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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!


Sparklingbrook Sat 30-Mar-13 08:29:20

Oh Domestic that just sounds so awful. Pinned down? sad

armagh Sat 30-Mar-13 08:32:45

Arbitrary I know how you feel i got stuck up on our garage flat roof and had to call a neighbour to talk me down smile couldn't do it on my own. it's funny now but was really scary at the time. Yet I've been to the top of the Empire state building, Sears tower and the john Hancock building in Chicago. Snakes, rodents and monkeys frighten me and i had to face monkeys roaming in Africa. Again needed somebody with me. Dogs off leads too- scary- though i love dogs.
Gosh i'm a scaredy cat!!!

MrsDeVere Sat 30-Mar-13 10:05:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

extremepie Sat 30-Mar-13 10:12:49

I really admire anyone who has the guts to overcome a fear of anything, it must take an awful lot of hard work and is something I have, so far, been unable to do smile

thegreylady Sat 30-Mar-13 12:21:03

My dh is 6'2" and is so scared of spiders that once he has spotted one he cannot stay in the house until it has gone.
I am terrified of dead birds and if I know there is one in the street I cannot walk past it but have to take a detour.I sweat and shake if I see one and once disgraced myself by screaming 'a bird! a bird!' while on a walk with dd's inlaws.

DomesticCEO Sat 30-Mar-13 17:44:42

I was crying hysterically and being a big old wuss by this point Sparkling - 5 different nurses had tried and failed to get a needle in me. They ended up calling an anaesthetist, who grabbed my arm, pinned it to bed and stuck a needle in - it was brutal but it worked sad.

BruthasTortoise Sat 30-Mar-13 18:57:23

Clowns. Can't go into town when the circus is in town because of the posters. Can't look at photos. Would actually rub screaming if one ever came near me.

BruthasTortoise Sat 30-Mar-13 18:57:35


iklboo Sat 30-Mar-13 19:44:39

Another clown phobic. People think it's funny to suddenly show me pictures. Usually 'horror' clowns as well. IT IS NOT FUNNY. I don't just 'not like' clowns. I am terrified of them.

ArbitraryUsername Sat 30-Mar-13 20:05:26

Armagh: I've been up the sears and John Hancock towers too. I didn't like standing next to the window though. I got really dizzy and a bit shakey. However, being 4 rungs up a step-ladder in my own house is much, much worse. No idea why. I was a wreck while we were trying to pain the hall.

Sparklingbrook Sat 30-Mar-13 20:08:43

Domestic what's happening now? Are you able to avoid needles for the time being?

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Sat 30-Mar-13 20:50:32

It's hard to find the line between fear and phobia. I have a strong fear of the following:
Heights when behind glass (fine in open air)

But I think the one thing that counts as a true phobia (or near enough) is daddy long-legs. I can't catch a spider, but can use the long nozzle of the Hoover now on the small-medium ones (though with my skin crawling and through panicky tears). I can also kill wasps when needed on guide camps. Being a role model for children/teenagers has made me confront a lot as I don't want to freak them out too.

Daddy long-legs are the only stimulus I have very little control over. I can sometimes hold the scream in, but I dart around trying to get away from it and beg people to get rid of, if it's trapped in the room. I can't have the windows open when they are active and get jumpy outside.

I also have an anxiety disorder, which may affect some of my reactions.

Conversely, I'm fine with: reptiles, including snakes; most live rodents that my cat brings in (can pick up all except wild rats. Will handle pet rats though); the dark; thunderstorms; needles; dentists and flying.

It's quite interesting to try to work out why I've got the fear of some and not others. Not sure that it is all conditional/inherited. My dad was scared of snakes and heights, my mum is scared of big dogs and birds.

DomesticCEO Sun 31-Mar-13 08:17:58

Haven't had an injection for 3 1/2 years smile, since my youngest was born!

Sparklingbrook Sun 31-Mar-13 09:23:13

Phew Domestic. Really hope you can avoid the needles for as long as possible.

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