FIGHTING PHOBIAS



Recently,I went through the meaning and definition of Phobia. It says - "A phobia (from the Greek: φόβος, Phóbos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is, when used in the context of clinical psychology, a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed."
Not a bad definition but not totally true either ( especially the last part ).Atleast not in my case of a few nail biting Phobias that sends a chill down my spine.
I have four distinct Phobias and one competes in race with the other in my scale of which is more scarier,more freakier.
I have few other minor fear factors too but these four rules the roost.


1. Darkness ( Nyctophobia ) - No I'm not scared of ghosts that might cross my path in the darkness,but it is 'darkness' itself that I'm terrified of.Seeing complete black all around and nothing else is surely a frightening experience.
It actually started in my school days.My elder sister had a habit of sleep walking/talking and every night before she started her weird activity I'd wake up seconds before ( some kind of mental alert ).She'd get up at midnight,then walk,talk and go back to sleep without being aware of what she was doing and the next morning she'd remember nothing at all.I had to bear the brunt of it all as I'd be the one seeing her do all her weird antics.I didnt understand these phenomenas ( somnambulism + somniloquy ) and was terrified of what she did and to top that my parents would force us to sleep in the same room ( something I hated ).I was small and to hear my sister blabber at night in some alien language would make me go nuts.
I used to be so scared that I thought she'd sleep walk and strangle me at midnight.
Hence for my own protection I started keeping the light on while sleeping.Atleast I had to be prepared.Not the dim powered light as at night it made the surroundings look even more spooky,instead I'd keep the full powered tube lights on. Of course my family objected to it,but what did I care,I was too freaking afraid.
I kept my lights on even after I got my own room ( because who knows she might sleep walk into my room and strangle me.Why take the risk ,lol ).It was a fear that remained with me till my sister got married and went off.Not sure if she still blabbers at midnight ;-)
That incident however led to my habit of keeping my lights on as I'd really get scared of the darkness.I dont know how to describe it,but I really feel vulnerable,powerless and helpless in total darkness.From my school days till today there must be hardly a single day when I had my lights switched off at night.Infact none at all.And much to other's discomfort I sleep quite well even when the tube light is blazing on right above my head.
These days my house is near the main road so there is plently of street light comming from outside illuminating my home even at night but still I prefer to keep my lights on ( old habit you see! )
And God help when theres a power cut,I'm the first one to really freak out.I constantly keep my torch,candle and match sticks at every nook and corner of my house.So that wherever I am, I can easily stretch my hand and light the candle as soon as the lights go out instead of keeping the same in kitchen or somewhere else and trying to search and find in darkness.
I doubt I'll ever get out of this phobia in this lifetime!


2. Flights ( Aerophobia ) - Now this is really a scary phobia that I have. I've travelled by air many times but each time has been a nerve wrecking experience for me.My home town is in Assam which is a 3 days journey by train from Bombay.The train journey is quite tiresome and a lot of time gets wasted,but still I have been preferring it compared to flights which takes just about 4 hours.Expence is never a concern because you can book quite in advance and get at much cheaper rates but it is the very act of sitting in a plane and totally surrendering your life to the pilot that quite literaly makes me sweat.
How well do I know the pilot,how qualified or experienced is he?Who is he.What if he falls asleep.What if the engine acts up,what if the fuel dries up or doesnt reach the motors due to some technical glitch.What if some bird gets into its side wings,what if the clouds in the atmosphere make the engine go wet and numb with its moisture.What if some wire just snap.What if the cockpit computers get a virus.And last but not the least what if some hijackers hijack the plane and starts smashing it onto some buildings or even worse take us some faraway place like Kandahar?
With so many thoughts running in my mind every time I'm on a plane,rest assured that it wont be a peaceful travel time for me.
I identify completely with Kajol in the film,'Pyar to hona hi tha'.Like her ( in the movie ) I'd get the jitters as soon as the plane starts taking off till the time it lands.When I look around, the people in the airport/plane look so calm that I really envy how they can be so relaxed and casual about it.
'For God's sake the flight that we are in might be the last one that we will ever take,dont be such show offs cos that plane might just crash land!' - I feel like screaming that to them.'Damn Air-Hostesses!Please dont put so much make-up on,it wont save you if the plane indeed crashes.'
This year I had gone to Assam by train and had intended to return by train as well.But due to recent riots and other disturbances in Kokrajhar my mom adviced me to take the flight.I'm not scared of rioters as much as I'm scared of sitting in a plane ( hell I'd have loved to gang up with the native Bodos and smash those bangladeshis causing trouble and contribute for my nation ),however due to my mother's insistance I finally agreed to take the flight.I booked about a month in advance and from a month earlier my stomach started twisting on me at the very thought of my upcomming journey.
Finally on D-Day I indeed sat on the plane ( all nervous and anxious ) hoping, my fingers crossed to reach alive.Till Kolkata ( a 1 hour journey ) nothing happened and I called my mother immediately to let her know that we reached Kolkata safe.However it was the journey from Kolkata to Bombay ( which is about 2 hrs40 mins ) that got my nerves jolting.Several times the plane started shaking and the pilot announced to fasten our seat belts due to air turbulance.
Whew!Just what I needed.My heart was in my mouth.
I'm writing this post so you might have guessed that I landed safely after all.But there is truely a danger involved in flights hence it cannot be said that my fear is unreasonable,though my panic does go overboard.
Trying to look calm in my flight picture below :-)


There are many people who travel by air frequently,if only I could be that brave.I'll take a flight only when extremely necessary and unavoidable, until then I'll always prefer apna RAIL GADI!


3. Hospitals (Nosocomephobia ) & Surgeries ( Tomophobia ) - Heaven forbid if I ever have to be admitted in a hospital or go for some surgery.I'd scream the whole place down.I'm just too scared to give the reins of my life to some unknown doctor who'd just cut and split my body open or move my organs around.
What if he steals some of it or forgets a scissor inside my tummy?It has happened to others didnt it?
This is something I'm extremely paranoid of.In my whole life only 2 times I've been to a hospital and both the times it made me feel very uncomfortable.I dread the sight of blood/wounds and the hospital smell makes my bones quiver.When my relative was admitted for a heart surgery,I really felt sick in my stomach when I saw all the heart patients being taken to one large room just after their 'angioplasty'.I felt I'd collapse any moment.And I hope I never reach such situation in life,so helpless in a hospital bed.
I know the doctors do a terrific job of saving patient's lives and hats off to them.But I'd rather eat loads of apples everyday in hopes to keep the doctor away.
I remember once when I was in school I had got pricked by some bamboo cane in my leg ( while playing ) and some of the fine material had entered my ankle.I was in unbearable pain and my mother took me to a hospital to get it removed.It was my first visit to a hospital ( or maybe second as I was born in a hospital if that counts ).I was very reluctant as I was scared what the doctor would do to me.If he gave me some edible medicines I was okay but if he did anything else then I wasnt sure what I'd do to him in return.
Much to my fears it was the second that happened.The doctor started to hold me as the nurse came in with a big scissor in her hand.As she walked towards me I realised what was going to happen.She was about to cut into my leg with that scissor and horrified I gave out a loud yell,'NO!'
With my other leg which was free I gave her a kick and ran out of the room ( hopping in one leg rather ).My mother was shocked at my action and started explaining to the doctor.They called me back but I'd simply not re-enter that room again.Inspite of many pleas to trust the doctor and get it removed,I stood my ground refusing to go in and wanting to go away as far as possible from that hospital.
So my wound remained,the bamboo material still stuck inside my ankle and me yelping in pain everyday.One day however ( after a week or so ), quite miraculously it got removed on its own.It was either my body that threw it out of its system or maybe God himself interfered and took it out.Whatever my resolve remained till this day never to rely too much on doctors and avoid hospitals.I hope it stays that way.Amen.


4. Animals ( Cynophobia & Ailurophobia ) - Well...yes, when I see others pick up a cat or a dog so easily it really gives me the creeps. I simply cannot hold/touch animals whether big or small, whether domestic or wild. I never tried and donot intend to in future as well. I wonder how people keep and maintain pets. They are indeed great, but sorry I'll let that pass. The only place where I enjoy animals is watching them at a local Zoo.


5. Termites ( Isopterophobia ) - This is a newly acquired phobia unlike the other phobias that has been with me for years.Infact, as I mentioned above that I was away ( in my home town + northeast tour ) for a few months this year.Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see what I saw when I returned.Infact there have been earlier occasions when I was away from Bombay for almost 2 years but I never faced this problem.
This year I was away all packed and gone for my vacations ( cum NE tour ) for 4 months and on my return I got the shock of my life.My whole house was attacked by termites ( white ants ).Ooh it was so disgusting considering that I never faced such a situation before.I had to call in the pest control for a thorough inspection and make my home free from these disgusting creatures which hadnt spared any of my furniture and other belongings.I had to throw away everything.Termites are really destructive.
Eeks!How I hate these filthy things.As I spray insecticides on them I get most sadistic pleasure now - 'you ruin my stuff and I'm gonna ruin your nasty colonies you bloody termites Fu!@##$#@!#!' ( Its good and perfectly legal to abuse them, LOL )

Do share your phobias and how you deal with them :-)

2 comments:

  1. Fear is such an emotion - it paralyses us and makes us lose our intellect - Fear is nothing but false evidence appearing real!

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  2. Read this article... nice I must say!! Well.. to tell you.. PHOBIA is something which we unknowingly have but we either don't realise or we don't want to accept.. sooner or later we do come to know about it.. I am yet to meet/know my phobia though!! And yeah.. thanx for adding me on indiblogger. M new there and starting off as a blogger just coz I love writing.. though I seldom get time to do so. Would love to find new friends!! Thanx again!! :)

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