So last week I explained that I was having an emotional crisis and asked for some help with decision making. It turns out that I was not having an emotional crisis and was actually having extremely dangerous heart arrhythmias that often lead to sudden cardiac arrest. (Supposedly, certain heart conditions and rhythms can be accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and impending doom.) Now I am alone in a hospital and am facing an uncertain future. [more inside]
I'm interested in hearing from women who had (or have?) an intense terror of pregnancy and childbirth, but decided to get pregnant anyway. How did you cope with this fear? [more inside]
I have a completely irrational but very persistent fear of frogs. Has anyone else experienced this fear and overcome it? What worked for you? [more inside]
I admit it, I am afraid of many large dogs. Mostly, this includes boxers, rotties and pit bulls, sometimes even great danes if they're loose in yard. What can I do to alleviate this? Dogs can tell that I am afraid, I know. I feel adrenaline shoot through me when I encounter people with these dogs or dogs in a yard. I suspect that my fear is socially conditioned, and I feel bad about being a "dog racist." [more inside]
What categories of (or what specific) jobs and/or career paths in large corporations are least likely to require travel with turnaround and/or distance that necessitates flying? What types of industries (while otherwise thriving) seem to be paring down their travel budgets and relying more on videoconferencing and similar tech? What about government jobs? Are you a highly successful ........ and don't, or at least have never been required to, fly for work? I would love to know about your job. [more inside]
My friend, who lives in a very safe place in the United States, is unusually scared about ebola. More than really makes any sense. Ebola has appeared sporadically every several years since it was discovered in the 70s. Most years, there are zero cases worldwide. Is it right to say that the current outbreak is likely to be another case of ebola flaring up and then disappearing? [more inside]
Precocious 6 y.o. daughter has suddenly developed an intense fear of fire. If the stove is on, she is sobbing or screaming or fretting. Same thing with the (outside) grill and my neighbor's fire pit. Logic, reason, discussion are all fruitless; as long as there is visible fire, she's terrified. How to help her cope? [more inside]
If you have, say a spider phobia, are you the "Run away!!" type of phobic or the "OMG SMASH SMASH SMASH HIT IT WITH A BOOK TURN OVER THE TABLE SET THE HOUSE ON FIRE... is it dead?" type? Is there a term or specific type of phobia for the second option? [more inside]
My dog is scared of men. [more inside]
Takeoff-specific flying phobia [more inside]
Over the summer, my 3.5 year old developed a bunch of odd aversions/phobias. And now, over the last three weeks or so, he seems generally anxious when we go out. I'm wondering if it's just a phase related to his age, and I should keep him mostly at home till it passes? Or is this the start of a more serious anxiety condition? Or a sign that our city life is too much for him? [more inside]
I am an adult with fear of the dark, along with other anxiety problems. I hate driving in the dark, even on streets with streetlights (I even hesitate to ride in the car at night) and feel panicky in dark rooms. I sleep with a nightlight, but wish it didn't feel like a necessity, and with fall coming, I dread the long nights ahead. Beyond therapy (which I have tried for my other problems and cannot currently afford) are there any methods of coping with this?
I used to be very shy. Through years of pushing myself (I'm 33 now), I've become pretty amazingly functional. But I find myself in an unexpected spot. While I very much want to be around people and I can now handle it without freezing up, my experience of actually being around people is one of gritted teeth and willpower. There's very little joy in it. In theory, I'd like nothing more than a bushel of friends hanging out in my kitchen on a Sunday night. In practice, I push myself into social situations like dunking my arm in freezing water, pulling it out with a huge sigh of relief as soon as I let myself. That's not a recipe for forging new friendships, which I know take time and certain amount of vulnerability. What can I do to take myself to the next level -- from functional to genuinely friendly? Do people ever make it to the next level? On the phobia scale, it's not enough for me to be able to let a spider crawl on my arm without having a panic attack, I need to be able to lay down in a cave full of spiders and love it. (I've been in therapy for a year, but aside from that, I'd like to hear from you all.)
I want to have sex with my boyfriend for the first time, but I have an extreme phobic reaction to both genitalia and vaginal penetration. How can I possibly overcome this? [more inside]
Help me become ok with conflict. I avoid conflict. Not just overt, head-butting conflict, but also minor disagreements, disapproving looks, divergent preferences... all the way down to the friction generated by the give and take of an interesting conversation. Anything short of complete harmony, and I'm looking for a way out. Sometimes this means avoiding the person or situation. Sometimes this means just shutting up and smiling. Sometimes it means not developing an opinion of my own until I know what other people think first. My absolute fear of conflict is a drag. It makes me and my life pretty bland and I want to beat it. Tell me how to beat it. [more inside]
Why do I avoid looking at maps, satellite images and the Mona Lisa? [more inside]
I have a serious problem with being seen to be intellectually 'wrong'. I need ways to get over it [more inside]
Blood test failed due to needle phobia - what to do now? [more inside]
How do I overcome my fear of being yelled at, and getting all disregulated when I do get yelled at? [more inside]
I need to go to the dentist. But, I have a phobia of injections. Not going isn't really an option, so what can I do? [more inside]
Have you "cured" an extreme phobia that you once had? How did you do it? [more inside]
I have a near-pathological fear of talking to strangers on the phone. My expanded job duties will soon include calling clients. How do I get past this fear? [more inside]
I'm scared of going to the dentist. How do I find one that will understand and how do I prepare myself for going to my first appointment in years? [more inside]
My bedroom creeps me the #%^* out. What can I do to alleviate my (somewhat) irrational fears? (hacks, consumer products, etc.) [more inside]
I'm a long-term glasses wearer who is going to try to make the leap to contacts. Problem: I have a really strong flinch reflex/phobia of things going into my eye. What to do about this? [more inside]
Is there a name for the dislike of the anticipation felt on receiving or opening gifts? [more inside]
Ice falling from tall buildings filter. Help me lay to rest a question that has plagued my wife. We live in Chicago, with lots of tall buildings. Ice falls off of the buildings from time to time and about once a year, some poor bastard gets mushed. Where in terms of physics and I suppose statistics would be the safest place to walk down the sidewalk: as close to the building as possible? The middle of the sidewalk? The far edge? Does it depend on building height?
How do I conquer fear? I'm quite afraid of doing things that I have not done before, and it does not get better when I conquer fear of some things. [more inside]
How do I get people to respect my phobia? How do I make them stop antagonizing me by showing me the thing I'm afraid of? [more inside]
I want to shake my irrational fear of going back to school. It's for my own good! [more inside]
I am afraid to make music. [more inside]
I'm afraid of the Interstate. What can I do about this fear? [more inside]
Comfort my wife's fears. She has recently developed a phobia of flying and we are leaving on a flight on thursday. [more inside]
My previously relatively benign aversion to dogs has become cripplingly intense in the last few months, to the point that I can't make it to my house's front door without being accompanied. I'm living in Indonesia, and don't know enough of the language to express my absolute, mortal terror or where to find English-language psychological help. I really need some help here: how can I go home at night? [more inside]
My wife is afraid of spiders. We just moved to Portland, Oregon, where the spider population seems to be higher than that even of slackers. I would like to not have to go on spider patrol every night, and I'd like my toddler daughter to not grow up with an irrational fear as well. Is there a way to cure her fear of spiders?
Does anybody know of alternative ways to get over an extremely irrational fear of public speaking/presenting?
[more inside]. [more inside]
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I'll be flying 8+ hours to London two weeks from today. I have a paralyzing fear of flying, any advice?
Also, what should I do once I make it there? [more inside]
Also, what should I do once I make it there? [more inside]