Friday, May 6, 2011

Phobias

As a naturally neurotic person you can imagine that I also have a proclivity toward phobias. And like most phobias by definition, mine are based on theoretically logical circumstances but are, in and of themselves, extremely irrational.

Phobia #1: Machines.

I’ve looked this up and there is a name for it (mechanophobia). Basically, any large machine that runs or moves on its own without any discernible operator causes me anxiety and panic. Example: Rob, my father and I were driving home from New Hampshire one day maybe 4 years ago and we came across a train crossing (more on THAT fear later). The train had just passed and the arm of the--I don’t know, the lifty thing? Whatever the hell it’s called--raised up and for some reason the smoothness of the motion made me feel nauseated.

Another time Rob and I were at Universal Studios in the Jurassic Park ride. While you’re floating around in a boat animatronic dinosaurs rise up from the water and move around like I suppose dinosaurs would. It made me extremely panicky to think about what those dinosaur machines looked like underwater—sort of like dead bodies, I reasoned (that’s another thing, I don’t like non-aquatic things being underwater)—and I had to stop thinking about it before I started to cry.

The most recent situation occurred at the mall last weekend. At our mall there is a carousel, which I’ve never had an issue with before. But I had to avoid it while it was moving…the bright lights, colors, caricature-esque horses, smooth and independent motion… it just seemed like a nightmare from a horror movie.

And finally, I can’t go into the car wash by myself. And if I’m in the car wash, I have to plug my ears and put my head between my knees.

Phobia #2 (based on Phobia #1): Trains.



This also has a name, perhaps surprisingly—Siderodromophobia. This sort of developed over the last few years or so. I can be in trains and next to trains, but I can’t stand in front of a train or have the train operating behind me (more on my chasing phobia later). The front of them, especially those pointy ones, are the worst. My sister and I drove by a train car that was totally grounded, not on a track or functional at all, and it looked about 10x bigger and darker to me as we drove closer to it and when I look back on it I see it in the same way.

Phobia #3: Being chased.

When I speak of this fear people often think I'm saying "being chaste," but I assure you I have no fears in that department. Apparently there is no name for this particular fear. As the description pretty self-evidently states, I hate the idea of something or someone behind me. No matter the situation I feel like that person or thing is trying to chase me. Whenever I run up the stairs, with Rob following, I always go even faster and beg him, “don’t chase me!” I always figured that if I got into a situation where I was being chased I might just give up and allow myself to be caught!

Do you have any phobias?

Interested in phobias? You can waste hours on this site.

5 comments:

  1. first of all, i think it's really awesome that you're able to be so open about your fears on your bog. while i sometimes may mention some anxiety or stress on my blog, i rarely talk about, and never in detail. but i suffer from anxiety about food. a year ago i ended up in the ER after having an allergic reaction to shellfish and the experience scared me so bad. i nearly starved myself the rest of the summer and was terrified of every single food. every time i ate i thought i was having an allergic reaction. it's taken a year and tons of help from my boyfriend to reincorporate essential foods into my diet. having a panic attack is the worst feeling in the world. if you ever need to talk, THIS girl understands fears and phobias quite well ;)
    PS i hate carwashes too, and i'm not even scared of machines!

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  2. hahaha...you made me laugh so hard when you said you had no problems being chaste!

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  3. Sometimes when I'm walking up from a basement, I get scared that beetlejuice is gonna grab my legs from behind. :) true story.

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  4. omg, non-aquatic things in water are THE WORST. wires and pipes in water, super scary. i have emetephobia, of course. also, drains (bathtub, but most especially pool) are terrifying. i also avoid pool filters at any cost.

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  5. I'm also completely afraid of being chased! If I'm playing some game like keep-away with a ball (yeah, me and my friends are so mature), and someone starts coming after me, I start involuntarily screaming and drop to the ground. I think my extreme fear of zombies has a LOT to do with how scary it is to be "pursued."

    I feel bad for you with your mechanophobia! Just curious, do elevators freak you out?

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