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Topic : 05/27 What Do You Fear?

Number of Replies: 421
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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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October 21, 2008, 1:22 pm CDT

10/21 What Do You Fear?

Quote From: nikki1985

Yes to your question; does she enjoy this---yes she does! There is mental illness and people who are controling. She is one big controller. She wants to control her children and her husband. They are prisoners in their own home. It is ridiculous. These children are being abused. Someone should help them not her. She is a user and it has got out of control. I am sure all kinds of help is going to be offered to her and she will keep right on using her family just as she has for the last 21 years. Her husband is just as guilty by not getting those poor children out of there so they can have some kind of life . How  very sad for them. It is truly sickening.

I just replied t the same post you replied to, but I'm going to tell you the same thing: it is not her fault we stayed with her!  We chose to on our own terms whether she knew it or not. There are times even now when we all have to be places and I make up excuses to stay home so she doesn't have to go through the stress of finding somewhere to go. We don't need help. If we wanted to go about our lives and leave my mother to sort it our herself we would, but she's our mother, I can't believe that if you weren't in the situation of us kids that you would just leave your mother like mine.

October 21, 2008, 1:29 pm CDT

10/21 What Do You Fear?

Quote From: anne124

   My heart goes out to Kathleen with all her phobia's, she should have gone for medication (prozac) for her anxiety's decades ago.  I have taken Sarafem, following my anxieties after 9/11 happened...and am much more balanced in my behaviors.  Kathleen's children NEED to be back in school!!  She should not allow her kids to pay the price for her own fears.  Kathleen's "needy" behavior is working for her, so why would she want to change it?  The world revolves around her.  She needs to get her whole family, husband and children included, helping to make a weekly plan to clean the house...for all's happiness.  Once a plan is in place, they can get back to normalcy....but ALL those CHILDREN MUSTTTT be in school!!!  Her husband needs to step up as the man and help out, talk to his employer & classmates mom's, to make sure the kids get to school and that they know school is really important to their futures.  Responsibility, social interaction, being deciplined in life, all depend on them regularly attending school.   I hope Kathleen works hard to get the medication and help she needs to be successful.  No one is perfect, so it's good she came on the show.  Hugs to her and her kids...I pray you find the way out of your darkness and into the light., you can live the life God truly wants for you & your family.   Concerned viewer,  Anne from MI

Thank you for this. I'll let you know, too that Alexis is doing very well in school now and hasn't missed a day so far this school year and I'm taking a college class two days a week. We are working on our educations.

She has been trying to clean a lot lately but it keeps getting messy over and over again. I try to help her keep it clean but my sister and her friends are not helpful at all.

October 21, 2008, 1:32 pm CDT

10/21 What Do You Fear?

Quote From: dianefraser

I dont understand how she can inspect a straw yet lve in a bedroom that is filthy.

She can't either. I can't count the number of times she has asked doctors why she can't drink out of a cup that has a tiny black dot on it, but she can smoke cigarettes with who knows how many chemicals.

Even the other day we were at Fred Meyers and she bought a Dasani bottled water, the kind she always drinks, but it was partially frozen because the machine it was in got too cold, and after she drank it she said she felt weird and kept asking if something could have been wrong with the water that she had drank.

Yet, she still smokes and lives in a mess.

October 21, 2008, 1:34 pm CDT

10/21 What Do You Fear?

Quote From: katevitolo

Why didn't the husband contribute to the discussion? How is he affected and what does he think? Why hasn't he tried to get her help? Why is he still there? Are they happily married? Can't imagine they're intimate.

We all had a little stage fright. I'm pretty sure that's why he didn't speak much. I can't speak for him but he does what he can to help her. Without him working to support us we would have no where to be, nevertheless any way to find her help.

October 21, 2008, 1:37 pm CDT

10/21 What Do You Fear?

Quote From: dibbe214

Obviously, this woman Kathleen has an extreme chemical imbalance thats causing severe anxiety.   I'd be exactly like her if it wasn't for anti-anxiety med, an SSRI such as prozac.   Why would anybody just expect her to just get over it ??

I believe she was supposed to go to Dr.Lawlis' clinic in Texas for tests on that, but when she got to the airport she said she just couldn't do it. She said she would drive there but we live much too far away for her to have been there in time seeing how the appointment was the next day.

October 21, 2008, 1:37 pm CDT

What about the kids???

I am compelled to write to you, Dr. Phil, in response to today's show dedicated to Kathleen the Phobia Monger. I am not an unfeeling woman and I have made my share of mistakes, but give me a break!! Kathleen has been suffering from phobias for over 20 years and has chosen to bring children into the world only to burden them with her Crippling Fears. The girls have been allowed to quit school in order to care for her?? Hello!! How about a social worker intervening and removing the children from a  home where there is obvious neglect and not so subtle emotional abuse??
I am not sympathetic to this woman at all. And did I see a big 'ol tattoo on her shoulder?? Where's the fear there?? I feel saddened that she should receive such attention on your show and the children are a side note. The kids need counseling to recover from living with her nonsense their entire lives.
October 21, 2008, 1:37 pm CDT

The show (first guest)

I don't think this woman has nearly as many fears as she has excuses. If she were really afraid of getting a disease or of being unhealthy and of suffering from a heart attack, she would take better care of herself!!  I think that she needs to be evaluated because she LOVES attention! These are excuses for her to not have to do anything! Did she mention a fear of cleaning? If she is home all day, what stops her from cleaning that house? She is simply making excuses to do nothing! Snap out of it and take care of your family.
October 21, 2008, 1:38 pm CDT

My Fears

What I fear is not being happy in life. I have some type of social anxiety.  I felt for the lady in todays show and how her fears take over her life.  I'm only 21 years old.  I don't feel like most people my age have to deal with this.  At this point in my life I should be having the time of my life but i'm not.  I recently got laid off from my job and can't afford health insurance so have no way to see a doctor about this.  I'm having trouble getting a new job because when i go into a place to ask for an application my anxiety takes over and i end up just walking out.  People that don't have this have no idea what its like.
October 21, 2008, 1:38 pm CDT

10/21 What Do You Fear?

Quote From: ramair

To say nothing of the bathroom! Or, the kitchen. Kathleen admitted that she only cleaned it for the camera crew. The only room she actually keeps clean is the living room. So people can come over without knowing what a mess the rest of the house is. But, what if they need to go to the bathroom?
The bathrom downstairs is usually clean. The bathroom that was shown is the one in her bedroom.
October 21, 2008, 1:39 pm CDT

Christian Counselor Here

My first thought is that she is suffering from Paranoid Schizophrenia.A person diagnosed with schizophrenia may demonstrate auditory hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized and unusual thinking and speech; this may range from loss of train of thought and subject flow, with sentences only loosely connected in meaning, to incoherence, known as word salad, in severe cases.


Social isolation commonly occurs for a variety of reasons. Impairment in social cognition is associated with schizophrenia, as are symptoms of paranoia from delusions and hallucinations, and the negative symptoms of avolition (apathy or lack of motivation). In one uncommon subtype, the person may be largely mute, remain motionless in bizarre postures, or exhibit purposeless agitation; these are signs of catatonia. No one sign is diagnostic of schizophrenia, and all can occur in other medical and psychiatric conditions.

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