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Old 03-03-2007, 10:24 PM   #1
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Anyone ever done a phobia course/session?

I'm doing one for spiders, and to be honest, the thought petrifies me. I have to talk about them, think about them, for hours. Hours. I can even touch one at the end if I want to. Haha. If I want to. Anyway, the psychologist who runs this reckons the course is very successful. My fear is impacting on my life. I do need to do something, but even doing something scares me. It means I have to address them, and I'm scared even thinking about them.

Has anyone ever done something like this, and does it work?

Please dont move this to confessionals, by the way. I dont want to talk about the phobia itself. I want to hear if people have overcome them, and how, if they did.
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:56 PM   #2
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I've had a phobia of spiders since I was a baby. I don't know why, since bugs, snakes, amphibians and such don't bother me. My bedroom in my college house was infested with several species of spiders. Once I was climbing into bed only to pull back my sheets and find a spider three inches in diameter on my pillow. Another time I woke up because something was ticking my hip and it was a spider. As a little kid, I would wake up feeling paralyzed because I was covered in spiders and webs. It was like dreaming while conscious.

If the class works, let me know what things you did. I've gotten a little better by just being exposed to them more frequently, but I HATE them so much I can't even kill them myself. I actually get feelings of rage when I see a spider, like I'm mad at them for looking like a devil and scaring the shit out of me. I wish I could get over it, it's pretty embarrassing for me.
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:03 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone ever done a phobia course/session?

Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
I'm doing one for spiders, and to be honest, the thought petrifies me.
I feel awful now, after pretending to be a spider in that other thread

I guess I’m fortunate, in that my phobias are pretty limited. The only ‘issue’ I’ve had is with extreme shyness, so I guess that is a certain phobia...social phobia. While I was going to university, it was so bad that I would feel horribly claustrophobic and uneasy in the midst of large crowds. I’d walk in to the library, for example, and just keep my head down to avoid any kind of mass interaction. I was always fine with one-on-one situations, but the crowd thing, including public speaking, was very difficult.

To make a long story short, the big change for me happened during my grandfather’s funeral service, of all places. I ended up giving a eulogy, and then wouldn’t shut up. All this stuff just poured out of me, and the minister actually had to whisper in my ear to “wrap it up.” Apparently he had a wedding to attend.

Fear can be an interesting thing...it can force you to surrender to it, but it can also force you to be inventive. In that vein, I’d say the surround-yourself-with-spiders approach could be very effective. Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:14 AM   #4
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it's ok angel/devil, i'll just pretend to be many people at once. a crowd of me!


...ok, there was an idea for retalitation in there somewhere!

i've spoke to this dude on the phone already and he says that the issue is not the thing you are afraid of but the fear itself. one of us is not understanding, as it is actual spiders that paralyse me with fear. we have a pre-session on tuesday. he also needs to make sure i dont have a heart condition incase i drop dead or faint or something. he'd started going through how bad my fear is, but he said 'we'll cut it short. we can discuss it at length in person'. i was only halfway through the scenarios which make me nearly pee myself, like not putting my feet on the floor when sitting in a chair for fear of the imaginary spiders which are waiting to crawl on my (usually) bare feet, peaking around doors in toilets to make sure none are up on the walls just waiting to attack me.

i'll let you know what happens. i'm hoping someone on here has done one before so i can get an idea of how the hell someone can 'cure' chronic fear! i just don't understand it.
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
it's ok angel/devil, i'll just pretend to be many people at once. a crowd of me!


...ok, there was an idea for retalitation in there somewhere!



Stop staring at me...all of you!!!


What about hypnotism for your spider-fear?
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:49 AM   #6
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i dont know if i believe in hypnotism either

i'm chronically unbelieving in nearly everything!
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Old 03-04-2007, 07:21 AM   #7
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Dunno if it's helpful but Ruth Ostrow's column in this weekend's Australian colour supplement was about "catastrophising" ie thinking the automatic worst about any situation. And fear is part of that, ie thinking the automatic worst about spiders. Maybe that's what the bloke was on about, the fear itself.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
i dont know if i believe in hypnotism either

i'm chronically unbelieving in nearly everything!
Except imaginary spiders.

I thought of going to class for some of my phobias (like driving),
but the thought of the class scared me more than the phobia.

I have absolutely no helpful advice to give you.
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:15 AM   #9
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Do we have to fight against all our fears? I mean, is it so terrible to be afraid of spiders as long as you can just avoid them as much as possible?

Good luck Anna
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
Once I was climbing into bed only to pull back my sheets and find a spider three inches in diameter on my pillow.


I'm not as afraid of spiders as I used to be, but that one would've sent me screaming and running away for sure.

I've often thought about taking a class to help me get over my fear of flying. I didn't fly for the first time until I was 22 and moved about a thousand miles away to go to grad school, so for a long time it was simply fear of the unknown. Then I was on a plane that had to make an emergency landing, and that brought back my fears and made them even worse.

Right now I'm still at a point in my life where I can get away with not flying too much, since I'm still in school and can't really afford it, but as someone who really wants to see the world, I know I'm going to have to get over my fear sooner or later.

Good luck with your class!
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:24 PM   #11
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Hope it works out for you, Angela. Of my three biggest phobias (the others being vomiting and fish) I'd say my spider phobia is the worst. I cannot be in the same room as a spider. Doesn't matter how big or small it is, I'm still terrified.

It was worse in South Africa, where we got a lot of poisonous varieties. When I was small, a baboon spider somehow managed to get into our flat. I wailed and wailed...my father couldn't do anything about it, because he's terrified of spiders too. My mother had to get rid of it and it had a go at her. It didn't bite her, thankfully. Another time, I found a button spider on one of my toys in the garage. Again, I wailed and wailed and wasn't able to bring myself to play with that toy ever again. I thought it had laid eggs in it and that they'd hatch and swarm all over it.

Then, in the Middle East, we got camel spiders! One camel spider got stuck in my ceiling light and ran around in there for a few days before it fried up. Turning on your light, only to see the silhouette of a giant, dead camel spider is not very fun. When my parents had gone to bed, I used to sneak into the lounge and sleep there, because I was too ashamed to tell them I couldn't sleep where the spider was. My mother eventually found out what had happened, and I was only able to sleep in my room after she'd removed it.

The spiders aren't so bad in Canada. We get harmless garden spiders that build their webs in the windows around houses and buildings. Even so, I'm just as terrified of them as I am of button spiders, baboon spiders and camel spiders. I'd really like to say I don't freak out like a kid when I see them, but...

Ugh, I have to stop. I'm getting goosebumps even posting in this thread. Hope it all works out. Maybe you can give me some pointers!
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:32 PM   #12
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I have a paralyzing fear of cockroaches. It's maybe the only thing that scares me more than being stabbed or crazy demon faces.
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Old 03-04-2007, 04:16 PM   #13
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I'm scared of spiders too. Those little buggers...

One thing that might help your fear is to watch one of those hilariously bad spider-based monster films from the 60's. It's one of the least scary things imaginable.
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Old 03-04-2007, 04:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint


Except imaginary spiders.

I thought of going to class for some of my phobias (like driving),
but the thought of the class scared me more than the phobia.

I have absolutely no helpful advice to give you.
I'm scared of driving too i havent driven in weeks...i keep avoiding it... I'm not as nervous driving myself but I'm afraid of driving other people, getting into wrecks or just getting lost and looking like a moron...

I don't know if i have a phobia of spiders but I certainly don't like them. little ones don't bother me much, but ones like what GibsonGirl was describing... bugs are really creepy to me in general, with a few exceptions (i'm in love with praying mantids )
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Old 03-04-2007, 04:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoIsMyMuse




I'm not as afraid of spiders as I used to be, but that one would've sent me screaming and running away for sure.
I didn't touch it. I made my friend's boyfriend capture it in a jar and let it go far away from the house. It was so big and ferocious, I was afraid to kill it! If I find smaller ones, I point them out to the cats (they know the word "spider") and have them take care of it.

My housemate was also deathly afraid of them. I won't touch them, but I don't run around shrieking. I tried to desensitize her by buying a pack of plastic ones and sporadically placing one on the toilet seat, dangling from a thread in her door way, on her pillow, etc.
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