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WASP phobia ruining my lifa and making me a prisoner in my home :-(

(29 Posts)
Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 14:48:49

I have always had a fear of wasps for as long as I can remember. I have never been stung by one. I think it may have partially come from my mum who used to tell me how she was attacked by two wasps and they stung her clevage and her chest reallt swelled up and she had to go to hosp. She also told me how she got stung in bed one day as a wasp got in the window whilst she was asleep.

The fear has got worse and better over the years. I seem to be really afriad at the start of summer and by the end have become a bit more used to them. I still dance around and scream and run off if one comes near me though.

I rememeber one occasion when I was in my car with dh (then dp) and a wasp had got in to the car and flew in my face. I shouted f*ck and completely let go of the steering wheel. Thankfully I opened the window and it flew straight out but I just have a totally irrational respinse to them.

More recently I suffered from some mild depression and was on AD's last aug. I found at that time my wasp fear developed in to a full blown phobia to the point I would rather stay in than take my son out for a walk as I was so afraid.

I have had conselling and am feeling a lot better now. Everything is going well except the phobia is still there as bad as ever.

Now it is 'that time of yer' again it's really affecting me. My dh is worried and thinks I need to get help for it as it affects my every day life. last year there were a few occasions when wasps flew at me whilst I was pushing ds in the buggy and my immediate instinct is to let go of the buggy shock and flap around until the wasp has gone. This makes me feel really sad, I just can't conrol my reaction. I feel like such a bad mother that my first reaction is not to protect my baby boy. He's 19 months old now. I'm obviously very concerned that this will happen again one day and when I let go his buggy will roll in to the road or something equally as badsad.

One got in the lounge whilst my dh was gardening the other week and I went to just run out of the room immediately. I then managed to muster some courage from somewhere and grab ds, then run out of the room whilst shouting at dh to get it out.

I am constantly on 'wasp watch' whenever i'm out, any buzzing at all has me on edge. I'm considerably better if i'm out with dh as I feel he will 'protect' me and ds. I'm scared to have doors and windows open, even at night when i'm too hot in bed. We can't have the car windows open but thankfully have air con. I don't like wearing bright colours when out in case I attract them. If my hair tickles my neck I assume it's a wasp. If I hear someone cutting their grass outside I stop and listen as I think it's a wasp buzzing.

Anyway, the point I am at now is that it is an absolutely glorious day outside and I really love being out in the sun but I just can't go out. I'll go to the beach with dh when he finishes work no problem but on my own i'm scared stiff sad. I don't feel confident to protect ds if one comes near. The anxiety I feel when I see one os so great I'd rather just stay in than deal with it.

I feel i'm letting my son down, he could be in his paddling pool now ir having a nice walk down the road but instead we're just stuck in.

I mentioned it to my counsellor but he hasn't suggested anything, I don't think he's that type of counsellor. He just deals with relationships between people iyswim.

I'm so sick of this, I just want to be free sad

Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 14:56:36

Sorry for all the typos blush

Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 15:09:56


RedWarMoth Mon 01-Jun-09 15:11:00

Bumping for you. I don't have much knowldege or experience, but there are so many people on MN with one phobia or another that I'm sure someone will come and advise.

I do know that phobias can be really successfully treated with cognitive behavioural therapy -- think about asking your doctor for a referral.

Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 15:35:45

Thanks redwarmoth, I have heard of CBT. I'm a bit worried if I ask for it there won't be any in my area. I say that as the area I live in is remote and my counsellor is the only one for the whole areashock.

Worth asking though I guess... Thanks for bumping for me.

Winetimeisfinetime Mon 01-Jun-09 15:59:20

I sympathise with you as I also have a fear of wasps - made worse by a couple of very bad episodes where I got too close to a wasps nest.

They are horrible creatures but your mum's reaction to the stings was probably unusual. When I have been stung it has hurt a bit but isn't too bad really and I actually don't fear them quite as much now I've been stung. For most people, being stung is just a minor inconvenience.

As a short term measure I wonder if an insect repellent might help keep them away from you ? Also we had lots of ivy etc growing up the sides of our house which we had cut back last year and have had far fewer wasps in the house { have had nests in the loft in the past which was horrible } so cutting back any climbing plants near your windows might help.

In the longer term I think that Red's suggestion of CBT would be a good idea.

Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 16:07:34

Yeah, I think my mums stories contributed to my fear but strangely I don't think i'm actually scared of being stung. I can deal with pain pretty well, i'm just totally irrationally scared of them. I'm even scared of pictures of them.

The insect repellant idea is good, will get some.

I hope I can get some CBT. If I can't get it on NHS i'm not sure I can afford it. We're broke at the mo...

Tatties Mon 01-Jun-09 16:08:03

I have a different phobia Dalrymps, but it affects me in much the same way as you, i.e. the worry of the threat/risk of encountering a specific thing affects my everyday life, so I understand how you feel. How sympathetic is your doctor? I think it is definitely worth trying to get some help with this, and chatting to your gp would be the first place to start. As RedWarMoth says, CBT can be really helpful (I have just started a course) and your gp can refer you. Sometimes there is a long wait to get seen but not always (I was told 12 months plus but ended up being seen within a few months!)

There is a book another MNer recommended to me - Overcoming Anxiety - which would be worth a look at in the meantime. I got it from the library and found it useful. Good luck.

Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 16:10:50

My gp is OK, the first time I told her I was feeling depressed and was having suicidal thoughts she just said to 'see how I felt and to come back if no better' hmm. Then I saw a part time doc at a different appointment about my son and she regognised I was down and put me on AD's straight away. So depends who I get really.

Will check out that book, thanks.

Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 18:38:34

Bumping for the evening

Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 19:32:39


RedWarMoth Mon 01-Jun-09 20:23:15

Perhaps you could try popping in to one of the emetophobe threads and talking there -- I'm sure that lots of the issues faced by phobics are the same whatever the phobia.

Is it helpful for me to say that I have been stung by wasps a couple of times and it really isn't that bad -- about twice as bad as a bad nettle sting. I guess it isn't helpful since phobias are too deeply rooted to respond to simple information. DS1 was stung when he was two, and it wasn't a bad problem for him either. A lot of tears, but no worrying reaction. We have had wasp nests in our garden the last few years with no stinging at all.

Sorry, I know that isn't enough to make a dent in your anxiety, but it can't do any harm I suppose. Good lucksmile

Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 22:07:12

Yeah maybe i'll pop in there and have a look... I always seem to start threads that get hardly any replies. Must have a talent for it!

It is a little bit helpful to know that the sting doesn't hurt too much as I'm really scared of ds being stung and being in a lot of pain. As I say though, not really bothered about being stung myself. In fact, i'm not really sure what exactly it is i'm scared of if not being stung? I feel like wasps 'attack' me where as bee's just buzz about and go about their business iyswim.

Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 22:55:49


FloriaTosca Mon 01-Jun-09 23:11:34

Dal; Its late and Ds has been a pain to get to bed tonight so cant say much but want you to know I understand your has been drummed into you since childhood...and it is hard to think about wasps rationally because of it. I am one of those rare people who is actually allergic to wasp stings but am not afraid of them, just a bit wary... yet I am very, very afraid of spiders which have never done me any harm but I believe it is a fear I picked up off my mother.
I'll e-mail you tomoz to discuss in more detail when I get the chance. Just didnt want you to think no one caredwink

Dalrymps Mon 01-Jun-09 23:12:49

Thanks floria, hope you sleep ok, speak soon x

LightShinesInTheDarkness Mon 01-Jun-09 23:23:46

Just found this thread - you may like to try the No More Panic website. I was recommended it by another MNer for support with my Health Anxiety.

Its here

Northernlurker Mon 01-Jun-09 23:54:18

Dalrymps - I am very, very afraid of wasps. I have been stung once I think - by a very sleepy end of year wasp and it really wasn't too bad - but it isn't the sting that's so scary - there's just something very malignant about them that gets you right in your guts isn't there?

I just avoid them as much as possible but I have no strategy for dealing with them at all. Fortunately for me the impact on my life isn't anything like you have outlined - but I certainly couldn't comfortably stay in the same place as a wasp. Dh is very tolerant and (mostly grin) helpful. Mil doesn't get it at all and told me I would make the children afraid of them too. She is lovely but that has to rank as a top 10 unhelpful thing to say! I just can't help it - they frighten me.

I hope you find some help soon - just wanted you to know you aren't the only person with this fear.

cornsilk Mon 01-Jun-09 23:59:07

I was stung by one last year. The sting wasn't too bad, it was the shock as I wasn't expecting it. I hate the little blighters and panic near them but don't have a phobia like yours Dalrymps. You could always wear long sleeves, hat etc to go outside as they don't tend to sting through stuff.

CherryChoc Tue 02-Jun-09 00:03:51

Dalrymps don't have any advice but I just wanted to say your original post is me! I'm glad I can't drive as I could see myself reacting in the same way. A wasp being shut in a small enclosed space like a car is my worst nightmare. Will be watching this thread.

(PS I have been stung but it was a long time ago and I was 12 and can't remember the pain level so I don't think that helped me at all!)

ItsAllaBitNoisy Tue 02-Jun-09 00:04:42

You know if they sting you it feels like a bad pinch? I'm sure you've had a few of them off your DS!

I would suggest carrying some Piriton in your bag, if you ever were stung just the knowledge that you have it there might be a comfort to you? So in the very very very unlikey event you were to have a reaction, the Piriton will ease it.

Remember - a bad pinch. ^That is all^.

(On the other hand, don't talk to me about dogs.. shock)

FAQinglovely Tue 02-Jun-09 00:07:54

I can sympathise greatly - I also have a phobia of wasps. Don't know wear I got it from my parents are both equally chilled out around bees/wasps etc.

I remember after I was stung once as a teenager I thought to myself - oh well, not a nice reaction (whole arm went red and swelled up shock) but not that bad - perhaps I'll be ok around them, but sadly not.

Hope we can both find some solution to it so we can enjoy the summer sun as much as possible smile

cornsilk Tue 02-Jun-09 00:08:24

I was stung in my foot last year - there was one in the bed. It tickled me just before it stung me. I was screaming that I'd been stung and dh kept telling me that I was dreaming until I shoved my foot in his face with the wasp still attached!

FAQinglovely Tue 02-Jun-09 00:10:46

thanks corn - that's a really comforting thought just before bedtime grin

cornsilk Tue 02-Jun-09 00:12:03

LOL - Think I'll give the duvet a good shake tonight!

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