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Topic : 09/05 Phobias

Number of Replies: 117
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Friday, September 02, 2005, 11:04:09 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1

Imagine having an overwhelming, irrational fear that dominates your day-to-day life. Monica is petrified of leaving her house and being separated from her husband, who actually quit his job to stay home with her. For Michelle, it's small pieces of paper that leave her physically ill, while Pam is so terrified of birds that she'll only leave the house at night. Find out what Carey is deathly afraid of and if it even prevented her from getting on the plane to come see Dr. Phil! How can these guests get on with their lives and learn to control their phobias? Share your stories and talk about the show here.


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September 5, 2005, 7:34 pm CDT


Quote From: drbobbi

I am absolutely disgusted to hear that that lady is on disability and welfare because of this phobia of not being able to go outside.  It is absolutely ridiculous.  If she was living in another country where other people wouldnt baby her, and support this stupid reason for attention. 


I think the rest of these people have phobias because they can.  They have nothing better to do.  If they were busy with something else, they wouldnt have time to make up these ridiculous phobias. 

Pride comes before a fall.
September 5, 2005, 7:43 pm CDT

To my fellow emetophobics

 I am extremely relieved to hear your stories and comforted to know that there are people out there like me.  I have felt like I was alone for such a long time, drawing people away because the fear consumed my life.  I have done much research on this and at 21 years of age I feel like I know a lot about our phobia.  Did you know that the majority of emetophobics don't actually throw up?  We have this subconscious part of our brain that fights off the action of vomiting.  Also, I have actually hyperventalated and almost passed out because I was so nauseus before.  Has this ever happened to anyone else?  I hear a lot about everyone being afraid of vomiting in front of people but that isn't my major fear.  My fear is of other people vomiting and "catching" the germs so I get sick....then my fear turns into me getting sick.  I think if contagion was eliminated from the equation, I would be able to cope with anxiety easier....because then I could start trying to face vomit itself.  I once took care of someone who was drunk and vomiting because I knew they weren't contagious.  Of course I was crying through it all but at least I got through it and can say I was a huge step for me....don't know if I could do it anytime again soon though.  Anyway, is there anyone out there with a success story to lead me in the right direction?  I am so sick of being controlled by a fear.  Do help us!  Thanks!
September 5, 2005, 8:12 pm CDT

Banana Phobia

I remember the first day that I stopped eating bananas. I was four years old at kindergarten and I refused to eat one. I wasn't allowed to go out and play because I hadn't eaten my lunch my didn't care. The fact that they wouldn't let me play isn't the issue, and I have no other idea why I hate them so much. I was attending a university tutorial once and we spoke of our phobias...everyone thought I was bizarre. I can't touch, smell, or hardly even look at them. I won't eat candy bananas or banana cake. I was in a school rowing crew once and we were buying team clothes - we found a cheap watch that had a picture of a banana on it and I couldn't bring myself to wear it. I constantly worry that what I am eating will have banana in it and I tell people I am allergic to them to make sure that they don't put it in my food eg. a smoothie. Writing the word banana so many times in this message is making me feel ill. Ive never met anyone who is in my position and would love some feedback.
September 5, 2005, 8:50 pm CDT

Fear of Ketchup

I just wanted to share my phobia. I have a fear of ketchup, of eating ketchup, of seeing ketchup, and being near ketchup. I am embarassed about it and it has effected my life. I am very social but can't eat in restaurants because I panic when it's on the table. Even if someone takes it off the table (I can't touch the bottle!!), I am still afraid that someone at the restaurant will accidently put some ketchup on or near my food. If I'm eating with someone and they eat something with ketchup on it, I can't concentrate and I feel dizzy and sick. My husband likes to enjoy ketchup on his food sometimes but I can't stand having it in the house. If it's in the fridge, I can't even open the door. Interestingly, I love tomato sauce and I eat other tomato products which are very similar to ketchup. I don't think I would ever like to be able to eat ketchup, but I would like to be able to have it near me without panicking.
September 5, 2005, 8:53 pm CDT

Another Phobic Signing in

 First, let me say that I have been trying to log on for WEEKS but kept getting a message saying I had not completed my registration and to go to my email account to send it in.  But there was never an email from Dr Phil, even when I requested it over and over.

Tonight, I thought I would try again... and it worked.  I was allowed in without having to complete my registration.  It's fate, I just know it.

I have been phobic since I was in my late 20s and I'm now in my mid-40s.  I have driving phobias as well as crowds and claustraphobia.  The driving is the worst.  There's about a 2 mile safety zone around my home where I can drive except if it's a busy left lane (like at a traffic light), overpass, bridge and tunnel.  So it's rather limiting!  If I were to be on a left lane at a red light, or driving over a bridge, etc. then my heart beats very fast, I feel "clammy" and light headed, I think I'm having a heart attack and I feel an overwhelming need to get out of my car because I feel trapped.  Do you know what I mean?  Also, I'm afraid I'll hurt someone else - like if I jumped out of my car without putting it in "Park" first.

I used to be able to drive anywhere.  I would drive hundreds of miles away even into other states.  I'd drive over bridges and overpasses... even up to the mountains - all without fear.  Heck, I drove up to Haleakala - over 10,000 ft up!  I could be on a plane or train or bus...

But after my first attack, all of that was over. 

I know this is a control issue but knowing that hasn't helped.  I also remember one doctor told me a phobia is "unexpressed rage".

In reading over these posts, I've noticed many of you are married and/or have children.  You're lucky in that - I've never been married.  It's too late for me to become a mother.  I've spent too many years at home instead of going out and dating.

Last year, Dr. Phil was talking about something and he kind of threw in, "I almost wish this issue with you was a phobia -  that's so much easier... I could help you get rid of a phobia in, like, 15 seconds."

I was so shocked when he said that and I remember wondering why he hadn't had a show about phobias if the cure was that simple.  Anyway, the show is still on so I hope he talks about his "15 second cure".

September 5, 2005, 8:59 pm CDT

Closed Minded People

Quote From: drbobbi

I am absolutely disgusted to hear that that lady is on disability and welfare because of this phobia of not being able to go outside.  It is absolutely ridiculous.  If she was living in another country where other people wouldnt baby her, and support this stupid reason for attention. 


I think the rest of these people have phobias because they can.  They have nothing better to do.  If they were busy with something else, they wouldnt have time to make up these ridiculous phobias. 

You must have a Ph.D because I can't believe you're a medical doctor.  Why would you assume someone with a phobia is faking it?  Do you think people with phobias sit at home, eating bon bons and cashing those big government checks?  Get a clue.  Or at least, get a heart.
September 5, 2005, 9:25 pm CDT


I am 18 yrs old and I've been living with this fear since 2nd grade.  I just watched the dr. phil show on phobias and I can completely relate to what Carey is going through.  I don't know why I came to have this fear and it is comforting to know other people can relate.  I've had the anxiety worse and a little better through out the years, almost in waves.   When I have a bad experience with someone throwing up the worrying comes back strong.  At a real bad point I couldn't go to school, maybe 1 or 2 days at most.  I would get so anxious, sometimes in class I'd have to just walk out.  I ate very little during this period and my weight got as low as 92 lbs (I'm 5'2''). I even had a coach ask me if I had an eating disorder.  I'm ashamed to tell my parents and often when I would panic I'd just say I didn't feel good and went through countless medical tests because they thought something was wrong.  To make that long story short I ended up going to psychiatrist/psychologist and taking antidepressents.  None of those really helped and I just found as I didn't have any "vomiting experiences", the worrying subsided and I've been able to lead a relatively normal life right now, able to eat, go out, ride planes etc.  although the worrying is always in the back of my head.  I'm worried I will relapse into that bad of a situation as I'm going off to college and have a whole life ahead of me.  I can only resign my self to deal with the situations as they come.  Like I said it's comforting to read other similar stories and I add mine to the many. :)
September 5, 2005, 9:37 pm CDT

I know just how they feel!

I just finished watching todays show on phobias and I know just how those people feel.  My phobia is a fear of flying.  I have never been a really good flyer - usually white-knuckling it the whole way.  I don't fly very often, but at least in the past I have been able to do it.  I flew across country 1-1/2 years ago.  I was supposed to fly to Washington State this past weekend to visit family, but I had a horrible panic attack and backed out at the last minute.  I really wanted to go and visit my family, but I was having such violent physical symptoms that I was afraid to get on the plane.  The last place I wanted to be while in the middle of my own personal melt down was strapped into a small airplane seat.   I feel so embarrassed - I feel like I let my family down and I let myself down.  I've been beating myself up for the last two days, even though I know it's not healthy to do that.  It's like one half of my brain knows all the technical stuff, like statistically flying is safer than driving in a car, like crashing is highly unlikely, that I won't die from a panic attack, no matter how bad I may be feeling.  But the other side of my brain seems to be winning - pumping out adrenaline as if there was a sale going on.  Anyone else have this kind of fear and be able to overcome it?  Any tips on what kinds of therapy/treatment works and doesn't work?
September 5, 2005, 11:20 pm CDT

you are a fool

Quote From: artist

Pride comes before a fall.
You have the nerve to quote scripture.  The only one who has pride is you.  I have had panic attacks since age 13, agoraphobia at age 14 and couldn't leave my house for a year.  I have since had a marriage of 23 years,  three children, and now two grandchildren.  I also own my own business, all the while fighting again debilitating panic attacks.  How dare you assume anything about this.  You know nothing at all.    I don't want any ones pity but I would love to have a life of freedom from this.  If they came up with brain surgery to stop the thoughts and the physical and emotional symptoms I would be the first in line.  But only a few people know anything about my problem, I choose not to have people see me as different.  My youngest son doesn't even know i have this issue.  Please if you have no idea what you are talking about and have no sympathy then say nothing.   People don't want this, they all want a normal life.   
September 6, 2005, 5:15 am CDT

My Son's Story (GAD)

                      That was then!  This is Now!  There is Hope!  


His name is Dave.  At age 40 he finally found out what he was suffering from.  It was generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) but had no idea how to get over it.  He told me that he had suffered from anxiety and fear for as long as he could remember.  It had totally devastated his life.  He said he worried bout everything since childhood and assumed that excessive worry was normal.  Negative thoughts constantly raced through his head.   

There were many days when he was too terrified to leave the safety of the house.  He said his anxiety made it impossible to concentrate, as a result he assumed that he was either mentally retarded or just plain stupid, as he could only get through school by memorizing or copying from his friends.  He also felt that university was out of the question because of his inability to concentrate, and he firmly believed that he was doomed to low paying jobs for the life.  He ruled out marriage because he had difficulty just supporting himself, and he was to terrified to ask a girl out on a date anyway. He finally hit rock bottom and moved home to live with us, as a last resort.  This further lowered his self-esteem, and he thought about suicide daily.  As I had a business making running board mats for antique vehicles I made him my quality control expert as he was able to see flaws that no one else saw.  He was also extremely good at fixing them as well. Because of his anxiety and fear I knew that there would be days when he could not work, so I allow him to work when he could.   Unfortunately, most jobs require an employee to be able to work a regular shift so realistically he was unemployable anywhere else, and he knew it. This just added to his depression.  I also noticed that he called himself stupid at least forty times a day, even though I knew he was extremely talented. When I told him so he discounted it because it was coming from his dad.  By this time he was totally convinced that he was very stupid.  Once he believed it, his mind reinforced this lie hundreds of times a day.   


By this time I was looking everywhere for answers.  I sent him to a psychiatrist who prescribed almost all of the SSRI's and several other drugs.  They did nothing, made him sick, or made him sleep all the time so he could not work, which further depressed him.  In desperation, I checked out the Internet for answers.  I found the  website of Dr. Richards who claimed he was successful in treating people with anxiety disorders using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  He said he had suffered from social anxiety for over 20 years, and had no idea how to cure himself.  He said he had been to doctor after doctor and taken pill after pill with no success.   Once he found the key to overcoming his social anxiety he decided to develop a CBT audiotape series for people suffering from social anxiety (phobia) so they could treat themselves at home, as he had already discovered that there was almost no professionals who understood anxiety, or how to treat it.     


I purchased the tape series.  My son, working religiously with this 20 tape series, has literally turned his life around.  They have literally saved his life.  He is now working full time at a job that he loves.  The tape series taught him to reprogram his brain to remove the negative self-defeating garbage with rational true information.  He says he seldom worries and is now able to focus on the task at hand for the first time in his life.  He says positive thoughts flood his mind, not worry and he no longer allows people to use and abuse him, something he had always done in the past.  He has removed the stupid label from his vocabulary.  He now looks forward to the future, instead of dreading it.  He says if I can overcome this devastating illness, anyone can if they are willing to put in the effort the CBT requires.   


According to Dr. Richards the only way to remove negative untrue beliefs is to replace them with true rational beliefs, through constant repetition  and persistence. How did you learn to count?  Through repetition.  Will you ever forget how to count?  No. If you convinced yourself your "stupid" will you ever forget it?  No.  The purpose of CBT is to remove these negative untrue beliefs with the truth through repetition.  This in a nutshell is what CBT is all about.  Anti-depressant drugs may be needed as an aide to reduce the symptoms of the illness for some people, while they are reprogramming their brain, but they will NEVER change your negative irrational beliefs.    Dr. Richard says: if you simply want a band-aide solution use anti-depressant drugs, but if you want to permanently change your brain's chemistry so that you think more rationally, CBT is the solution".    


NOTE:  Anyone interested in forming an on-line support group for anxiety disorders please e-mail me at:  

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