to get quite irritated with people who claim to have a 'phobia' of something when they really don't?

(139 Posts)
extremepie Fri 29-Mar-13 15:18:13

Inspired by a spider thread on another part of the site grin

Ok, I know that a phobia is somewhat subjective and affects everyone differently but it really gets on my nerves when people claim that they 'have a phobia' of something when what they really mean is 'I'm a bit scared of X' or 'I really don't like X'.

It isn't the same thing!

For example, I have a friend who claims to have a 'spider phobia' - she says she finds it hard to put a glass over them and take them outside, she gets all itchy afterwards.

Compare that to me who has an 'actual' phobia of spiders - recently I was in hysterical tears because there was a HUGE spider in the kitchen and DH had gone out. I could not deal with it myself, I couldn't even go near it, I phoned my friend at 11pm and begged him to get out of bed and remove it because I didn't know what else to do. When that didn't work I put a frantic message on facebook to everyone who knew me to come and help me, I was desperate!

I just think that for every person who claims to have a phobia of something who doesn't really it makes people less, I dunno, tolerant and understanding of people who genuinely do.

Like people who would scare you 'for a laugh', thinking its funny to trap you in a room with 'X' or shove 'X' in your face and then being all 'oh, I didn't think you'd react that badly' when you have a panic attack!


ENormaSnob Fri 29-Mar-13 16:24:30

Kate, I am like that at night too. And once I've seen one I imagine them everywhere. I even jump out of bed screaming having dreamt theres one on me.

I wouldn't say my phobia is less than anyone else's just because I can catch a small one in a glass.

extremepie Fri 29-Mar-13 16:24:48

Yes, Hester, I probably could do! I would love to take a pill or a class and wake up without the fear, it would be amazing smile

Kate, that is exactly what I mean! Don't get me wrong, some people are better at dealing with it than others but its the assumption that you can have a phobia and still be capable of dealing with 'the thing' and if you can't then you just need to 'man up' that gets me.

All the huffing and eye rolling they do when they realise that no matter how many times they call you pathetic you are not going to be cured of your life long phobia enough to deal with 'x' annoys me too - like one of my teachers at college who still didn't seem to understand even when I ran sobbing and screaming from her classroom!

I had a kid at sunday school stick one right in my face once - I hit him with my bible grin

HesterShaw Fri 29-Mar-13 16:27:13

What would Jesus have said?


He probably would have thought you were entirely justified actually....

KansasCityOctopus Fri 29-Mar-13 16:33:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 29-Mar-13 16:33:03

Not eveyone would ring others or get on Facebook asking for help that does not mean their fear is any less

I have been physically sick after seeing a rat but I would not be calling others at 11pm for help I am just not that sort of person

extremepie Fri 29-Mar-13 16:54:02

The thing is Freud, under normal circumstances I would not do that, I would think it very rude but at the time it was the only option my panic stricken mind could come up with!

Theicingontop Fri 29-Mar-13 16:56:14

I don't tend to tell people about my actual, life-limiting phobia, because it's quite embarrassing and sometimes I feel like it's ruining my life.

So I don't understand people who talk about it at all really, especially in a jokey, offhand way. Makes me quite envy

Arabesque Fri 29-Mar-13 16:59:22

I take your point. I'm not mad about spiders and get a bit shivery and ugh if I have to trap one and get rid of it. But it's not a phobia.
On the other hand if I see a mouse I literally have to get out of the place. I go completely beserk. There's no comparision between the way I feel about mice and the way I feel about spiders. However I'm sure people who don't particularly like mice assume I feel the same as them, a bit ugh but nothing serious, and can't understand why I'm making such a stupid childish scene.
If you don't actually have a phobia you really can't understand how terrified it makes you feel.

goodfreyedaysusan Fri 29-Mar-13 17:01:20

I knew someone who can't look at pictures of spiders.

I find the thought of being near dogs almost as bad. I sort of know in my head that I am not going to die until they come within 3 feet of me and then I panic....

Theicingontop Fri 29-Mar-13 17:01:51

Oh, and because it's a bit of a weird one people assume I'm being 'kooky' or 'random', and email me pictures of something that will literally have me clawing at my skin, close to tears. hmm

Dededum Fri 29-Mar-13 17:03:02

My DS1 does have an irrational dislike of buttons, badges and writing on clothes. He tolerates the things he has to like buttons on school shirts and badge on blazer. But his fear is real not an invented phobia.

marjproops Fri 29-Mar-13 17:06:37

The following words have become too 'trendy' and so people cant take seriously the people who REALLY suffer from these:


im sure there are more overused words around.

Arabesque Fri 29-Mar-13 17:11:47

Allergy is another word that's often used inappropriately. As a result people who suffer from genuine food allergies are sometimes considered to be just a 'nuisance' or 'attention seeking'.

BeeBawBabbity Fri 29-Mar-13 17:19:06

YANBU. My hospital/medical phobia usually results in a faint. I feel really embarrassed and I'm certainly not attention seeking. It annoys me too when people use the term to describe something they just dislike.

RubixCube Fri 29-Mar-13 17:19:12

I've had people minimizing my needle phobia.I don't know what i would do if i ever had emergency c section as there is no way atall i could have they gigantic needle put in my back.I stopped going to the dentist for years because of a bad experience with a needle and the dentist calling me a baby because i was crying with fear

FreudiansSlipper Fri 29-Mar-13 17:19:29

I was not being critical of you doing that I get why

Many words are over used but there is more understanding which is a good thing

marjproops Fri 29-Mar-13 17:19:41

YY allergy too.

RubixCube Fri 29-Mar-13 17:20:02

they=that blush

Sparklingbrook Fri 29-Mar-13 17:21:50

I am sure a lot of people may have 'needle phobia' but really does anybody actually like having a needle inserted? Of course they don't. It's horrible.

marjproops Fri 29-Mar-13 17:22:11

Disability too.

specialsubject Fri 29-Mar-13 17:24:05

The near miss on the road an hour ago quite frightened me - little boy without the understanding of driving on the left. Otherwise I don't have any fears which I would expect to be the case for most adults; UNLESS they have a phobia.

question; can phobias be treated? Must be quite a problem if you have an attack of these proportions over something as common as a spider.

(genuine question - I also can't bear girly fussing but recognise that for some people, it isn't that)

RubixCube Fri 29-Mar-13 17:25:25

A phobia is different to not likeing though.Phobias limit people.Like i said i stopped using the dentist for years.When i finally went to a dentist my teeth were bad blush If i had been going to the dentist every 6months they could have been saved

DomesticCEO Fri 29-Mar-13 17:26:58

Sparkling, no I'm sure most people don't like needles but most people tolerate them ok. I have a needle phobia and its horrific - I had to endure 3 IVF cycles with it, and I still work myself into a state of total panic at the thought of having an injection blush.

KansasCityOctopus Fri 29-Mar-13 17:37:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparklingbrook Fri 29-Mar-13 17:44:55

sad Domestic. My friend says she has a needle phobia, but she doesn't IMO. She went to give blood. confused

I get sweaty palms at the thought of an injection/blood test/going to the dentist, because I don't like it.

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