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Topic : 05/27 What Do You Fear?

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Created on : Friday, October 17, 2008, 02:50:14 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 10/21/2008) Whether it’s the fear of spiders or the fear of dying, fears and phobias can steal your peace of mind and even dominate your life. Meet Kathleen, a mother of three, who says her entire world is built around more than 30 fears that include driving, flying, being alone and taking medication. Her life has gotten so out of control that her two teenagers dropped out of school to take care of her, and her 9-year-old is absent so often, she may follow in their footsteps. Kathleen, who wants to stop being a prisoner to her anxieties, faces many of her fears just to get to Los Angeles to see Dr. Phil. What’s at the root of her paralyzing phobias, and can she take back her life for the sake of her family? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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May 27, 2009, 5:52 pm CDT

Good For You!

Quote From: vpk2009

My heart is breaking as I read through this forum. Some of you are very rude, hateful people. You are judging a woman without knowing her or her situation. This woman is suffering and how do I know because I suffer with severe panic attacks myself. Believe me, if it were that easy to just *get over it* like some of you claim, I think all of us who suffer with panic would have done that a long time ago. Panic is not fun and those of us who have it know that more than anyone. I would not wish this disorder on any person. For some of you to call her selfish and an attention getter need to walk a mile in her shoes before giving such a hasty, uncaring opinion. Every single individual on this planet has issues including those of you who are so quick to judge. Some of you wonder why she hasn't gotten help sooner, well, look at your comments. You say mean, degrading things to her without knowing her, that fear is there when you are seeking help from a counselor as well. Will they judge you? Will they think you are weird? The stigma behind mental illness is so strong that it takes a lot of courage for people to get help and they should be encouraged when they do no matter how long it takes them. So for all of those who judge her, take a look at yourself. Just because people can't see your issues doesn't mean they aren't there.
 I dont know you But I'm so proud of you sticking up for her like that! I cant believe some of the comments exspecially the one to her huband to leave her and come live with the other woman! I mean she has some Nerve. I am 23 years old,married and have a 6 year old little girl. I have had panic disorder  since I was 17 years old. I have my good days and bad days and if I could stop the attacks I would. I was just hurting in my heart because I have a husband and family and its a good thing he takes our vows seriously. He cant believe some of the comments himself. He wanted to say 2 her husband and other men out there with wifes that have panic disorder sometimes things are rough but thats life and be there like your suppose to and as for women that make comments to married men like the comment that was read its degrating to women. Just because someone has panic disorder doesn't make them a bad person! I myself am a college graduate and have acomplished many things in my life and thats at age 23 and I plan to accoplish more. (LIKE GETTING THROUGH TO PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT SO CARING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLES SITUATIONS UNTILL IT HAPPENS TO THEM)I am seeing a counseler and I highly recomend that anyone with panic disorder does the same. Also dont think your alone out there because your not! There are so many people who have this and its ok! Your not crazy and dont worrie about what other people think. Remember that God is always with you and he can and will deliver you from anything you ask him to but its all in his time. He has a plan and reason for eveything. God Bless And My Heart and Praise goes out to the women that are being supportive of this situation and the world needs more caring women like you.
May 27, 2009, 6:59 pm CDT

05/27 What Do You Fear?

Quote From: precious_steph


  It's women like you that give Classy women a bad name! They are married and they have vows for better or worse. In Sickness and in Health. She is truly sick and they have children and with the right help and doctors she can look back on this steping stone in life. I think you need to see some one for thearpy on manners and morals. A married man Come on now. She may not be all there but Anxiety disorder is common among millons of Americans. Its a serious matter and if your not going to be serious then you dont even need to be writing stuff like this. It looks real bad on you.

I agree, That woman was so rude, to tell this lady that her husband should leave her. So unclassy!
May 27, 2009, 7:47 pm CDT


This women seems to be afraid of everything except tattoo parlors, nail shops, hairdressers, and clothes stores!!!  She also doesn't look like she's starving. Does she never go out to eat? Oh I'll bet she does. How dare her keep her daughter home like that!!! Her husband is a fox and that's just another tactic to keep him close.

He will end up leaving her. She is way over the top!!!  "GET SOME SERIOUS HELP LADY!!!!"

She is so pitifull, so self centered, and selfish.

I don't buy it for a minute.

May 27, 2009, 7:48 pm CDT

You don't know what we face!!

Quote From: jacksonsfire

After fleeing a country for our lives, watching my husband suffer torture at the hands of Homeland Security and suffer depression from being held in isolation for years, and then trying to recover my life after losing everything I owned, I can't.  The woman on the show didn't have fears of having her nails done.  They were perfectly manicured.  When I was fearing for my life, I didn't do that.  I feel Americans are self indulgent with fear and if they really faced something life shaking, they might stop this nonsense.
Do not criticize Americans.  The people on the show receive make-up and hairstyles etc.  It is a kind thing they do for them.  It is too bad you have no compassion for other people perhaps you learned that from the country you came from.  Americans are human and suffer childhood traumas, medical issues and other problems resulting from the human condition.  Americans self-indulgent?  What a simple minded person.
May 27, 2009, 7:53 pm CDT

Fears are selective

Quote From: cbyrdrn

I'm not sure that she is being entirely honest.I noticed that she has a tattoo and she also has acrylic nails on her fingers.There is a needle involved in getting a tattoo along with an increase in the risk of disease.The same is true in getting her nails done.I feel that she is being very selective in her fears and the control she has on those around her.CONFUSED!!!!!
There is no rhyme or reason to which fears are debilitating.  That is the way it is.  It may seem unusual to an outsider of this condition.  Nothing is simplistic.
May 27, 2009, 8:08 pm CDT

I have been in Karen's shoes and got out of them!!

Hi Dr. Phil and watchers of the show. My name is Linda from Idaho. I have had Panic Disorder and Agrophobia for the past 21 years and I have been in Karens shoes. It was the worst years of my life and today I am soooo much better by facing my fears and anxiety which I never felt I could do. I lost the love of my life my first husband because I would not go anywhere with him. I could not drive go to grocery or clothing stores. I could not leave my house I had to quit my jobs, I had to start a new life and it took me 8 years to be able to go in a grocery store with someone now 21 years later I drive myself there and I do my own grocery shopping. I was in my 20's very active worked 2 jobs and started having panic attacks and did not understand what was happening to me I thought I was dying and having heart attacks then I found out that I had Panic Disorder and Agrophobia the same as many in my family that I thought was just crazy and nuts in the head , my worst nightmare because I saw what it did to my cousins when my Aunt could not be alone and they had to stay with her I thought she was just doing it for attention. I know now that with the help of Xanax and Prozac and most important my Doctor may he rest in peace who died last March Dr. Jeffery Stevens, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho helped me to understand that I had to face my fears and understand what  was really going to happen would I pass out, would I die if I left the house and if I did pass out what was the big deal...I now love riding Airplanes and still struggle everyday and would love to be 100% again but I have come along way and I am so proud of myself and I dont have to live like that everyday. It is hard and anyone who has had a real full blown panic attack will tell you it is the most scary feeling you will have and you would not want to be one of the ones who have these daily as this runs extreme in my blood lines in my mothers side. I want to let Karen and others know that I understand and I would love for them to contact me if they ever need a shoulder because I wish more people were more understanding when I went through my roughest years of my life!! Please Dr. Phil help Karen to help herself and to others you can email me at if you ever need to chat or need someone to lean on for support.  Thank you..Linda Carol From Idaho
May 27, 2009, 8:17 pm CDT

Be Thankful your not in her shoes

Quote From: marnie100

There is no rhyme or reason to which fears are debilitating.  That is the way it is.  It may seem unusual to an outsider of this condition.  Nothing is simplistic.

People should not judge others. I have been in Karens shoes. I was a normal active 20 year old when it all hit me. We all have diffrent ways of dealing with our fears and issues and I used to be someone who would say something like you did untill it all hit me out of no where, panic attacks ect...who is to say she did not have Tatoo before the Phobia's got bad and sitting in a chair to get her nails done if she went to a salon was probably very hard for her but she wants to make herself feel good in some ways and still be attractive to her husband...its too hard to explain to the ones who are closed minded cuz I used to be one of those people who would say its all in her head, she is doing it for attention, she just is lazy....thats not it is real and it is sad and scary. I thank God after 21 years that I have come as far as I have and with people like you I would have never made it so be glad its not you and Thank God everyday that you dont have to live a life as thankful your healthy!!!

May 27, 2009, 8:20 pm CDT


I am a mom who until December of last year was what I considered normal. Then for some reason anxiety took control. I had a dizzy spell which landed me in the ER. After many tests nothing could be found wrong except maybe a little elevated sugar. Since that visit, I am worried about passing out, being alone, and driving. Before that day I could go anywhere without even thinking about it. Now I start worrying the night before. I have had numerous tests, MRI, CT scans, labs, heart tests, and everything comes back normal. You begin to feel like you are going crazy. I want my life back. My Dr put me on an anxiety medicine which is non-addictive and it helps. I have also decided to start seeing a psychologist. I went to my first appt and he has set up some cognitive therapy. I am hoping this works. I just want my life back. I watched the show and thought I can relate to some of what she was saying. Luckily mine is not that severe, but I felt bad for her. I know she does not want to feel that way no one does. It can be so bad sometimes it almost hurts, but we just have to keep working at it. Thank you Dr Phil for bringing fears and anxiety into the light and making us not feel like we are the only ones. I hope you do more shows about anxiety, because I am sure there are more of us out there. Keep up the great work.
May 27, 2009, 8:23 pm CDT

I agree

Quote From: vpk2009

I agree, That woman was so rude, to tell this lady that her husband should leave her. So unclassy!
It is people like this that have no clue and one day hopefully not something is going to hit her like a 2 X 4 across the head and she/he will go wow I guess I should have never judged others like that untill I was their sad your so rude and her husband is probably sick of it and do you know how she must feel being the way she is and knowing  he could just leave at anytime, I was there once and lost the love of my life cuz he was not patient enough to see me get better and now 21 years later he is so sorry and so understanding. Think before you speak!!
May 27, 2009, 8:25 pm CDT

This may help

I have had agoraphobia for 40 years.  I have been married for 37.  There was no diagnosis available at the time only medication that help manage the attacks.  I was housebound for 2 years and could only go places with someone I trusted.  I invented exposure therapy when I was 27.  Walk a little further from the house each day.  Drive to a store, buy one thing, until I could do more.  It takes a long time.  I have always had a therapist and psychiatrist to manage medication and in good and bad times.  A few years ago my granddaughter was diagnosed with Autism.  I help my daughter with dri ving 30 minutes away to a special school.  I have the same problems on the expressway but not as severe.  I have my cell phone and GPS that help me.  And I am a fighter.  This past year I used a book Panic Attacks Workbook by David Carbonell, PH.D. There are no quick fixes.  But today it is much better.  There are medications that are not so horrible with awful side effects.  There is a name for this disorder and people who understand.  There are many good husbands and family members who are there for us.  I fought very hard for this to not affect my children.  I was terrified at the thought of becoming pregnant but I did on pure faith.  We adopted 10 years later, a special needs child.  She is now 21 and healthy.  I thought of suicide 10,000 times in my early life.  I am doing things I never thought I could do.  Raising a special needs child was very hard and now my granddaughter has severe Autism.  I manage the anxiety before it turns into panic.  Managing anxiety can be done but it takes time and love and proper help.  Not doctors that tell you its all in your head.  There are drs. that specialize in this and I would avoid those that have no experience with panic disorder.  It is a difficult life but there is still happiness to be found.  It is important that there are people who have suffered so they know how important it is to care for those who suffer from other things.  Thanks to Dr. Phil for trying to minimize everyone's suffering.
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