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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.

Find out what happened on the show.

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May 27, 2009, 8:30 pm CDT

I am so sorry!!

Quote From: dannywrodgers

Well all my problems started about 6 years ago when i took a diet pill before church and didn't eat anything before. While i was sitting in church, i started feeling like my heart was going to jump out my chest, then i felt like i was going to pass out. I jumped up and ran out because i thought i was going to have a heart attack. I went to the ER and they couldn't find anything. The next day i started the same thing over. My doctor put me in the hospital and ran all kinds of test. He found nothing. He gave me a clean bill of health and put me on Lexapro.  Since then i have Panic attacks every time i feel something hurt.  My doctor now laughs at me and tells me its all in my head.  Im in his office 1 or 2 times a month with something.  Now i have high blood pressure and take meds for that.  I have dizzy spells alot and its always on my mind that something is wrong with me. In my line of work i see death alot!!  I am a firefighter and i work part time as a police officer. I have had panic attacks while i have been at work, and i have kept it to myself.  This mess has got a hold on me and i can't get loose. The bottom line is that im affarid of death.            Help Please. 
I too have had and still have panic attacks for the past 21 years. I give you lots of credit being able to do what you do and hide your attacks that is hard and you are a very strong person who can get over this or even be able to have them less often and deal with them better. I am not afraid of death because I know we will all pass away one day somehow or another but I understand your fear as my family has had this terriable disorder for many many years before I did and now I have had to deal with it for the past 21 years please feel free to email me if you ever need someone to talk to. May God Bless you!!
May 27, 2009, 8:40 pm CDT

You can write

Quote From: misako823

I am like the women on the show. I have a huge fear of  people, life threatening diseases, fear of men leaving me and fear of working and interviewing. I can not find a job because of it and these fears are ruining my life. I only have tw friends now and I have no relationships with men, only my father and my fear is pushing him away too. I have not had a boyfriend for 6 years. I am  31 and I am turning 32 next month. My life is passing me by and I can't  go on living this way.
Hello just want you to know I have suffered in many ways as you have explained plus many more!! If you ever need someone to talk to that will understand and support you I am so here for you and anyone else because its negative people who make it harder on us with problems of such. Best of
May 27, 2009, 8:47 pm CDT

05/27 What Do You Fear?

Quote From: susan121212

i have had panic attacks since i was very young.... i first found out that i was having them when i 11 ... my worst symptom is falling out of my body... my worst fear is falling and when i have a panic attack i fall out of my body and i can watch myself ... kinda like i am above my body... my chest hurts... and i shake uncontrollably... i cant breath and i think i am dying and going crazy... i forget how to swollow... ... medication has helped but what helped me the most was group therapy... knowing i wasnt alone... i was the youngest by quite a lot... but it was still good to know i wasnt alone... i ended up staying in a city four hours from my home just because that is where my psychiatrist was and my group therapy... im doing better now... i dont have them 24/7 anymore... and they seem to be more minor when i do have them... the one thing that used to set me off was seeing the whites of peoples eyes... i hated that... but now im better... but i wouldnt have been able to do it alone... i finally ran out of my english class at university and straight to the doctors office... where i waited in the waiting room screaming for something to help me and reaching out in front of me to try to keep from falling out of my body... but i final got the help i needed... and now thanks to my therapist, my group therapy, and my loyal amazing boyfriend i have been able to pull through and after a year of never leaving my house... i can no go to school... go to work... and even go out on a weekend occasionally... im still working on improvement... so if any of you out there are where i was ... its not impossible to get back to a relatively normal life :) xoxo Susan

Susan you are so much further ahead in life than I was at that age.  I am 57 and have a history of panic and agoraphobia.  It can definitely get better every year.  There was not a name for this disorder or proper medications when it started for me at 10 and then at 17.  I still have problems but there are techniques and medicine and sometimes it lessens for awhile.  I have been married 37 years, two children, college degree, and tons of volunteer hours.  There is life after panic.  And I think people with panic are stronger than many other people.  You can look into the future and know that it will get better and better and you will be stronger than so many other people who have faced adversity.  I am living life and contributing to this world.  When I was young I didn't think that could ever happen but now there are inspirations like you for young people to follow.  Good Luck!  You have a very bright future.

May 27, 2009, 9:11 pm CDT


I know exactly where this lady's coming from and I feel for her.  I was there for over 20 years with no help form any doctor.  I feared eating out, sometimes dating, driving in the left-turn lane--never, no driving on the inside lane, being in crowds, stores with no windows I could see out, being alone with my first two grandchildren (I had loved to babysit as a teenager and loved playing with babies), anxious from 3:00 p.m. until the next morning (guess it was the dark and the fact I couldn't see out the windows), going into areas I wasn't familiar with and many more things to the point of becoming ill or couldn't breathe.  Finally, about 8 years ago my daughter took me to her doctor and on the first visit he diagnosed me, gave me a medication telling me I probably wouldn't see any improvement for six weeks and then a little at a time, however, in three weeks I could see a difference and now I am a totally different person.  I do all of the above and more.  I am even a court appointed Process Server now!!  I love life, life loves me and I wouldn't have it any other way!!  THANK GOD FOR PAXIL!!!!!!!!.  You ask what my problem was?  My seratonum (sp?) was
May 27, 2009, 9:22 pm CDT

Why wasn't she afraid to get the tatoo on her foot?

I felt a little duped by this women!   Also, why didn't Dr. Phil and his team of professionals say anything to her husband who goes to work and allows his daughter to drop out of school and take care of their mother?  She wasn't that convincing to me as I would be afraid to get a tatoo.  She is getting major attention from her family and needs to learn to earn that attention in a healthy way. 
May 27, 2009, 10:01 pm CDT

Anxiety, OCD and Fear

I couldn't believe the topic of the show today.  I felt like the show was a replay of my life.  I had a panic attack last night with my heart racing, continuously checking my pulse and feeling as if I were going to faint.  I have had OCD for as long as I can remember.  As a child, I had obsessive intrusive thoughts and would alleviate them with my compulsive behaviours such as not stepping on cracks, stepping on every third tile, taking ice out 3 pieces at a time, turning light switches on and off three times, repeating something I said outloud under my breath 3 times.  It was horrendous.  Not until I turned 19, did I finally get a name for my problems - OCD.  I have been able to put my compulsive behaviours in check, but my anxiety lingers and haunts me tremendously.  I didn't start having panic attacks until 2002 when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer.  I quit smoking then, but had this awful fear of dying since I knew my father was dying of lung cancer.  Over the next 6 months, I watched him waste away and die in front of me.  It was horrific and terrifying.  Although, I seemed to stay calm during it all including the 2 (TWO) funerals my mother had for him.  I remained stoic and refused to cry.  Well, a few months later, I started suffering from panic attacks again.  I thought for sure I was dying.  I had to be.  In and out of the doctors office and was finally told it was just anxiety.  I continued with my Luvox and it seemed to work well for a few years until I started having repeated miscarriages (mind you, I was not on any medication while trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy) after having a healthy pregnancy in 2004.  In 2008, an OBGYN suggested that I try Zoloft.  The first day I took it, I started having panic attacks again.  My anxiety was back full force and with a vengeance.  I quit taking the Zoloft and sunk into a deep depression and contemplated suicide quite a few times.  I also lost a ton of weight and was unable to sleep.  I forced myself to get to a psychiatrist and get back on Luvox.  In addition to the Luvox, I was prescribed sleeping pills and Xanax.  I am now on 100mg of Luvox and .5mg of Xanax.  I started to feel better by eating better, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly and continuing my medication.  But, I knew this anxiety could surface at any time.  In March 2009, I was diagnosed with a 4in. septated Ovarian Cyst that the doctor thought could be cancerous.   With my OCD, I searched the internet tirelessly and all I read was that Ovarian Cancer meant Death!!!  The Oncologist assured me that he believed the Cyst would go away with Birth Control and that it was not cancerous.  I took the birth control for a month with horrible side effects such as nausea, vomitting, diahrea and weight loss.  I quit taking the pill and found out that my cyst had decreased in  size to 5mm.  Boy was I lucky!!  Then, about a month later, I started to experience heart palpitations.  I thought, "Good God, what now!!??"  I went in to my General Practitioner and she said I had Mitral Valve Prolapse just by listening to my heart thru the stethescope.  So, of course, my panic attacks increased.  I thought, if it's my heart, I'm going to die.  Everything I read about MVP lead to the reasoning that you could lead a normal life and have a normal life expectancy, but all I could think about was dying because it was related to my heart.  The doctor eventually ordered an Echocardiogram and sure enough, I did NOT have Mitral Valve Prolapse.  So, here I am two weeks later and wondering what's going to happen next.  Last night, I was watching a show about women not knowing they were pregnant and one was thought to have had Ovarian Cancer and I started hyperventilating and having a full blown panic attack.  I know I have a fear of dying.  I've seen death first hand.  I've experienced loss.  I just don't know how to make this pain go away.  I fear dying and leaving my daughter alone.  My husband would be here, but he doesn't take care of her like I do.  I fear dying a horrible painful death.  I know I need to get it under control and I've put off psychologists since our insurance only covers psychiatrists, but I'm to the point that I'll have to use a credit card to get help - whatever it takes.  I'm desperate.  I can't live like this any longer.


Although my situation is not an extreme as Kathleen's, I could completely and souly empathize with her.  If you ever read this Kathleen, you're not alone.  I'm at least able to get out of the house and enjoy the simple pleasures of life like going to the park with my daughter, going to the movies, eating out, etc.  Although my greatest fear is Dying, I do have other fears such as flying, fear that my daughter will be kidnapped, fear that a family member with die or get an illness, fear of inadequacy with my career, etc.  I just hope that one day I can live a happy life again without these constant worries and constant anxiety.


Thanks for letting me share my story,


May 28, 2009, 12:47 am CDT

I'm glad he DID do a show on something that ruins people's lives

Quote From: strippe63

I can't believe Dr. Phil wasted a whole program on this one lady. I subscribed to the message board just today because of today's show.  Is she for real?  Not too afraid of things to go out and have a manicure and hair styled.  What about the tattoos?  How can someone with that many phobias get a tattoo?  GERMS?????  Why hasn't family services gotten involved?  I can't believe the life she has taken away from those precious girls.  She is a very stingy person.  She is getting a pay off.  She's getting all that attention, doesn't have to work, clean, or take care of her children. 

I used to watch Dr Phil to find ways to help myself or improve my life (which has been quite challenging for the last ten years) but I quit watching much of Dr. Phil after watching Nadia Suleman of 8 children & about her over & over & over & over. I was so insulted watching Dr. Phil waste all that time, energy, money etc. & begging for help for the kids--which all went to her, of course.  When I watched another show of his that was just about headline atrocities committed by people who were probably also mentally ill, (at least they were probably sociopaths w/ antipersonality disorders)-- I said enough!  Maybe he was doing those shows to get high ratings, but I have absolutely no idea how they were intended to help people. 


This is the kind of shows I would be interested in watching.  Dr. Phil always says how "This day is going to change your life,"  but a lot of his shows seem to be intended only for the morbid curiosity, which I don't find help me in any way but depress me. 


 I still don't watch but find it interesting to read about the shows sometimes.  I cannot believe the people here being so insensitive & cruelly attacking someone so brutally for having a serious mental illness that impairs her life so drastically.  Mental illness is not logical.  Mental illness does not ascertain  the *correctness* of why something is, it just is.  Mental illness is also not a choice.  I believe mental illness is a genetic *predisposition* of brain chemistry that has many environmental factors empowering it.  Dr. Phil did hit it right on when he asked the woman what the payoff was, because there is always one.


I agree this woman could have gotten help before now, like others have mentioned here have mentioned.  I don't know what was going on or what caused everything to escalate to the situation it is now, that is something her therapist (I sincerely hope she follows through on the help offered) to explore along w/ the payoff for each aspect of it.


Now if Dr. Phil had acknowledged Nadia's illness & not done show after show on her just letting her say anything she pleased w/out him directing his remarks to what she said & did, I probably would not have been so strong in my negativity towards her & his shows on her.


I'm curious: why do people watch Dr. Phil if they get angry at everything he does?  I don't anymore even though I know he's got good & bad on his show. I really am saddened by the number of strongly worded responses to today's show that seem to put her on the same level as Nadia Suleman.  I think there is a BIG difference between the two.


--A former mental health professional--

May 28, 2009, 1:10 am CDT


Quote From: fyoosha

Phobias are for those who have time for them...those of us who are suddenly  UN-employed, and terrified ,are being  ignored. I notice I'm so stressed, my typing looks like that of a 10-year-old....... After decades,of employment in education, and a "bread-and-butter"job, too-- I'm OUT  IN THE COLD,  invisible to the politicians, and to the media.....I don't care about the problems of millionaires or starlets!A lot of us are watching Dr. Phil for solace, suggestions, a panel of psychologists  perhaps?.....Something! Add Suze Orman to the mix and maybe this terrible Panic  that has gone unrecognized  can be addressed. We're  not all homeownders- a lot of us rent.....and have always been ok with  that. Forget "business as usual" at Dr. Phil- and for the next 17 whatever days ,help us COPE!  

Blessings. B. Ellen

 Its interesting how your sanity slowly ebbs when you have ongoing illness, intense pain, unemployment then long time poverty, nonstop harassment for bills your insurance should have covered, and the loss of things, places & people important to you one by one that you worked hard to get that turns into a never ending cycle.  Especially when it was all caused by someone else's carelessness.  And even more devastating, after you already have climbed out of incredible challenges several times already in your life & proved others wrong about being able to do it against all odds.  Now, in your aging years (when you shouldn't be feeling that old) instead of looking forward to retirement & increasing the quality of your life having the time to do all the things you put off until whenever, having to climb out of poverty & being without all over again but are now too poor & too chronically ill to do so. 
May 28, 2009, 1:44 am CDT

Slipping Away From Me

I was also excited when i saw the subject matter for this show today.. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia when I was 20 I am 29 now, Polycystic Ovarian Symdrome, And now arthritis, spinal stenosis, a lung obstruction,sleep apnea, plus to top it all off last year when my Mom started to get sick, i started gaining weight from taking care of her, not myself.

Okay so I grew up a Jehovah's Witness til 16, and was always lead to believe that if I did not do right by Jehovah God... it ment certain death.

I have panic attacks really bad when it comes to being sick or DYING!!!! I am SOOOOO scared of that unknown i think.  my mom also has Fibromyalgia and has Sarcoidosis, last summer they had her on 60mg of Prednesone and she almost died, we are ALOT alike i get scared I am going to lose her sometimes..Now I need to have this LapBand surgery,i am scared to get it what it they open me up and find some bleeding/ They said I also have Anemia. i just feel like i am slipping away sometimes....

May 28, 2009, 5:47 am CDT

Anxiety Disorder Suvivor

I have suffered from  anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember...   However,  I have a great doctor who understands that this is a true illness and not all in your head..... I have been on 50mg of Zoloft for a total of about 10ys.   After 5yrs on Zoloft  and feeling great  I decided that I wanted to see if I was ok to be off it.   I did really good  for about 3 yrs and then I  learned I was about to loose my job or have to move to another state.   My panic attacks came back with more strengh  then ever.   I truly thought  with each one I was going to die...........My life was a living hell !!!!!!!!!! 

I had previously been through the Lucinda Bassett program.  Although I found it helpful she really doesnt believe in taking medicine..... Sometimes ya just need it because something just isnt right with the serotone levels....

The best self help  CD  I found was :  PASS THROUGH PANIC  by   DR.  CLAIRE WEEKES... I use to listen to it  my car on my way to work everyday just to get to work..... If  it could help just one person on here then I feel like I did my part ...   I still have  a few pings & pangs of anxiety every once in a while but who doesnt.  My life is soooo much better with the combination of medicine and self help CD's....

Until u have been in the throngs of a major panic attack u will never understand  it !!!!!!!!


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