Is this a phobia?
August 2, 2011 6:37 AM Subscribe
Why do I avoid looking at maps, satellite images and the Mona Lisa?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
About five years ago while flipping through an art history book I had a strong reaction of dread/fear come over me while looking at a print of the Mona Lisa--to such a degree that I couldn't look at that page anymore. I experienced a sinking feeling, sweaty palms, repulsion and had to kind of talk myself down afterward. I had never had a reaction like that to any image before. That's how the whole thing started. This led slowly to becoming afraid of other unlikely things, namely maps and satellite images/photos taken from space. My current reaction to such feels akin to a fear of falling, but, just as with the Mona Lisa, I wasn't afraid of maps or satellite images until relatively recently. I realized now how routinely I avoid clicking on links or allowing myself to be caught off guard in any way by visuals. It's not ruining my life (yet) but I can see how something like this could continue to expand, as it already has, into a real problem (especially since I work in the design industry). Therapy is the best answer, but I can't afford therapy right now. Please tell me anything you can about the symptoms I've described. Is this a phobia? Have you ever had any similar experiences? If so, was it brought on by anything in particular? Thank you!