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Topic : 04/11 What Are You Afraid Of?

Number of Replies: 223
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Friday, April 07, 2006, 10:06:42 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Your heart starts to pound. You start to shake. You begin to sweat. You feel faint ... What is it that scares the heck out of you? It may seem ridiculous and irrational to others, but fears and phobias can keep you from living life to the fullest. Donna is terrified of scary movies, but her husband really wants to watch them together. Get a sneak preview of Dr. Phil's most recent "scary" experience. Will it lighten Donna's view of horror films? Also, how do you get over a fear of costumed characters, cotton, or aliens? Plus, a celebrity's near-death experience turned his whole life around. What are you afraid of? Tell us.

Find out what happened on the show.

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April 12, 2006, 9:14 am CDT

Agoraphobia

Quote From: leahp6864

Hi, this is a first for me on this site although I watch the show everyday.  I too suffer from depression and have thought about suicide a lot.  I also have Agoraphobia so I panic everyday or anticipate panicking all day.  So, life seems pretty grim most of the time.   My sister took her own life 3 years ago and I sometimes wonder if it "runs in families".  I live in the Bay Area by Los Gatos and also went thru the 89 quake and also worry about future ones.  I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone and my thoughts are with you.  Not sure how all of this works, but if you ever need someone to talk with, let me know.  My thoughts are with you.  Hang in there.......

My cousin recommended a book called "Peace in the Light".  I think the author's name is Dannion Brinkley.  I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but she has said the book is extraordinarily comforting for people who are depressed and obsessed with thoughts of death.   

  

I don't think it's a religious book.  The author admits to having been a "not-so-nice" guy throughout his life and was struck by lightening (not once but twice).  It's a "near death" kind of experience, I guess,  where he was "shown" some things while in the near death state.  I don't know whether or not I believe this kind of thing.  But you can preview the book on Amazon.com.  You don't need even to leave the house to get it if you order from Amazon.  It might help. Good luck.   

  

  

 
April 12, 2006, 10:17 am CDT

same here...

Quote From: buckleypat

Of course you are not some weirdo freak.  What do doctors do?  They stick needles in you.  They schedule you for  invasive tests and procedures that can be physically painful (which are performed by technicians not physicians).   

  

They can tend to be incredibly insensitive to your health concerns, barely acknowledging your presence as a thinking, feeling human being.  They want you in and out of the examining room in less than ten minutes. 

  

I think the other thing is, that if you finally are really concerned enough to visit a doctor over a health issue, you might be afraid of what the doctor may find wrong (the dreaded diagnosis).  I think it's a denial thing.  I've avoided doctors my whole life unless absolutely necessary.   

  

Continue to take care of yourself the way you are presently.  And if you need to navigate the health care system be the particpant and manager of your own case.  I actually had a doctor once ask me what I thought I had wrong with me.  Duh?  Isn't that what I came to you to find out?  After lengthy and unpleasant tests, it turned out to be acid reflux of the esophogus which I could and did figure out on my own.  His prescription was to sleep at night in a slightly elevated state with multiple pillows.   

  

My mother died of bladder cancer.  It took her oncologist about three weeks to determine that she was severerly de-hydrated and admit her to the hospital and get her on an I.V. and by then it was too late.    It took him forever to return my calls and he would not give me very much information.  The health-care system in this country needs a severe over-haul.  Sorry, just venting.   

 I battled "medical phobia" for most of my life.....I can well understand!  Almost like the guy who fears costumes I could not stand the sight of someone in surgical scrubs...even if it was on halloween night and it was a little kid dressing up as a doctor!  I recall when I was a teen I walked around for 3  months with a piece of a metal sewing needle embedded in my big toe because I was too terrified to say anything lest my mom took me to the hospital.  Eventually the thing worked its way out but in the end I knew I risked serious complications from my phobia.  



This sort of phobia is literally bad for your health (I am also health-concious and do the best I can to avoid the need for a doctor)...but I'm 36 and I'm more afraid of what might happen if I don't get a check up.  It's a tough nut to crack, medical phobia is - but as of now I am 95% free of the fear (the only fear I still harbor is of being in an accident and being taken to a trauma center - Dr. Phil is 100% right about all fear stemming from the lack of control.....in all other medical situations I can consent or refuse treatment but in a trauma situation all bets are off and I know it) and I'd be happy to share some ideas on how to rid your self of it (or at least minimize it to the degree you can seek medical help when needed).



First off, it's a really good idea to seek out some therapy (not the heavy intesive stuff but just for your phobia).  That's what I did.



The next thing I did was to slowly immerse myself in my worst fears - not literally but on paper, film and by proxy....I set out a goal to create a website (not everyone has the time, ability or inclination to do that sort of thing but I'm an artist and that's how I express myself) that would explore every angle of every medically related fear.  As I worked on the site in sections, I would watch limited amounts of medical programming (with remote in hand - I taped them first incase I needed to forward wind really quick or stop the tape) - the real documentary stuff showing people going into the hospital, preparing for surgery, etc.  Blood and gore don't scare me, but if it bothers you, you can forward thru parts where they are going to show surgery.   Then I got on Ebay and actually bought old medical instruments and surgical tools (I spent hundreds of bucks working on getting thru this fear!).  The first box that arrived I was afraid to open in for several days - but finally I got up the nerve and found my self able to actually touch and handle items that are normally found in an doctor's office, an exam room or even the OR.  I would actually sleep with a few of these things laying on my night table (like I was tempting fate and nightmares but ironically I seldom did have nightmares about that stuff).  I even bought an old pair of scrubs and hung them on the back of my bedroom door where I could see them when I was in bed!  



Naturally at first this creeped me out to no end, but over time I actually ended up desensitizing my self to nearly every thing I feared.  But the most powerful thing for me was to take back my power:   I forced myself to realize that I could walk away from any doctor or medical treatment if I didn't want to go thru it or like the doctor's advice.  As an adult, no one (outside of a dire emergency) could force anything on me.  And they can't do it to you either.   Doctors aren't all-poweful beings that can force their will on patients - I had to learn they are just people who have expertise in areas that we don't.  You can take or leave their advice and recomendations.  That was the most powerful turning point for me was to realize that in the end, I am the one who decides what is done with my body.  



I have posted a link here to the website I created - at the stage of phobia you appear to be in I would not recommend poking around my site just yet - some of the imagery is pretty strong for the medical or dental phobic.  Howerver, the page I linked to is the opening page and it's safe - you may want to bookmark it for future reference when you do get around to tackling your fears.



Believe me - it can be done!  It's not easy and often very scary,. but once you are free the world will be entirely different.

http://schreckenslairunderworld.homestead.com/subbasementUW2.html
 
April 12, 2006, 10:42 am CDT

Surprised I'm not the only one

Quote From: sjarrell

You are not the only one.  I thought I was the only one who couldn't stand cotton balls.  I am not afraid of them, but the feel of them gives me the creeps!  I actually get goose bumps!  I really don't feel like I have attached some sort of anxiety.... they just really bother me!

People that know me think I'm crazy.  I get the shivers at the thought of touching cotton balls.  My children used to think it was funny to chase me with some cotton in their hands.  My husband will take the wad of cotton out of pill bottles for me.  When I'm at the hair salon to get a perm, I need to close my eyes and clench my teeth when they put the long strip of cotton around the perm rods so the solution doesn't  run down my face or in my eyes.  Nobody that I know, knows anyone else with this problem.  When I saw it being discussed on the Dr. Phil show, my mouth dropped open.  I'm not the only one!   

I thought that Dr. Phil's explanation was very interesting and it made a lot of sense to me. 

 
April 12, 2006, 10:47 am CDT

Don't give up on your dream

Quote From: mariam42

i had a dream to be a writer since my childhood, i wrote a short story but my friend said that is not so good, it was my only dream that i have in my life, but after my friend's opinion i do not write anymore. i'm afraid that someday i will die without realizing that dream, i'm afraid that i will never be successful as my two brothers and sisters, i'm afraid of being a burden to my family

  

Please Please don't give up on your dream.    Let other people read your short story and get more opinions.    If there are short story contests where you live - submit it to them, try submitting it to magazines or something like that.   Get a professional opinion.   If this is truly a dream of  yours, don't give up on it just because of what one person said.   Maybe this "friend" isn't much of a friend for saying that.    As far as you never being as successful as your brothers and sisters... You are your own person who has your own dreams and you need to follow those dreams and not feel like you're being a burden.    

  

Let me backtrack for a second - I am in my thirties, I've been in and out of jobs and jumped careers for the past 14 years.  I know i will never be as successful as my brother, who is working in the Pharmacutical industry making much more than i will ever make.  Yeah, i do get a bit jealous of his success and the fact that he's out on his own and i'm still living at home,  but I know my day will come when I will be successful in my job. 

  

I also have my own dream of being a published writer of either a novel / short stories or poems.  I managed to attain one of those dreams and am a three-time published poet.   I submitted poems (for a fee of course) to a local contest and three differnent times in three different anthologies i had a poem published.   Sure i didn't get paid, but i had the satisfaction of being able to say that I am a published poet. 

  

Good luck and please whatever you do DON'T GIVE UP on the dream, continue writing and let others read it, and contact someone who can give you a "professional" opinion or possibly some editing tips... 

  

Cheers.     

  

  

 
April 12, 2006, 1:15 pm CDT

Anesthesia Awareness - Fear

Quote From: schrecken

 I battled "medical phobia" for most of my life.....I can well understand!  Almost like the guy who fears costumes I could not stand the sight of someone in surgical scrubs...even if it was on halloween night and it was a little kid dressing up as a doctor!  I recall when I was a teen I walked around for 3  months with a piece of a metal sewing needle embedded in my big toe because I was too terrified to say anything lest my mom took me to the hospital.  Eventually the thing worked its way out but in the end I knew I risked serious complications from my phobia.  



This sort of phobia is literally bad for your health (I am also health-concious and do the best I can to avoid the need for a doctor)...but I'm 36 and I'm more afraid of what might happen if I don't get a check up.  It's a tough nut to crack, medical phobia is - but as of now I am 95% free of the fear (the only fear I still harbor is of being in an accident and being taken to a trauma center - Dr. Phil is 100% right about all fear stemming from the lack of control.....in all other medical situations I can consent or refuse treatment but in a trauma situation all bets are off and I know it) and I'd be happy to share some ideas on how to rid your self of it (or at least minimize it to the degree you can seek medical help when needed).



First off, it's a really good idea to seek out some therapy (not the heavy intesive stuff but just for your phobia).  That's what I did.



The next thing I did was to slowly immerse myself in my worst fears - not literally but on paper, film and by proxy....I set out a goal to create a website (not everyone has the time, ability or inclination to do that sort of thing but I'm an artist and that's how I express myself) that would explore every angle of every medically related fear.  As I worked on the site in sections, I would watch limited amounts of medical programming (with remote in hand - I taped them first incase I needed to forward wind really quick or stop the tape) - the real documentary stuff showing people going into the hospital, preparing for surgery, etc.  Blood and gore don't scare me, but if it bothers you, you can forward thru parts where they are going to show surgery.   Then I got on Ebay and actually bought old medical instruments and surgical tools (I spent hundreds of bucks working on getting thru this fear!).  The first box that arrived I was afraid to open in for several days - but finally I got up the nerve and found my self able to actually touch and handle items that are normally found in an doctor's office, an exam room or even the OR.  I would actually sleep with a few of these things laying on my night table (like I was tempting fate and nightmares but ironically I seldom did have nightmares about that stuff).  I even bought an old pair of scrubs and hung them on the back of my bedroom door where I could see them when I was in bed!  



Naturally at first this creeped me out to no end, but over time I actually ended up desensitizing my self to nearly every thing I feared.  But the most powerful thing for me was to take back my power:   I forced myself to realize that I could walk away from any doctor or medical treatment if I didn't want to go thru it or like the doctor's advice.  As an adult, no one (outside of a dire emergency) could force anything on me.  And they can't do it to you either.   Doctors aren't all-poweful beings that can force their will on patients - I had to learn they are just people who have expertise in areas that we don't.  You can take or leave their advice and recomendations.  That was the most powerful turning point for me was to realize that in the end, I am the one who decides what is done with my body.  



I have posted a link here to the website I created - at the stage of phobia you appear to be in I would not recommend poking around my site just yet - some of the imagery is pretty strong for the medical or dental phobic.  Howerver, the page I linked to is the opening page and it's safe - you may want to bookmark it for future reference when you do get around to tackling your fears.



Believe me - it can be done!  It's not easy and often very scary,. but once you are free the world will be entirely different.

http://schreckenslairunderworld.homestead.com/subbasementUW2.html

I don't want to "creep" anyone out and keep them from seeking medical help or keep people out of needed surgery.  But I have read quite a few research articles on something called "Anesthesia Awareness".  If you have surgery, they typically give you a formulated combination of three different drugs (depending on your condition) to "put you under".  One is a paralysis drug to keep you from moving, the second is a pain drug, the third is, I think, a general sleep drug.   

  

Anestheisia awareness  happened to me when I was ten years old.  I was having minor eye surgery (won't go into the details), but I DID wake up during the procedure.  It was only for a couple seconds.  I just had the feeling of not being able to breathe and being paralyzed and wanting to tear the mask off my face.  I did not experience any physical pain, but it was certainly a feeling of panic.  I never want to feel that helpless again.   

  

There are cases of people being under surgical procedure and actually waking up and experiencing the pain of the surgery because they were not given the correct combination of pain drugs.  Sometimes anatheseologist would become nervous about administering a dosage considered unsafe based on the patient's condition (such as heart disease) -- so they may "under-medicate" the pain drug based on the risks associated with exacerbating the condition with too many drugs.   But anesthesia awareness has caused major emotional trauma with some people. 

  

I would suggest anyone with medical phobias seriously discuss this with their doctor if they are facing surgery.  One documented case was a woman who was in a three hour surgical procedure.  The paralysis drug worked, the anathesia drug worked (too a limited degree), but the pain suppression drug did not work.  She was awake and aware and in physical pain throughout the entire three hour surgery.     

  

Again, I don't mean to "creep" anyone out, or suggest that surgical procedures are a BAD thing to be avoided, and most people will never have this issue;  but this is a real phenomenon in a small percentage of the population and should be addressed by every person about to undergo a procedure with their doctor prior to the surgery.     

  

I put a lot of messages on this board, but when I really think back, that surgery thing when I was ten years old has probably exploded a lot of my fears. 

  

  

 
April 12, 2006, 1:21 pm CDT

Zombies

    And I thought I was the only scaredy cat. Zombies totally freak me out. I'm so freaked out by them that I have a zombie emergency plan {just in case}. My husband and friends always tease me, thinking that I'm nuts or need to grow up.  Sometimes I wonder if I really have a reason to be so afraid. This fear has kept me up many many nights, or maybe they are right I need to grow up. 

   Other things that freak me out, being awake at 3am, the noise from the grudge and silent nights when nothing in my neighborhood makes a sound {creepy}. Call me nuts! TTFN 

 
April 12, 2006, 7:56 pm CDT

leahp6864

Quote From: leahp6864

Hi, this is a first for me on this site although I watch the show everyday.  I too suffer from depression and have thought about suicide a lot.  I also have Agoraphobia so I panic everyday or anticipate panicking all day.  So, life seems pretty grim most of the time.   My sister took her own life 3 years ago and I sometimes wonder if it "runs in families".  I live in the Bay Area by Los Gatos and also went thru the 89 quake and also worry about future ones.  I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone and my thoughts are with you.  Not sure how all of this works, but if you ever need someone to talk with, let me know.  My thoughts are with you.  Hang in there.......

Thanks for responding to my post.  I lived in the Bay Area all my life until about 14 years ago.  In fact I lived up in the Santa Cruz Mountains while I was in High School.  Graudated for Los Gatos High School.  It's a small world.   

  

My stepfather committed suicide almost two years ago so I kind of know what you've been through.  They do say that suicide can run in families but I guess we just have to fight our thoughts and try to make our lifes better.  If you'd like to chat more post me again, I'll be looking for you. 

 
April 12, 2006, 8:21 pm CDT

scared me too.....

Quote From: nightlady

Earthquakes.  I have lived in California and earthquake country all my life and have been through many, but the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 scared me to death.  It was a 7.1 and they say it lasted 15 seconds but with all the aftershocks we shook all night.  I was all along and it was pitch black, no electricity.  I had just moved into this apartment and didn't know anyone.  The phones didn't work and all I could here were sirens and cars trying to get home.  It happened during rush hour.  It's something I won't ever get over and it's been 15 years and if a big truck goes by and shakes the house or anything shakes I almost have a heart attack.  Fear is a terrible thing. 

  

The other thing I'm, well not so much afraid of, uncomfortable around is any one in a costume of any kind.  I don't like clowns, or theme park characters, and I hate Halloween and I won't open the door or hand out candy.  I don't know where the fear came from but I'm 54 years old and I still hate these creatures. 

 I lived in CA for about 5 years.....well after Loma Prieta and Northridge....but I heard plenty of tales.  Never had anything bad enough to barely turn a wall picture crooked, but one night around 3 am there was one way out in Mojave (the Hector mine quake) and it shook clear to the coast.  All I know is I woke up and my bed was swaying back and forth like something out of the Excorcist!  Scared the daylights out of me....I didn't get out of that bed until daybreak.  Granted, that was nothing compared to Loma Prieta but IMO there's little scarier than nearly being shook out of your bed in the middle of the night.....then I got like you - every truck that went by my place I was bolt wide awake - I hated it. 

I was always dreading a big one.....however the most threatening thing that happened to me out there was having a huge forest fire burn to within seven miles of my house.....all day thinking I'd have to leave and take whatever I could carry.  Thank God they stopped the progression and it eventually was put out.   I have now moved back east, not a quake-free zone but certainly less than CA (there was one near here back in the early 80's, but we lived near a railroad crossing so we just thought it was a train when all the dishes began to rattle....afterall, the trains did the same.)
 
April 12, 2006, 11:28 pm CDT

Yeah! I'm not alone!

Quote From: mummy4

I thought I was the only one in the world who has the fear of cotton, but now I know I am not alone. I was so happy watching the show today knowing at least one person shares the same fear. I don't like the way cotton feels. I'm not afraid of clothes made of cotton just cotton balls etc....My children think it is very funny and will actually chase me around the house with a piece of cotton until I break down and cry. I don't know where it came from or why I am this way, I just can't be around cotton. 

I was the one on the show today with the cotton phobia. I'm so glad you guys know what I'm talking about! Everyone's favorite response is...well, you're wearing cotton...they don't understand that it's different! My friends have filled birthday presents with cotton, chased me around with it, even covered my car in it! I know it sounds silly (that's why I was laughing so much on the show today) but I can't help it - it still freaks me out!
 
April 12, 2006, 11:32 pm CDT

creepy for sure!

Quote From: ri0tdorque

This is going to sound so silly but the last girl is the only other person I've heard of to have my phobia - cotten! I cannot stand to be near it much less touch it. I can wear it but cotton balls no way. I've always had this fear I really don't like the way it feels it's creepy.
i'm that last girl - they are totally creepy! i didn't even like watching the video segment about me before he came to talk to me because it showed so much cotton! ahhh! and i guess we're not the only ones!!
 
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