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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 Sun 31-Mar-13 09:23:13

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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!!!

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

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

DomesticCEO Sat 30-Mar-13 08:27:46

Sparkling, sorry only just come back to the thread. No this was much more than sweaty palms - I had to have emla cream (I imagine this was purely psychological!), wouldn't sleep the night before, would need to lie down because would often faint before they even got the needle out of the packet, would need a specific nurse to do the injection, etc, etc.

Then of course I had all the needles that pg entails and at one point up to be pinned down to have a blood test because I had Pre eclampsia and they needed to test me but I was refusing to have the blood test.

It's a nightmare sad

Spottyblancmange Sat 30-Mar-13 08:27:02

Bunnyjo- me too. I've done similar with DD also, one landed on her head and I ran in terror. Luckily DP was still there but I know I'd have run either way. If there's something buzzing that I can't see it has a similar effect because it could be a wasp, I've had a full blown panic attack before now.

I do know where it comes from though, I was stung as a child and I react more severely than some. So my mother became convinced if I was stung again I'd have an anaphylactic reaction (which as an adult I know is a minute chance but as a kid I accepted as truth) and terrified me with "If it stings you, you'll die".

Theicingontop Sat 30-Mar-13 08:20:17

Chrome, I have trypophobia. A fear of clusters or rows of holes. Mainly organically made, but some man-made holes set me off as well.

Lotus pods, sponges, seashells, you name it. Anything in skin is a major trigger. Also, clusters of tiny things too, like ant eggs or butterfly eggs on a leaf.

You're not alone! I thought I was for years, but there's a huge community of us online. I've never met someone with the same phobia in real life though.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 30-Mar-13 07:31:26

Chrome100, the phobia of rows of holes is a known phobia....has a proper name. I read about it once, can't remember the name now.

I have Cliethrophobia, fear of been trapped. It's different from claustrophobia as I'm fine in small spaces. But I can have a melt down in the bread aisle in tesco if its busy as I can't see the door. In fact been in crowds makes it worse as I start to panic that I can't get out. Dh seems to think I have a phobia of flying as I have panic attacks in airports. But it's not flying, it's the airport.....especially round the queues for security as I'm not near any windows, doors, etc.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sat 30-Mar-13 07:14:28

Chrome, how do you feel about lotus pods?

Some people think it's fun to photoshop them onto people so it looks like they have holes in their skin. [sad[confused

chrome100 Sat 30-Mar-13 06:14:51

I have a very strange reaction to rows of holes, so things like honey combs, sponges, pumice stones, porous things. They really make me gag. I have had it my whole life and have no idea why. I am not sure if it's a phobia as I can be in the same room as these things, but I just can't look at them without nearly being sick.

I have never met anyone who has anything similar but would love to as I feel like a right weirdo.

sashh Sat 30-Mar-13 03:59:45

I have a friend with a needle phobia (as in syringe not sewing) I've gone with her for blood samples, we tell the staff and they think she is just a bit nervous.

Nope she has one of the following reactions

Total panic attack, hyperventilatilating, crying, shaking the works.

Faints and they have to monitor her for 10 mins because her BP is so low.

So OP I agree with you, people should not say they have a phoi

sashh Sat 30-Mar-13 03:42:02

I have a friend with a needle phobia (as in syringe not sewing) I've gone with her for blood samples, we tell the staff and they think she is just a bit nervous.

Nope she has one of the following reactions

Total panic attack, hyperventilatilating, crying, shaking the works.

Faints and they have to monitor her for 10 mins because her BP is so low.

So OP I agree with you, people should not say they have a phobia unless they do.

Iheartcows Fri 29-Mar-13 23:27:21

I have many strong fears. Not sure if I'd class any as phobias but I'm terrible with
Large spiders
Cows (despite my name. It's cow print I love)
Anything medical
Stomach bugs (petrified of being sick or getting diarrhoea)

I suppose the worse for me is the medical one. I think I'd probably class it as a true phobia as I'll do anything to avoid going to the doctor or having any kind of medical procedure.
I had to go to the docs the other day and I was a wreck. I only needed a lump looking at but I'd convinced myself they were going to take blood or send me to the hospital and put me on a drip.
I was sat in the waiting room close to tears with my heart pounding and palms sweating. Of course I then panic so much I'm scared I'll be sick so that's another thing to worry about. confused

Bunnyjo Fri 29-Mar-13 23:17:41

Thank you extremepie. I live in a lovely old farm house that seems to be permantly riddled with spiders as big as cellar spiders. I am pretty thankful that I don't have a phobia of them.

Weirdly, I've never been stung by a wasp and I have no recollection of how my phobia began (much to the disgust and confusion of most behavioural psychologists).

I don't leave windows open in summer, because of wasps. Luckily, we live on the top of a little valley that gets lots of wind, so wasps don't tend to settle round here. But, I'd rather not take the risk...

sweetkitty Fri 29-Mar-13 23:08:56

I cannot even type out the name of my phobia because that means I will think of them, not spiders quite like spiders.

I cannot go outside my house after dark in the summer in case they are about or early in the morning. I cannot touch things in the garden in case one of them are on there, I would love to garden but I can't dig soil in case they are there. Cannot look at a photo.

Even the pellets to get rid of them has a photo of them on there, why??? I get DP to peel the photo off!

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