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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Do you have a phobia?

Do you have a phobia? This is crazy/embarrassing, but I...

...haven't ridden the subway in ten years. And I live in Manhattan.

As long-time readers know, I'm very claustrophobic and have a phobia of elevators and subways. I've had panic attacks on the subway and even thinking about it makes me shaky. In the past, I could avoid subways relatively easily because we lived in downtown Manhattan, so we were central enough to walk or bike most places. I worked from home, so I didn't have to commute to work. When I needed to travel farther, I took the bus or biked all the way or splurged on cabs or (often) decided not to go. Alex always said I didn't realize how much I shaped my life so that I didn't have to take the train, which I now realize is true. But now that we're moving to Brooklyn and have two children, I have to get over it.

My sweet friend Gemma made a plan of attack: We're going to go out for drinks, then ride the subway, have another drink and ride it home. We will see how it goes! I would love to write about the process on the blog so that you will hold me to it. :)

Do you have a phobia? I asked some lovely women I know, and they revealed their irrational fears...

"I have a fear of being grabbed by my ankles. It's so random! I do weird things, like check over my shoulder obsessively when I'm walking up a long staircase and jump into my bed from a distance (in case someone is underneath). My brothers used to mess with me and grab my ankles when we were kids, and it would cause a complete meltdown. Sometimes when I hear scary stories or see something scary in a movie, my ankles get scared and I have to cross them for protection!" —Reagan

"Milk. I know. I babysit on evenings and weekends, so I have to deal with milk all the time, but I hate it. When I have kids of my own, I'm planning to breastfeed but just not look down." —Gina

"Caterpillars. Horribly, horribly phobic. Any kind...from inchworms to the wooly ones to the spiky ones. Mostly I run as fast and far away as possible. Like, I irrationally break into a sprint. As a kid, I used to avoid walking under trees because I thought they'd fall on me." —Youngna

"I'm terrified of other people's spit. I think it's the grossest thing ever. For as long as I can remember, I haven't been able to share a drink with anyone, not even from a straw. I imagine their spit germs multiplying in the beverage, doing a little celebratory dance like cartoon sea monkeys released into the sea. If someone takes a sip from my drink, I don't want to offend them, so I quietly put it down and never pick it up again. (Yes, somehow, I am still okay with kissing.)" —Caroline

"Spiders. Even drawings of spiders make me feel panicky. Once I was reading the New Yorker, and there was an insurance ad with a photo of a spider. I completely freaked out. Now, before reading any magazines, I make my husband go through them and 'de-spider' them." —Cheryl

"I HATE (slash won't do it slash have a legit panic attack) driving across bridges. I'm fine with anyone else driving, but I myself can't drive over them. I hate that there's no shoulder, I can't stop or pull over, etc. It's more the lack of exit options than the height (as I feel the same way about crowded interstates). It's awful. If I'm driving and approach a bridge, I pull over, get yelled at by my husband that I pulled over, then make him drive across. Or, more often, I just opt not to drive places." —Sarah

"I have trypophobia [ed. note: don't google it!]: fear of closely clustered porous circles. I usually see them in nature documentaries, at museums, or occasionally on food (like really seedy strawberries). I'm not afraid of regular circles, but closely gathered circles that look like pores. It makes me super physically uncomfortable and itchy. Thinking about it literally sends shivers up my spine." —Kate

"I used to be very phobic of riding the elevator by myself. I could do it if someone else was in the elevator, but not alone. So I'd get in the elevator and wait to see what floors the other people pressed, and then I'd just get off at the floor closest to the floor I was going to and take the stairs the rest of the way. A few times I told complete strangers about my fear and asked them to ride the elevator with me. People were always very nice. It was during a very anxious time in my life; phobias were an extension of the general anxiety I was feeling. They lasted for about two years before they went away, and now I have no phobias at all. —Lina

"Nightmares about snakes are some of my earliest memories. The skinnier the snake, the scarier. I'd rather be in a room with a python than with a garden snake. I encountered many snakes growing up in Mississippi, in the garage, on the patio, in the lake. Mississippi is a very snake-y place. I am terrified of a freshwater's edge. I never step in uncut grass, even in someone's yard, without shoes. I'm always on the lookout for areas where a snake could be when I'm outdoors. I've NEVER felt so TOTALLY FREE in the outdoors as when I was in Hawaii because they have NO SNAKES!!! I swam in the natural pools and tromped through the bamboo forests. It was glorious." —Jessi

Do you have a phobia? Public speaking? Heights? Something super random? Spill the beans below...xoxo

P.S. How to get over a fear of flying, and the scariest elevator story ever.

(Illustration by Adrian Tomine)

295 comments:

1 – 200 of 295   Newer›   Newest»
GKIM said...

2 things: Walking up the stairs with the lights turned off downstairs and bring home alone when the significant other is out of town...God I'm almost 40 now and I can usually talk myself through it but... Every once in a while I will thunder up those stairs like the house is on fire !

KismeTKate said...

Bees/Wasps/Hornets!!
People are always like "Calm down" but I cannot! My body betrays me when there is a bee around - I have to jump up from my seat and RUN!

Jillian said...

I am completely irrationally afraid of DEER. Yes. Bambi. I hate the way they stare at you! I'm a runner and will stop cold until they go away if I come across any in a park or on a trail (sometimes I sing out loud running in a park to "let them know I'm coming"). I honk at them in my driveway or yard when driving home, and once I literally screamed out loud when walking down the stairs in my house and I noticed there were three or four hanging out by my front door. I know they're supposedly timid, but I'm afraid I'll catch them off guard (like a deer in headlights) and they'll trample me. So, so weird.

missblaser said...

I hate the subway too! I often have small panic attacks when riding. I find taking the local train and knowing I can jump off at every stop if necessary helps me. Long rides between stops is the worst!

Kaylee Ann said...

I am terrified of spiders. I irrationally break out i in tears and panic. & I can't kill them. I typically place a cup over them & get my neighbor or wait for when someone visits to kill them. I got the fear when I was younger, we had a lake house & spiders were everywhere! My boyfriend at the time stepped on a particularly large one to kill it not knowing that the spider had it's egg sac on its back. So the moment he stepped on it baby spiders scattered everywhere! & from that moment I have not had the courage to kill a spider.

Unknown said...

i have NEVER HAD A NAME for my phobia... trypophobia! i cannot believe that's a real thing. i've tried to explain it to people and they think i'm insane. when i googled it, to make sure it was actually what i thought, the photos made my teeth shudder and gave me chills all over my body. so so glad i'm not alone.

Carrie Gadda said...

ha! this post made me laugh.

I have a phobia of butterflies. The way they fly is so unpredictable I just hate it! Everyone thinks they are so beautiful, not me!

Betsy said...

Birds! I'm terrified of the flapping and I KNOW they are going to peck out my eyeballs. I've trained my two toddlers to chase them away. I want to make it a game so they don't absorb my fear.

BeauDEEful said...

I've been a little bit more nervous of squirrels lately. I don't know why. When I go running outside now I'm nervous I'm either going to be attacked by a squirrel or a dog because there's lots of open fences in my neighborhood.

I've also gotten a lot more fearful of plane rides due to one bad flight 2 years ago. It sucks. I never used to be fazed and now I'm pretty panicky much of the flight.

Kristen Scioli White said...

While I love my garage, I hate it when the garage door is opening or closing. If I am standing in the garage when the door is going up or down I scramble in the house or in the car. I am petrified some of the heavy metal closure components will dislodge and bonk me on the head! Good luck with your subway plan - I hope your discomfort lessens quickly!

StephNav said...

Frogs! The worst! And I was a science teacher for some time and one of the courses was reptiles and amphibians - I used to make my coworkers teach it bc there was NO chance I was teaching about frogs.

Katherine Summers said...

Mild claustrophia--I'm fine in elevators most of the time, but it really manifests on those stone spiral staircases you find in towers and European churches and the like. They're almost always worth climbing in spite of the ascent, but I hate hate hate it every time.

Alexa said...

This one has only come to me since I moved to NYC four years ago, but I walk around terrified that an A/C unit is going to fall on me.

Erin S said...

I have trypophobia too. :( Yuck, yuck, yuck!!!

M.M. said...

I have a phobia of driving on highways, which is awful. It wasn't always this way, I think living in a city contributed, but I'm working through it. I won't lie -- it's rough. My psychologist said if I decide to drive on the highway to NOT get off halfway through, to keep going that if oyu get off at the peak of your fear then you're not working through it, so stay on the subway for the entire length of the ride. You can do it. Breathing techniques and thinking about random things (like playing the alphabet game) helps me. Also saying out loud "You're fine!" helps, but I'm not sure if you want to do that on a crowded subway, lol, or maybe you do and the people will give you lots of room ;)

Olivia ten Kate said...

Hair on the floor of the hairdresser. Looks so DEAD. Eugh.

kathryngb said...

I have trypophobia too!!! It's the weirdest thing in the world. I already knew I had this particular phobia, but when I read the description by Kate in your post, my skin started itching and I got nauseated. Closely clustered porous circles are the stuff of my nightmares - literally!!

Susan Kohl said...

Being outside in lightening. When Im out there i am certain that ' I am next'

Althea ArchMiller said...

Choking! It makes it very difficult to take pills, which I have had problems with all my life. I sometimes panic in the middle of swallowing a pill, so it helps if my husband is nearby so I can clench his hand while swallowing the pills!

The other part of the fear of choking is a very distinct fear of choking while driving -- I will not eat some particular foods while driving and ALWAYS insist on having a backup drink of water or something in the car JUST IN CASE!! I've specifically panicked a few times when my husband has innocently taken the last swig of the water -- I usually make him stop right away after that for more!

(One time he also had to get up on a plane during take off to get me water because I foolishly ate a pretzel with no water and felt it get stuck in the back of my throat. . . ) Yikes! :-)

charlotte1119 said...

I join you in your fear of subways! With very rare exception (clinging to my husband's hand) I haven't ridden the subway in five years after having a panic attack on a stopped train while six months pregnant. I've tried multiple times to get over it but I panic every time and get off (or after watching trains go by, don't get on at all). I also moved to Brooklyn two years ago and thought, now's my chance! It hasn't happened yet (not to be discouraging -- you can do it!).

Allie said...

I'm so glad to hear someone else gets the bird thing! I HATE their flappy wings. Mine stems from having a pigeon die on me when I was walking home from school once (yes, it dropped out of the sky on my shoulder) and I just felt this soft flapping in my ear. The thought of it still makes my shoulder flinch!

I've always worried about passing it on to my children some day, so I love the 'make it a game' idea @Betsy!

Susan Kohl said...

Being outside in lightening. When Im out there i am certain that ' I am next'

Kipin Alexander said...

I have trypophobia! Lotus pods in flower arrangements are my very worst nightmare.

openid said...

Good luck getting over your phobia! My friend recently moved out of the city and said her claustrophobia was a big part of it. This is a very tight place to live!

I have a bit of a phobia about talking on the phone. When the phone rings, my heart races. Any number I don't recognize goes to voicemail. And if I have to call customer service or make an appointment, I'll feel nauseous and my voice gets all shaky. It's something I've been working really hard to change since I have to do a lot of it at work but thank goodness for Seamless and Zocdocs!

thea said...

Maybe for your first ride you should pick a line that goes over the Manhattan Bridge- then you'll at least be above ground for part of it and get a nice view of the city and Brooklyn...

Alex said...

thinking about my finger nails brushing up against a towel totally freaks me out...kind of like nails on a chalkboard, but nails on a towel.

K. Britt said...

I'm scared of heights and birds. I'm working on the heights thing. I find that if I'm holding on to something sturdy I'm fine. I'm even taking an aerial arts class and have only freaked out on the trapeze. The other apparatus have been doable. My fear of birds includes an anxious feeling when I see pictures (no matter how unrealistic) of them and recently I was unable to board the EL because there was a pigeon on the stairs to the platform.

okorolev said...

I have a fear of being in open water where i cannot see the bottom. I was fine in childhood but now that i'm an adult its escalating. my hubs and i went kayaking in the keys, and as soon as i couln't see the bottom because of sea-grass clusters, i freaked out.

Liz Custer said...

I can't believe that trypophobia is a shared phobia either! I felt like that imagery always made me shudder but I didn't know how to describe it. I once saw a nature documentary that featured a toad that carried its eggs in its back and the thought of how it looked still makes my skin crawl. I feel so much better now I know it's a common reaction :)

Other than that, SHARKS. I think I just saw Jaws too young!

Marisa said...

I, too, am TERRIFIED of people grabbing my ankles and do the EXACT same thing that Reagan does! It makes me feel better knowing that others share my phobia!

Rebeka said...

Carrie Gadda, you and me both. Butterflies. I'm slowly overcoming it, but in the past even if I was driving with all the windows up and I would see one fly by I would have a panic attack. No one understands because everyone thinks they're "so beautiful," but I used to have nightmares about millions of them swarming, attacking and smothering me, and I've never liked them sense. It's so bizarre.

Christina said...

The DENTIST! Ahhhhh! So, so bad. Luckily it's gotten better, but there were a few years where I just could not handle it. Even just the idea of a cleaning would send me into a panic! I now have a great dentist who, upon my first visit when I cried uncontrollably, gave me a prescription for ativan. It's by no means a cure, but it definitely takes the edge off. Good luck!

Christina said...

The DENTIST! Ahhhhh! So, so bad. Luckily it's gotten better, but there were a few years where I just could not handle it. Even just the idea of a cleaning would send me into a panic! I now have a great dentist who, upon my first visit when I cried uncontrollably, gave me a prescription for ativan. It's by no means a cure, but it definitely takes the edge off. Good luck!

Sara said...

I'm claustrophobic as well. I had a panic attack on the subway the first time I rode a couple years ago. I think the only reason I had a panic attack was because it was after the NYC marathon and the subway was PACKED! Not a fan of crowds either I suppose. I also have an irrational fear of mannequins. When I have to walk by mannequins in stores my heart beat speeds up!

Broomcakes said...

I learned that I was claustrophobic while in one of those stone spiral staircases leading to the top of a church in Copenhagen. The view from the top was amazing and worth it (maybe)! I had a full on panic attack on the way up, and am almost hyperventilating remembering the experience. And then I had to go back down! It helped to let everyone go ahead of me, so the stairs were empty and I had air, and for me to sing a song as I descended. I'm not joking. I may have been singing the theme from the "It's a Small World" ride.

Kristina Kobes said...

I'm totally with Reagan! My brother used to grab my ankles when I went up the stairs. If i go up the stairs at the same time as someone else I make them go first.

Jann Placentia said...

I'm totally with Susan, the woman quoted in your post who has a phobia of bridges. I do too!!! I have to take Rescue Remedy (a lot of it) just to drive across - and we live in Seattle, which means two long, floating bridges to cross if I need to go east to the suburbs for any reason.... Tunnels are spooky, too. Short bridges are better than long ones, but I'm terrified of being stopped right in the middle of a short bridge....

macaca grava-por-cima said...

Heights!!! yeeaaaiiiiccckkksss!

Marylyn Otaqui said...

is it just me or is this subject and reading about other people's phobias giving you new phobias?

especially when they are explained in detail...and it makes total sense!

Marylyn Otaqui said...

one of my own phobias: driving down or up ramps towards or from freeways/highways when there is no barriers on the sides...I'm always afraid I'll fly or slide off the sides, rolling over into a deep ditch! random and not based on any personal experience with ramps!

Megan F said...

Holy smokes. Kate's phobia is very close in line with mine -- only I've never had a name for it. Certain patterns (usually in a cluster formation -- even the word "cluster" makes me want to scale a wall) make me really uncomfortable and itchy. I could throw up and hide just thinking about it.

Allison C said...

For anyone with anxiety/panic attacks and/or phobias. I *highly* recommend Howard Liebgold's "Freedom From Fear". I have not had a panic attack since reading his book and utilizing the tools. You do have to "face your fears" but you have to have the tools to be able to do so.

c & b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaitlyn S said...

I have no idea how mine started, but it's similar to claustrophobia. I have a fear of being "smothered." Except, it's not limited to fabric over my face, I also can't have my face in a small area where the air I breathe in has just come from someone else. It's strange, I know, and has nothing to do with germs. I've actually built it up in my head that when I breathe in that air (especially air that I've just exhaled, or my husband) I'm breathing in pure carbon dioxide and will die for lack of oxygen. I have no idea how this started - I definitely didn't have it as a kid. It's only been in the past few years that I've recognized this as a fear. Almost every single nightmare I have now is related to that, and cuddling is almost impossible.

tobylynne said...

I have a terrible fear of fish - I don't mind eating fish, but I do not want to be swimming next to any (at least, I don't want to see them). When I was young, my family went to Hawaii often and we'd go snorkeling, but every year my fear would become worse and worse. This year, I went to Maui with my boyfriend who has never been, and he was so excited to snorkel. He had me put on the snorkel at one of the swimming beaches where I had been swimming all day and after about 30 seconds a panic attack ensued!

Mona said...

Also, I'm sure your boys will be so proud of you! Brave mama!

Joanna Goddard said...

mona, you are so sweet!

Joanna Goddard said...

it's so interesting to read these—definitely makes me feel less alone! :)

Alison said...

I am extremely claustrophobic. I avoid elevators as much as possible (think walking up 20 flights of stairs, yikes...) and have a lot of trouble in large crowds, like concerts. Planes also give me trouble, especially when they are just sitting on the runway. Phobias are the worst! Keep us updated on how the Subway immersion goes.

c & b said...

I have a fear of outdoor heights. It could be up on a ladder, hiking on the coast side, or up the pyramid in Mexico, even swimming out in the ocean (you can't tell how deep -height in my book- it is). If there isn't a sturdy looking railing (wall is better) then I won't go to the side or climb up it. It makes me feel a little dizzy, my heart palpitates like nobody's business, and I get anxious and a little cranky. I'm fine up high if it's enclosed (think Sears Tower, airplane, even up on the Empire State Building (because you can't see straight down). I hate that I'm so scared of outdoor heights.

Lisa said...

I am terrified of heights, small spaces, and calling strangers on the phone.

There is a WW2 submarine near where I live and we went in it last year...oh my gosh, I just BARELY made it to the end before panic started setting in, and seeing how many people had entered after me (read: were blocking my access to the exit) was terrifying. I'll never forget the sweet relief when I found another exit at the other end of the sub.

Good luck on the subway, and good for you for facing your fears!

Alison said...

I am extremely claustrophobic. I avoid elevators as much as possible (think walking up 20 flights of stairs, yikes...) and have a lot of trouble in large crowds, like concerts. Planes also give me trouble, especially when they are just sitting on the runway. Phobias are the worst! Keep us updated on how the Subway immersion goes.

Tonia said...

Well, I too just learned something. I'm also trypophobic. I never knew it was a real thing until now, but it's gross and makes me incredibly uncomfortable and itchy. When I was a kid, my older sisters used to chase me with the end of deodorant sticks and I would be terrified. Something about those circles would drive me nuts. And randomly these kinds of images pop up in life and my immediate reaction is to just get away from them as fast as possible. Now I know why!

Gabriella said...

Emetophobia--fear of vomiting! I've had it for as long as I can remember.

Marissa said...

I feel like I have a lot of them, snakes definitely, the dark, but right now my biggest phobia is something happening to my family. It ranges from small things, to realistic bad things, to completely outlandish scenarios like my 7 month old daughter wiggling enough to get out of my arms while we're standing on a dock at a lake and falling in the water. I don't know why these things have been on my mind ALL THE TIME recently, and give me major anxiety.

Meadow said...

Well... I would say that flying and heights are my worst phobias. Like they interfere with my life at times. Oh and this is a weird one, but the vegetable fiddleheads frightens me. So weird. There are plenty of other things that scare me, but I don't think I'd go as far as calling them phobias, really. Like the trypophobia, I definitely get uncomfortable, but it's not something that really interferes with my life. I also am terrified of bugs with tons of legs (like earwigs etc.), but I am not sure anyone really likes them! I also do not do well on long escalators. I used to have a public speaking phobia, but I spent years working through it at work and by joining Toastmasters. I still dislike public speaking, but I am no longer paralyzed by it.

Harper said...

Let us know how it goes Joanna! My mom has always has a huge bridge phobia, it was the main drama of the beginning and end of every family vacation when we drove somewhere. :)

My fear is falling. Usually from a great height. It's not heights so much. As long as I feel secure I am fine, like on rollercoasters where I am nice and strapped in. But if I feel like I can fall I literally cannot take a step, my whole body locks up. I even get nervous when I'm roller or ice skating!

kelly zellers said...

The wind. I know, it's nuts, but growing up in the Midwest makes you very aware of it's potential. I large gust of wind could instantly make me have an intense fight-or-flight sort of reaction. It seemed to get worse as the years went by, and I was afraid to leave the house if there was the possibility of a storm, so I went for some hyponotherapy sessions and it helped soooo much. I knew my fear was all in my head and I just needed to learn how to control that fear. The calming techniques have actually come in handy in other situations.

Mariah said...

I have several phobias, I'm a total wimp. Some that come to mind:
- snakes/spiders - literally haunt my dreams
- being home alone/ being abducted/ the dark - ever since I was little I HATED the dark, always thinking someone was waiting to abduct me in my room. I still have a hard time going for runs or walks by myself outside. I always think there is a predator near, waiting for an unsuspecting person. I also used to bring a butter knife with me while I walked my dog as a kid at night.
- fruit on the bottom yogurt makes me gag and reminds me of worms. So weird I know.


Found-Food said...

I cannot, will not lock the bathroom door on an airplane, I'll just plant my foot in the crack while I super quickly do my business. I would rather have a complete stranger see me pee then feel closed in that tiny space alone.Plus I don't love flying so the thought of not being able to get of that small space while up in the air is frighting! I can't take elevators alone, as your poster Lina stated I too have asked strangers to ride up with me. Crazy. But I am totally cool with riding subways. People are weird ;)

b said...

You should try some of my favorite subway distractions:
1) only look at someone's feet when they get on- make up an entire story for them before you scan up to see what the rest of them looks like
2) guess what stop people are getting off at
3) read a book!

Shelley Musleh said...

wow after reading through these comments I realized that I fear a lot of things!

I did used to have a phobia of flying but I decided that I had to get over it and just fly anyway. I still shed a tear sometimes during take off and I have to hold someone's hand but I still do it! I guess some things never fully go away.

this trypophobic thing though really resonates with me and reminds me of if you boil penne pasta and don't stir it enough...they all kind of line up in a really creepy way with their ends up and it gives me the shivers it's so gross!

I also can't talk about the fact that the world is round and spinning, and all about space and the universe and I hate the openness and vastness of sports stadiums. once, my husband knowing it bugs me so much said "what if were actually on the bottom of the world" in a restaurant thinking it would be funny. My natural reaction was to just slam my hands on the table. I don't know why but that's what I did haha. then i was embarrassed and had to laugh it off. I think all of the space/world/stadium things relate to some form of agoraphobia.

Virginia said...

I think I now have a phobia.
Prepare yourself if you google images for trypophobia. I was previously unaware of any sort of aversion to closely clustered pores, but those were the most unsettling images I may have ever seen. I could only glance at a few because I was instantly light headed and overwhelming nauseated. My hands are still shaking. Maybe they were just really intense pictures - lots of body parts. I don't think that a close-up of a strawberry would bother me, but I'm afraid to look any more into it.
I thought I was afraid of the dark, but this is just a whole new level of visceral fear.

Sarah Williamson said...

Oh my gosh you guys, I googled trypophobia and now I think I have it too. Those photos are aaawwwwfffullllllll. I closed the tab but those images are still haunting my brain.

Tonia said...

Spiders. Big-time. My husband was doing some simple plumbing repairs in our upstairs bathroom last year and a pipe burst, spewing water everywhere. He tried to stop it by jamming a towel in the hole but it just soaked the towel and kept shooting water all over the bathroom, so he started yelling to me (I was downstairs in the kitchen) to go down into the basement and turn off the water main.

I ran down the basement steps and over to the water tank. There, blocking my path to the "on/off" faucet on the water main was a huge spider web with several spiders sitting on it.

I tried to force myself to stick my hand through the web, but I couldn't. I could hear my husband yelling at the top of his lungs from two flours up. I started crying. He ended up having to run down to the basement to do it himself. There was water dripping through the floor!!!

We laugh about it now, but it wasn't funny to either of us at the time! :)

Emily said...

Bugs (spiders, roaches, beatles, lady bugs, bees, butterflies, everything but ants and houseflies really.) Terrified. I've had 3 poisonous spider bites and been stung by a moth even! I used to be so paranoid that I'd even check under toilet seats for spiders before I sat on them.
Heights also, increasingly as I age. I was hiking in Peru on a narrow mountain path - already terrified and creeping along, when a butterfly fluttered by! I nearly threw myself off the mountain I was so panicked.

dc said...

Irrational fear--public speaking

Rational fears :) -- getting struck by lightning when backpacking at 11,000 feet during a thunderstorm. Getting attacked by a grizzly bear, mountain lion or crazy human in the backcountry.

Not bothered by heights, snakes, spiders or crowds though I don't like the noise of a big crowd.

megan evans maxwell said...

I have the exact same phobia and haven't ridden the subway in 5 years. Whenever I stay in/visit Brooklyn, I use the East River Ferry. I am very much looking forward to hearing about your test run on the subway! Maybe it will help me get over my fear :) good luck!!!

amelia said...

SO claustrophobic! i avoid visiting friends in high-rise condos and cities which require riding subways! we walked for miles in NYC when i visited, or took cabs, and in boston, i took a subway once and it stopped unexpectedly and i was CERTAIN there was going to be a terrorist attach and we'd be trapped underground or worse and i had a panic attack and haven't been on one since (4 years ago!)
thankfully, i live in austin, texas and never have to worry about it most of the time because my work, friends, doctor's offices, and more are all available by car, and 99% don't require elevator rides either. i can't imagine living in NYC or similar places for this exact reason.

Mari D said...

I have the exact opposite of yours, Joanna. I have a fear of wide open spaces. It's weird. Just the thought of it gets me out of breath, like picturing having to walk a desert or a plain open field. My first wish would be to kind of 'plug myself' to the ground and stay there forever.

Also, I have a panic of anything related to anatomy or medical stuff, and not blood. It runs in my family and my dad even passed out one time he overheard a conversation where a group of his friends were randomly describing how a surgery went.
Show me blood and I'm fine, but if you describe how you got cut, I can't take it, lol. I get out of breath and even feel like I'm losing my pulse! It's madness.

omoriala said...

I don't have many phobias (that I can think of), but I wanted to share my mom's phobia of Art Deco. Yes, she is afraid of an architectural period, and won't go in any art deco historic buildings. Strangest phobia I've ever heard of.

Megan said...

Weirdly, wearing socks without shoes indoors. I must be either barefoot or with shoes. Also, hair unconnected to someone's head. Gross.

kt said...

I have a fear of people vomiting around me. On a plane, I'm the most worried about someone vomiting near me than anything else happening. It's horrible.

Megan Irons said...

Trypophobia - I never knew it was called that. Thank you for enlightening me and making me I'm not crazy... unfortunately I just googled it and now feel sick from looking at the pictures.

Suz said...

Oh my gosh! I've never mentioned this to anyone because it sounds downright wacky, but I have the same fear as Kate (trypophobia - although I never knew there was a name for it).

My other phobia is of being buried alive. It's completely irrational, but I think it stems from something I saw on TV as a little kid. If I think about it, I get straight up panicky - my heart races and my palms start to sweat. I grew up near some underwater caves that are popular with scuba divers, and it wasn't uncommon for people to run out of air while exploring them. Whenever I would hear about them, I'd get the same anxious feeling. Eeek, I hate even typing this out! :)

Rebecca said...

Rescue Remedy!!! It has helped me approach my sometimes many fears with considerably less panic. It's great for childbirth too.

Jocelyn said...

I have trypophobia too!! It's sooo good to know I'm not alone! Also, these other phobias are awesome to read about. :)

Simone Brett said...

i was stuck in a kayak with a snake around my legs once... ever since then, it's been a hard fear to overcome.

And I understand the bridges one, too. Totally.

Megan Irons said...

Trypophobia - I never knew it was called that. Thank you for enlightening me and making me I'm not crazy... unfortunately I just googled it and now feel sick from looking at the pictures.

shawn said...

This is a great post! We're all afraid of something, it sucks being told to "get over it". I do experience mild arachnophobia and claustrophobia (MRI machines are terrible) - but my sister helped me realize I have major misophonia.

I am so mean at the dinner table!

Sil said...

I feel exactly the same as Caroline with regard to people's spit. When I tell this, people often react "But do you kiss???". Yes, I do.

Phobias I've (kinda) overcome: flying and riding elevators by myself.

Aya said...

Until now, I didn't realize that I had a phobia or that trypophobia was a thing. Just writing it makes goosebumps flare all over my body and my scalp tingle. I think of the flash of images I saw when I googled it and had to close one eye and shut the screen. This happened for the first time last week and I had no idea what was going on. I used to only understand phobias theoretically before but now I realize how visceral and automatic it is. It has nothing to do with my brain! I have all the more respect for you, Joanna, for facing your fears. Go you!

Sisterino said...

Spiders and crossing the street. I know the latter sounds silly, but my mom got hit by a car crossing the street when I was a kid. The fear has always stuck with me!

Meghan Mahar said...

Joanna- I also have a huge fear of the subway due to claustrophobia. I've lived in NYC for 14 years and it ebbs and flows. I hadn't been on the subway at all for over 3 years until very recently. I also have trypophobia, which I just learned the name for by reading the comments here!

Melissa Campbell said...

a friend of mine has a brother that is really afraid of cotton balls. ...will sprint/jump away from them. they would play tricks on him and put them in his pants pockets and he would flip out. he doesn't like anything with that texture either.

mc said...

I am terrified of tunnels under water. And the ones to/from NYC feel like they take a lifetime to cross! For some reason under water feels worse than under ground for me, which does not make any sense! My main problem is with the fact that the train/car might have to stop inside the tunnel. Only when that happens I get claustrophobic...
During a very anxious phase of my life, I would just close my eyes right before the tunnel and do not open them until the train stopped. I would sip some water every minute to keep my anxiety low. Now, I just try to keep my mind really busy and do not think about it. Having a good friend with you who you can have endless and absorbing conversations really helps! So good luck, Joanna!

Cecilia said...

shipwrecks!

Blandine said...

It s great if your friend's plan works but if you have a real phobia (as opposed to merely being afraid of) you'll probably need to see a therapist. Which is why I wish to you that this plan will work!

Sil said...

Reading some comments I realise how much I hate frogs, grasshoppers, butterflies, birds and anything that jumps/flies unpredictably.

Sadie said...

I have a phobia, or at least a weird physical reaction, to acceleration. I've had it since I was a baby! My mother said if she carried me in a front-facing carrier, or tossed me lightly in the air, my whole body went rigid. Well, it still does! Riding as a passenger in a car, driving, takeoff in a plane, even coasting on a bike or on skates make me feel like my heart stops and all my limbs go rigid. Roller coaters are right out, because accelerations are the whole deal! Even when I'm asleep and my husband is driving on the highway, and he has to suddenly accelerate, I will wake up with a horrified gasp, totally paralyzed.

I have learned to breathe through it and relax. It happens so often that now, I basically expect it and I'm not terrified by it happening. It's just a thing that happens and I quickly relax and go on driving or whatever.

Amanda said...

Weird, but, I am afraid of the Chuckie Doll ( from the scary movies....even though I have never watched the movie!)! Once in Savannah Georgia there was a film crew using a Chuckie Doll as a camera focal point sitting in a gazebo in one of the historic squares. I was walking through the Square with my boss, saw the Chuckie Doll, and took off in a sprint yelling " I CAN'T be near THAT DOLLLL!!!!!" In a crazy (suppressed) Southern accent!

Amanda said...

Weird, but, I am afraid of the Chuckie Doll ( from the scary movies....even though I have never watched the movie!)! Once in Savannah Georgia there was a film crew using a Chuckie Doll as a camera focal point sitting in a gazebo in one of the historic squares. I was walking through the Square with my boss, saw the Chuckie Doll, and took off in a sprint yelling " I CAN'T be near THAT DOLLLL!!!!!" In a crazy (suppressed) Southern accent!

Caitlin Ashley said...

Mari D, I'm right there with you, girl. I've fainted in mid-sentence at the doctor's. I've fainted in museums that showed pictures of medical cruelty (female circumcision - typing those words just made sweat instantly appear beneath my clothes). I have a deep, and I believe rational, fear of medical experiments or any other kind of untoward surgical procedure, especially having to do with sensitive areas I don't want anyone touching. And the perplexing thing is, I want a baby in the next couple of years. God help me.

Mona said...

Ew I don't have trypophobia, but the google image results are just disgusting anyway. Shouldn't have googled it so soon after lunch.

Lauren E. said...

I don't know if I'd call it a phobia because I live in Queens and I have to ride it everyday, but I am in complete agreement with the subway thing. I'm not claustrophobic but every once in awhile I'm super aware that I'm in an enclosed car speeding through a tunnel, often going underwater. More than once I've had to ask someone if I could have their seat and when they see my white-as-a-sheet face they always comply. One more reason to move to California!

Emily Bird said...

I have a crazy fear of someone cutting my wrists. Sometimes I have to wrap my other hand around my wrist so I can concentrate. The more I try to talk myself down, the more I keep thinking about it and the worse it gets.

kendra said...

whispering. if someone whispers in my ear, i lose it. My feet are getting nervous just thinking about it. I dig my fingernails into the palms of my hand, and have even on occasion junk punched the whisper-er. There are only like 3 people who can do it to me.

tyler said...

Cockroaches. Specifically the enormous, 2-3 inch long tree roaches we have in Texas. I can kill spiders, wasps, literally anything else, but I am so terrified of roaches it is ridiculous. I try to tell myself they are more scared of me but I don't really believe it :(

Isabelle Maitre said...

I abolutely HATE watching people eat (even in a movie), I just can't stand it :) Worse thing is : people eating sandwiches in the Parisian metro eurrrrrkkkkkk ;)

Clare said...

Needles. I've learned to manage this fear (deep breathing, look away, ask the tech to distract me) with shots and blood draws. But earlier this week I had to get a biopsy done on my thyroid and even with anti-anxiety medication I hyperventilated the entire time, I just couldn't control it.

Emily Bird said...

I didn't have tryphobia before today but I do now. Sick.

dina said...

I have a fear of pulling up to the Jiffy Lube for an oil change. Something about driving over a gaping hole is so unnerving. Even though the nice mechanic is carefully directing me in, I can still imagine us falling in, car and all. I always plan to ask them to pull it in for me, but with my 10 year old in the back seat, I want to be brave and do it myself. Ironically, an oil change is on my to do list today. Wish me luck...

fleurishes said...

I am totally terrified of heights. I won't take jobs in big buildings. I have also made people who are driving on high narrow roads pull over so I can catch my breath.

For subways, I think the app Headspace has a mindfulness practice for public transportation. I am not sure if it is dealing specifically with phobias, but it might be nice to have something on you phone to help.

Telri Stoop said...

I have a fear that when I crack open an egg a dead baby chick would be inside and I would touch its clammy fluffy body. Its hard making breakfast.

Shed - the Eclectic Home said...

Squirrels! yuck, yuck and yuck. Hate walking under trees for fear one will fall on me and if I see one while walking down the street I cross to the other side at rapid speed. Oh and chipmunks. Used to think they were cute until they started reminding me of squirrels!

Karen Travels said...

Ever since I was a little clusters of holes or circles have given me the heebie geebies! Even if they are meant in something lovely, like a close up picture of a flower! I wouldn't call mine a phobia, but it's interesting that there is a name for it! I have an intense fear of flying in airplanes.

Sarah said...

I didnt know that trypophobia was a thing like a few other comments and yes googled it and wanted to die. I cant un-see those pictures!! It is terrifying. Glad to know that I am not the only one.

Momofthree said...

I have the same phobia as Susan. I also don't like riding the Subway for the same reason as you. But I do it because...well my sister lives in Brooklyn too so...no choice, right? :)
Shena

Fabiana Pigna said...

I have a debilitating phobia of freeways and I live in Los Angeles...Through lots of therapy I am now able to get to my work on this one scary freeway the 110. But God forbid if I have to change my route or hop on another freeway to go somewhere else. I have to take streets, also bridges are rather scary to me and big overpasses. I have an irrational fear that I am going to fall over, ugh. It's terrible, it limits my life a lot. I am however determined to beat it, I will go back to therapy and confront the fear...I am also thinking about Hypnosis, have you ever considered that?

paige said...

Jo, have you ever considered therapy? I am a therapist and treat people all the time who have phobias! While I do love my cocktails...and do think there is something to be said for them to quench fear...I think it will just be a bandaid until you deal with the root of the problem!

Joanna Goddard said...

paige, that is a really good idea. i did go to a center in white plains once for my elevator phobia and it really helped. getting some therapy for this might be really really useful. thank you so much!

hill mama said...

Possums. I am absolutely terrified of possums. It's totally irrational, I know, because they play dead (which FREAKS ME OUT) and my husband assures me they are harmless. But, I can't help it. My heart is racing just even thinking about it.

Kerry said...

TRYPOPHOBIA! I have this, and until this moment never knew it was a thing! I call it "fear of clustery stuff" (honeycomb, seeds, goosebumps) but I think it's more like trypophobia. Blech.

thejourney said...

Planes and bears. People think my bear thing is a little too crazy, but those things rip into tents when you're sleeping! NO thanks.

Rebecca Frascone said...

i have a legit phobia of looking in a mirror when it's dark. i think it's from all the Bloody Mary/Candy Man games we played as kids. To this day, I will avoid mirrors at any cost when it's dark. Since i have to wake up to nurse my baby all throughout the night, i especially avoid looking into the mirrored closet in his room. it truly terrifies me...

123 said...

I live in South Africa and in we've got so many horrible insects here ! In particular there is a spider almost as big as my hand called rain spider that likes to hunt in our garage at night. My husband suggested we give it a name so that I could somehow relax but I just cannot deal with it's hideous furry body. The one morning I realized I had left my car's window open in the garage and the whole trip to work I was positive the spider was crawling underneath my top.

Almost as bad as rain spiders are parktown prawns: South Africans biggest fear.

Gail Aguiar said...

My one really big fear is the concept of eternity. When I do think about it, especially at night, I have to go and find a distraction immediately because it can give me nightmares!

Mag in NYC said...

I'm extremely afraid of rats and that is not good when living in NYC! I think that phobias are related to past experiences of fear, at least I know that mine is. I grew up next to my grandfather's bakery and rats love being around flour, so many times I found rats running around my kitchen! I just freeze, start screaming and run, exactly like a Tom & Jerry cartoon! it's awful!

Elizabeth said...

Oh my god, DON'T Google trypophobia. I think I just gave myself a phobia.

Elisabeth said...

Car doors popping open. Especially when I'm leaning on them (which I don't do because it freaks me out). I check the locks multiple times. Many times I haven't been able to fall asleep on road trips because I can't get comfortable. "Just lean on the door!" My husband used to say. But then I can't sleep because I'm so worried. He's stopped suggesting it. And I never lean.

Carmen Varner said...

I have a phobia if creepy crawlies. Worms. Caterpillars. No thank you. No. Thank. You. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼

tack said...

Clowns. Birthday-type clowns-- I'm completely freaked out by them.

Where I live in Maine there's a clown college taking up a key real estate spot near my house and its' all over the media. Just the coverage makes me anxious--

Kiana said...

Hill mama, I too am afraid of possums but it's because they look like giant rats. Have you ever seen the Princess Bride? Basically the forest scene is how I feel about all rodents. I'm strangely terrified of armadillos too but that's because they look prehistoric and it's just anachronistic which unsettled me.

aubry. said...

trypophobia, yes! in the most irrational way! i, like someone up above, made the mistake of searching it on the internet and i remember being traumatized for MONTHS. i was tortured all day and all night at the images i saw on the screen, for just one split second! i couldn't sleep at all... the second i closed my eyes, that's all i could see/think of! i feels so silly saying now, but i honestly wished i could scratch the image from my eyes/brain. i even considered therapy! all because of these dumb imaginary circles/holes.

Mie said...

Oh my, I didn't think any one else but me felt like that about small holes and is very supriced (and a funny kind of reliefed) that trypophobia is an actual thing. Just (picture)google the word and it actually gave me nausea and the hairs on my arm is still standing. Yiiaks!

Kate said...

Wow, trypophobia would be fascinating if it wasn't causing such upset in good people's lives!

My fears are all typical - planes, public speaking, spiders... I am forced to face all of them pretty frequently. Public speaking is definitely the worst.

Joanna, you can do this - if your claustrophobia doesn't prevent you from being stuck in a plane for 6 hours, I've got faith you can eventually tolerate the subway. I think distraction is always best. A great book, or infectious music on headphones, or even a snack -- I once saw someone with a habachi on the subway -- and you will tune out eventually. And while phobias are seldom based on logic, maybe it would give you some comfort to lookup injury stats for taxi passengers, bike riders, and subway riders. If nothing else, with the melting pot of characters on the subway, you will ALWAYS emerge with a fun story to tell.

Good luck and please let us know how it goes! You can do it!

Lily said...

Snakes, Sharks, and scuba diving. I so used to enjoy the ocean, but am stuck on the sand now. I can't get in past my ankles because I KNOW there is a shark close by.
I've never been scuba diving because of my shark fear…but also from the thought of running out of oxygen. Or I can just imagine looking up and seeing the surface of the water way up there……I have trouble breathing when I think about that. :( Water closing in on me…….

Mrs. White said...

Balloons have always made me nervous but the last few years, I kind of get panicky around them (especially if they're being tossed about-wth?). Also: I HATE for people to walk upstairs behind me, although this may actually be because my husband is always inclined to pop me on the butt playfully when walking up behind me and I can't stand it! :)

Nicole said...

Hi Joanna,

You might want to put a warning note for readers not to google trypophobia on your post. It might sound silly but I, like a few other commenters, made the mistake of googling it and the images made me nauseous! Maybe others would like to be warned beforehand - I wish I could un-see everything that came up! >_<

Bucktown Mom said...

Driving, especially on the expressway. Fortunately I live in a large city and haven't had to own a car in years. Every time I get in a car I realize I am entrusting my life (and my son's) to people I probably wouldn't trust to water my plants and get my mail while I was on vacation and it scares me to death!

I am also really claustrophobic. That's one I think therapy might be able to help a little with. I just went on a camping trip and spent most of the night awake in the tent (with a flashlight on) trying to do deep breathing and not freak out.

Carol said...

Wow, these comments are fascinating. Mine is the rather boring and predictable spider phobia. My husband is not very sympathetic and the comments by South African 123 are very familiar. My husband often carries things in the car from the garage or worse, the boat club (boats+water=spiders). Then I have to go all through the car. Twice spiders have surprised me when I'm driving, it's a miracle I haven't killed myself or others. I had to get a stranger once to get a spider out from under my visor. I can't kill them, can't touch them...I used to have a group of phobias that were classified as social phobia - fear of talking on the phone, peeing if someone could hear, signing my name in front of someone (like at a bank), public speaking. It was disabling actually, but they are all gone now, although I still rather email than phone.

Joanna Goddard said...

nicole, that's a good idea! i will do that...

Alison @ Ruffles and Ramblings said...

Old used bandaids! Even typing it out makes me shudder. If I see one on the sidewalk or at the pool, I'll have a full on meltdown. It's all I can to not to throw up on the spot. Gross.

Cam & Sarah said...

1st phobia is snakes - mainly because I almost stepped on a rattlesnake while hiking. Never did hear the rattle but did see it. Can't even watch them on TV without getting nervous.

2nd - driving up steep hills, especially in San Francisco. I have an irrational fear that the car I am in will not be able to make it up and actually fall backward and tip over. I have terrifying dreams like this whenever a trip gets near. And I lean forward in the car when we are driving in SF.

Annie Green said...

Flying. It is a control thing - I am completely hyper alert in case something goes wrong so flights are very tiring. Have had 3 flights that have been unpleasant in recent years and this has made it worse. I also think it is made worse by other anxieties in my life and it has been a difficult few months so the thought of flying to South Korea next week is already making me uncomfortable. But I won't refuse to fly. I have had subway phobia myself which passed after a while and I am unhappy at the sight of buttons. Oh dear. I sound so mad...

Kirsten said...

I have a really odd one, though it's getting much better as I get older. I'm afriad of pastes and lotions. To this day I will only use one brand/flavor of toothpaste that I'm familiar with. I remember when I was a kid, if I looked at the toothpaste on the brush too long or if it was a different brand than I was used to, I would have to really psyche myself up to even put it in my mouth. Sometimes I just wouldn't brush my teeth, and if I did, if I thought about it too much when I was brushing I would start to panic and had to spit it out. Oh, and whenever my mom wanted to put Vick's Vapo-Rub on my chest I would FREAK OUT. Vaseline was (and still sort of is) my worst nightmare. So is that hard thing that develops at the end of a lotion dispenser or hardened toothpaste on the cap. Totally freaks me out.

Cynthia Lee said...

Why didn't I listen to you? I googled trypophobia, and now I am so grossed out. My skin is crawling.

Sammie Brooke said...

I don't have any phobias - I mean yes, things scare me, including sharks and clowns and heights and darkness, but nothing makes me panicky, and I'll still enjoy darkness, or swim in the ocean, or watch the movie It. It's really interesting to read everyone's responses and wonder about the "spectrum" (?) of phobias and whether they can be gotten over or not. :)

amoscari said...

I used to have a phobia of fainting. It controlled my life for a long time. As soon as I started admitting it to people, it lost so much power over me. Then I changed my diet and the anxiety completely went away. Phew!

Kelli Anderson said...

i have all the usual fears, spiders in my bed, bears when camping, rats on the subway...but this is the most bizarre--but i'm afraid of being trapped in a box or room or car filled with water except the top few inches. i can't get near the skimmer box in a swimming pool, all that water sloshing in and out gives me the creeps! i can't help but imagine getting some part of my body stuck in there--eep! the thought makes me shudder.

Angela said...

If it's dark outside and I am doing laundry in the basement, I book it up the stairs once I've turned off the lights. I think I'm usually afraid there will be a bat.

Also, I was never really worried about flying until this last year. There have just been way too many close calls (or crashes) in the news, so I've felt uneasy. Doesn't help that I flew this morning and shortly after heard about the MH17 flight : ( I won't stop flying but I often imagine how terrifying it would be if the plane was going down...

Jessica said...

My phobia is of throwing up. The worst is if I do it, but someone else doing it is almost as bad. It's awful. I also have a super twitchy fight or flight response, so I don't love enclosed spaces or crowded places...these can trigger panic attacks. It's a real joy to fly ;)

Amy said...

Killer whales. If I see a picture of one it makes my heart start beating out of my chest. Sometimes I randomly google image them to see if they still scare me. YEP. I watched the movie Blackfish to humanize them, but I still would faint immediately if I ever saw one in person. I would rather spend a day in prison than a day at Sea World. When I swim in the deep end of pools, I can feel them coming for me!

amourissima said...

This post made me cry. I look around and see all these beautiful, accomplished women around me and I don't fit in because I often think I'm the only one who lets their phobias affect them in life. I wonder if people can tell as I walk down the street as my push my nails into the palm of my hand that I'm trying to control a panic attack.

I have a fear of my bodily functions. I think that at any moment I could throw-up or poop my pants (you can giggle, I giggle whenever I say that) and the world would hate me or judge me or something. I've been working really hard with a therapist to get over this because it has made my life really small. I often think that I'm defective and less of a person because I have to take this time to "fix" myself where as other people seems to just keep on living.

But maybe I'm more normal than I think. We all have fears and phobias and things that give our lives texture. I'm not actually broken, I'm just like all of you but in my own way.

I feel silly for being so honest but I am moved and comforted by all of you that being scared is a thing and lots of us have it. Some of it makes sense but a lot of it doesn't.

Carrie said...

Cockroaches and Clowns. Deathly afraid of both.

Danielle said...

Thunderstorms! I was almost killed in one when I was 4 years old - an enormous tree uprooted and almost crushed the car I was in, but my dad got out of the way just in time. When the sky starts to look stormy, my heart starts to race, and I'm glued to the Doppler radar on my phone until I'm sure I know what's going on. People will lie ("that wasn't thunder; it was a garbage truck") or turn the TV volume up to "spare me," but the more I'm aware of my surroundings, the safer I feel. They're not doing me any favors.

stateandoccupation.com said...

Fish out of water and the thought of a horse trotting backwards make me completely uncomfortable haha!

Dakota Barber

JeanneW said...

Public restrooms. They're so dirty and just yuck. It was harder when my kids were very little. They would touch everything. We just traveled back from a trip to Japan. Okay no joke...seriously the cleanest public restrooms ever. What a relief. Funnily enough I'm not a germophobe...just the restrooms thing.

KM said...

I can't get over finally finding out that my fear of "patterns on things in nature" - as I have always described it, is actually called trypophobia!
I made the mistake of googling it and I actually twitched. I first noticed it with a lotus pod as well. BLECH!

Unknown said...

since i became a mom and live in a big city, i have become very anxious in movie theaters, especially if i don't have my kids with me. i'm afraid of earthquakes or terrorist attacks that prevent me from getting back to my kids. i had my first and only panic attack in a movie theater after the shootings in LAX and random arsons around town.

Chrissy Treat said...

TERRIFIED of E.T: The Extraterrestrial. My Fiance always texts me the picture of Michael Jackson photoshopped with E.T and it gives me nightmares for weeks. Also, moths. So furry and flappy.

Melissa Blake said...

oh man! i've got quite a few phobias...i'm always scared of losing those closest to me. Does that count?

Doro Lieschen said...

Ahhh I googeled trypophobia and the pictures were sooooo ugly!!! Iggh!!!

laurencapri said...

Emily Bird, i have the same fear of my wrists being cut! They went limp when i read your comment and they still are not fully recovered.

Also, if i think about being in a small space i feel sick but if I have to go into one in real life I am ok. It is the thought of it that makes me panicky. Picturing myself stuck.

Actually now that I think about it a lot of the things that scare me in theory I am ok to deal with in real life. Like if a spider is in the house I will calmly figure out a way to get it outside, but then after it is gone I won't be able to stop thinking of ways it could have "got me" like jumping into my mouth or getting in my hair and disappearing. The mind is very strange!

kel.bow said...

WTF!? Who wouldn't have Trypophobia after googling it? That is terrifying stuff!

And by they way, I totally get the grabbing of the ankles phobia. There is nothing more humiliating as an adult than having to jump in to bed to avoid any monsters that may be lurking under there.

thewindwifetravelogue said...

I definitely have a bit of agoraphobia (it used to be quite bad and was diagnosed, but is now manageable though i avoid some things for sure). For some reasont he worst part of it is people brushing by me. For a long time I would have a panic attack going to the grocery store because it felt like people were just swarming around me... now I stand still and let everyone pass but still will have panic attacks when it's busy. I always get a window seat on planes because I would get really anxious with people brushing by me on the way to the bathroom, etc. I really try to avoid people brushing past me in general. Also: I will not eat "squeaky foods" like grapes, zucchini, and like a hundred more. It's nails on a chalkboard and I get shivery thinking about them.

*** KITSCH *** said...

Of course i have a phobia
I HATEEEEE planes!
I hate flying
and that´s a problem because my husband loves travelling...
Since my first son was born my phobia es even worse...
Any suggestion will be wellcoming!

Lendy Salazar said...

CATS..........I've always been scared of them. They're scary! They don't make scary movies of dogs. And when I read that cats will eat their owners dead bodies and dogs won't....it made me even more freaked out!! Sorry cat lovers, CATS freak me the heck out!!

Darina Daniella said...

Joanna, we've emailed about this a few times and I LOVE that you're doing another post about it. Did you change the names on the comments from your readers?? Because the one about riding in elevators and not being able to go in there alone but okay with other people- I think I wrote that EXACT same post. I have a unique name and very close to Lina (hahah). But yea, it's been, gosh, 6 years now? Still can't do it. No problem with other people, horrified to do it alone. I'm actually going to try hypnotherapy as I heard it's very effective for phobias. Good luck!!

BILL said...

I can't believe that someone else is phobic of the fruit at the bottom of yoghurt Mariah!!! Thought I was alone in that.

Natalie said...

I did it. I couldn't stop myself. I googled trypophobia. Never again. Never again.

Liz said...

ankles being grabbed! I've always hated it. Buying a bed with storage drawers underneath has been life changing (no gap between the floor and the mattress). i too jumped into bed from a distance for years, and would never sit on the bed with my feet on the floor, especially at night. Double yikes!

Tiffany Troutman said...

oh my the trypophobia! I have had it since I was a little and now I know the name!

Betsy W said...

I agree with Reagan! I'm always worried someone is hiding in my car waiting to grab my ankles or hiding behind me in a movie theater. I have too many irrational fears, but it looks like I'm not alone!

Kaitlyn said...

OMG I have the fear of getting my ankles grabbed too! Thanks for sharing yours and other phobias, I thought I was alone! Haha!

Amy @ Swag On, Momma! said...

Phobias are sooo hard. You know they're irrational, but it's this crazy, uncontrollable physical response. For years I had huge anxiety about dating. I was friends with and had crushes on lots of guys, and I could hang out no prob, but as soon as I felt paired up or if I was asked out on a date...massive physical panic. I would be so sick before a date (sweats, indigestion, nausea, lightheadedness) that I usually just ended up calling and canceling. Finally, after getting better at coping with anxiety in general, I ended up becoming really good friends with my now husband, and because I already felt so safe with him as a friend, when we started liking each other, I was able to go on a date with him! But still, it took two months for our first kiss, cause I'd freak out every time! Haha...patient man.

Psualmente said...

I have SII for some years now so I developed two fobias regarding driving with someone on my car or being driving.
Nasty fobias that is impacting my life a lot.

ro-tastic said...

Yes! The ankle thing! Just reading about it made me have to sit on my legs.

ewang said...

Grasshoppers. I can't handle not knowing where they will land next and God help anyone nearby if one lands on me. I will most certainly scream and possible cry a little.

skipandscatter said...

Sunken ships. I would never snorkel above one. Being close to one gives me the creeps. Okay if seen through glass-bottom boats, but still freaky. I also don't like being in the deep part of a lake or sea/ocean and not being able to see what's below. Eeep.

Sonya W. said...

Yes! I too have trypophobia (my sister turned me on to its official name a couple weeks ago - we both have it), and it's not only clustered porous holes but also raised, bumpy clusters.... like barnacles on whales or those trees with the spikes on their trunks.

so gross.

EG1972 said...

Needles. I've had therapy and taken Ativan and know it's irrational but I still struggle. Two days ago dentist told me I might need a filling and I broke down sobbing in waiting room and have felt like a lead blanket is covering my lungs ever since. Phobias are terrible things.

Nona Kelsey said...

I've lived in Brooklyn for over seven years and found I rarely go into the city, all your needs can be met here! Certainly infrequently enough to afford a cab there and back.

Turns out I have trypophobia as well! My skin is crawling still, 15 minutes after ignoring your advice and googling it.

Jus said...

This is my exact fear. I totally avoid it and add extra time to commute by taking the bus. I've also had panic attacks on the subway. It's so dumb. Glad to hear I am not alone!!

Jus said...

This is my exact fear. I totally avoid it and add extra time to commute by taking the bus. I've also had panic attacks on the subway. It's so dumb. Glad to hear I am not alone!!

Anjula Montgomery said...

Snails. They look like fat, crawling fingers. The fact that their eyes aren't in their head makes it worse.

Liz said...

I love this!

I have a terrible phobia of lizards--I get that they're three inches long and aren't going to run up my leg and bite me (or SO THEY SAY), but something about the way they dart? And their creepy pointy tails? Is TERRIFYING. I live in California and I like to hike, but I won't go except in the winter when they're hibernating. I've thought about therapy, but I know what that means--desensitization therapy--and I just...can't yet.

(I also hate snakes. But that's less irrational.)

Cathy Cook said...

Bees! And also getting into an accident while driving. It's so irrational, but those things give me anxiety!

Megan M-R said...

I have trypophobia 1000% !

I remember hearing a student had it when I was a teacher I felt so amazed that someone else shared my crazy intense fear of little circles gathered together, ughh... I can't believe it isn't everyone's fear.

Kate's description makes me incredibly uncomfortable and itchy.

GROSS
GROSS
GROSS

Brittany said...

I'm scared of birds; always have been. Everyone always made fun of me until last spring when I was literally attacked by a peregrine falcon in downtown Brooklyn. It dove at me multiple times and grabbed my hair, which was in a bun on my head. It was bizarre and terrifying. I emailed a bunch of falcon experts in the area (yes, that's apparently a thing) and found out that there are falcons that live on top of the Brooklyn Detention Complex, one of them had recently had babies and that one of the babies had probably fallen out of the nest nearby. Guess I can't blame the bird for trying to protect its baby, but it certainly made my phobia even worse though at least now justified! I couldn't even walk on the street where it happened (right by my house) for months.

skaggs said...

I'm IRRATIONALLY afraid of pangolins. They're like the cousin to armadillos. I saw one once in national geographic and I started sweating, my vision blurred, and I couldn't sit still. I've never in my life had such an intense reaction to something - let alone an animal! Goodness, it makes no sense, but I loathe them!

Kate said...

Monkeys. More specifically monkey hands. The smaller the species of monkey the creepier they are to me. I shudder to imagine those tiny fingers touching me.

As a child I used to have an irrational fear of escalators.

stacie schaat said...

I have a phobia of wrists. If any pressure is put on my forearm/wrist I have this insane fear that it will rupture, or something. It made for some absolutely miserable IV's when I had my babies.

jolie jamie said...

GAH! I googled trypophobia! Big mistake! :(

josashimi said...

On my travels recently, I realised I've developed a fear of heights! Or more specifically, an irrational fear of falling... And, thanks to this blogpost, I also now have a name for another phobia! Trypophobia! I went against Kate's advice and googled it and forced myself to look at the images...yup. That's definitely it. So grossed out I felt dizzy. But glad I'm not alone!

josashimi said...

Trypophobia! I never knew there was a name for it! Glad I'm not alone. I just googled it and now I'm traumatised!

J Kim said...

First time commenting but really had to speak up to give your friends some validation! I share their phobias of ankle-grabbing, porous circles and (not caterpillars) but a similar distaste for snails. Snails stop me in my tracks even though I think they are kinda cute. The first time I realized my phobia of porous circles was when I was playing with a cheap hairbrush with retractable plastic bristles. As for the ankle-grabbing, I learned a self defense move precisely for such a situation.

Emikos Werid Unexplained thoughts said...

as weird as it sounds I dont like other peoples dirty napkins. even trash on the ground freaks me out.I have yet figured out why. oh and anything over my head too long. i feel like i may drown i put my clothes on from my feet if i can

Gardenella said...

Hi, public speaking. I just started my MBA, and every single class has a presentation. I just did one and next week I have another one. I have panic attack, Can anyone give me any advice on how to taclke my presentations. I usually get red, and I feel sweat falling from my forehead.
Please help.

Megan said...

I have a phobia of buttons (koumpounophobia). They disgust me. I can tolerate wearing shirts with buttons (even the word is gross to me), but only barely. I try very hard not to touch them, or if I have to, by the edges only. I have hated buttons for as long as I can remember, back to the age of three. My mom was super thoughtful with trying to find me non-buttoned clothes when I was a child. When I found out about the phobia, she said in shock, "Really?? It's a real thing? We thought you were just weird." (I was not offended in the slightest. I mean, she was so thoughtful about my button hatred). Several years ago I found a thread devoted to people's button phobia (1/16,000). It was so amazing and bizarre---all these people described their disgust of buttons down to the detail, and I related with every single thing they said! There was universal agreement that metal buttons on jeans weren't bad, but the worst, the very very worst, was a clear, dirty, plastic button hanging from something by a thread. Barf. So there you go: button phobia!
PS I have three kids and have had to button many of their items. IT's gotten better with such constant exposure, but it's still gross to me.

Alwenne said...

Apart from being just a little claustrophobic I have two specific fears/phobias:
Fans. Any sort but the worst are the ceiling fans. Unfortunately I found out, while traveling in the US, that it's quite common for rooms to have ceiling fans. I totally fear them. The shape is so scary. The way it moves and sounds. And what if it falls down on you?! I recently found out that this fear also includes wind turbines....
Another fear of mine is swimming pools. I'm afraid of the "hole" from where the water drains. When I am in a pool I always automatically scan it to see where the hole is and strongly avoid swimming close to it. I know this fear started after seeing a movie when I was really small (maybe 4 or 5) where two persons climbed into the hole of a pool and they were chatting and all of a sudden they heard the sound of rushing water coming towards them inside the hole.....

KristiMcMurry said...

I think free-fall is my biggest one. I LOVE roller coasters, but any time they have a section with that free-fall feeling, I have issues. Tower of Terror is the best example. I ride it because I know my husband loves it, but you should see the photos of me we always get back. I look like I'm being tortured (which I am).

Good for you trying to get past your fear! Hope it goes well.

Joanna Goddard said...

it's so fascinating to read all of these! i love you guys.

Ekaterina Roshchina said...

Please, please consider doing some therapy to work on that!

I don't have phobias luckily, but I had big issues with anxiety. When I was in college (I'm at grad school now), I couldn't call my adviser! And when I did, would cry for 15 minutes because I felt so scared and terrible. I also didn't like talking to anyone on the phone in general...

Last year I did some cognitive and behavioral therapy and it was amazing! I can tackle stress and anxiety much better, I'm aware of what's happening when my heads starts going round and I also have a plan of what to do. That's wonderful and I don't feel alone with my fears or insecurities anymore. Highly recommend CBT.

Joanna Goddard said...

it's so funny—you always think you're the only one and then you realize you're not. it's such a good and reassuring feeling!

Renae said...

Gardenella - practice - again and again and again - in front of your pet, your plant, your mirror, your friend, your family - anyone and everyone - it gets better (when I first started speaking in court I literally felt like my tongue was getting bigger in my mouth - the more I did it, the more comfortable I felt. Now it is like second nature. Good luck!

Renae said...

I don't have trytophobia but those images are digusting.

My phobias are snakes and sharks - I have recurring nightmares about them - and live in Toronto, so nowhere near any sharks, and very few snakes!

KarinaCicala said...

Here are three for you:

- clowns and mimes
- hard shelled bugs/beetles & spiders
- being in a body of water and not being able to touch bottom (pools do not count)

Meredith said...

I have big time emetophobia. I'll do everything possible to keep from throwing up, and if someone I know even feels sick, it is literally all I can think about - just worrying, all day. Morning sickness was my own personal hell, and though I hoped the one upside might be that it acted as some sort of immersion therapy, that turned out not to be the case. My family has a theory that it's because my mom gave me ipecac once when I was really little and she thought I had swallowed some poisonous berries.

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

You can do it! I have one of heights.

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