Thursday, May 22, 2008

OCD Anyone? How About A Good Old Fashioned Phobia?

I just finished watching the crazy OCD Oprah with Dr Oz. Did anyone see this show? The show featured 6 OCD suffers and followed them as they went through an intensive treatment weekend. Most of the participants suffer from extreme germaphobia. These are men and women whose lives are literally crippled by their obsessive compulsive thoughts and actions. While watching it I was reminded of how easy it is to dismiss someone else's experience when it doesn't match up with our own. I don't have one ounce of germaphobia and of course I can see how irrational that fear is... but it reminded me of my own.

I have such a strong, crippling, fear of rats that I can in fact empathize. While, of course, I can more easily avoid rats than they can avoid germs... I could feel and relate to the level of anxiety and trauma they had to go through while testing their limits and pushing through their compulsions. While it would have been nothing to me to touch a toilet seat, or the inside of a dumpster, there is no way in Hell you could get me to touch a rat. Seriously. I would rather be locked into a burning room than locked into a room with a loose rat. I don't even know if I can come up with something worse to me than being in close proximity to a rat... let alone my absolute worst fear... having a rat crawl up my body. I don't even like that I've just typed that. So as silly as their exercises may have seemed to an outside observer I commend them. It is more than I would be willing to do.




And please don't go writing a whole bunch of rat anecdotes... seriously I can't handle it.

23 comments:

Sandcastle Momma said...

Rats ARE nasty! We had a crazy neighbor who said they were cute and sweet and she would put food on her window sill and then watch them when they came to eat. That attracted more rats and they started coming around my house. The first time I saw one in my yard I went over the edge. She left on a trip right after that and I had my husband set a bunch of traps out there and he caught and killed them. After about a week of no food and him killing them off we had no more rats around. When she got back I told her that if I saw her try and attract them again I was going to have him trap and kill them right in front of her crazy ass LOL She never spoke to me again but we had no more rats either - and that's all that mattered to me.

Kiki said...

Planes...I want to go to Spain, Italy and Greece and I could just cry that I can't imagine getting there without flying...all that artwork and architecture just begging to be admired and I can't get to it!

Sandcastle Momma said...

Sorry about the rat story- I didn't see that at the bottom of your post until now. I really wasn't trying to freak you out LOL
My fear is of tornados. I am over the top afraid of them. Thank God I don't live in Tornado Alley or I wouldn't be able to function. We have small ones here but nothing like those big monsters they have in the Midwest but even the idea of a small one sends me over the edge.

Daniela said...

I'm with Kiki. After 3 bad flights (losing an engine in one of them), I'm now one of those people that should be medicated before takeoff. Like 3 days before takeoff.

I could probably set a high blood pressure record if you ask me to get on a plane (this is also why we took the $600 train to Chicago.)

carla said...

watched that as well last night....(HEART THE MEHMET and his unflagging compassion)

MizFit

Heather said...

Bugs in general really, really give me the willies. It's not debillitating but I really don't like bugs at all. Snakes and other things are more meh, but I cannot handle bugs.

Jennifer said...

I have a very irrational fear of being allergic to foods or medicine. Therefore I don't eat alot of "new" things or take meds that I haven't already taken before. Weird I know. I ALWAYS have a supply of Benedryl on hand just in case. lol. I have some in my car, my purse, my bag, downstairs, upstairs, at school. I never leave home without it.

Yikes. I have never spoken that fear outloud!

Mrs Furious said...

Sandcatle Momma,
That's alright. If that had been us.... we would have moved. And I wish I were joking.

Living here tornados don't scare me much. They hit but aren't as destructive as the ones more to the South. Plus not living in a trailer park is a good thing.



Kiki,
oh I'm sorry. You need to take a transAtlantic cruise and then take trains. You'll just need a whole year off...


Daniela,
Your engine fell off?!?!? Yikes! That seems like a pretty justified fear.


Heather,
Mr F shares in the bug fears. Thank God we've split our phobias so one of us can always handle it ;)


Jennifer,
interesting. Did you ever have an allergic reaction to something new?


MizFit,
word.
I heart The Mehmet as well ;)

Deb said...

"If you want, we can go in together and just rub our hands on the seat first and put our hands in our mouth."

Are YOU KIDDING ME? I have some issues with germs, but I'm not phobic, and there's no way I'd follow Dr. Oz into a bathroom, rub the seat and put my hands in my mouth afterward.

I don't think I have any phobias. I won't pick up dead animals or lick toilet seats, but that all just seems like common sense. I have multiple OCDs, though. So that's fun.

Mrs Furious said...

Deb,
The toilet one I could do no problem... the dumpster with the vomit... no so much.
did you watch it?
I will say that obviously for them to do it and live through it really did work.
I'm still not going to touch a rat...

Marie said...

Heights. I am scared to death of heights. I HATE walking close to the railings in the malls (the ones that are open to the floor below). I have this irrational fear that my body will just take over and JUMP. Now, I am not, nor ever have been suicidal (and if I ever did off myself, it would NOT be by jumping off something high!!). But I can't get over the fear that my legs won't listen and I'll jump over.

Ferris Wheels are another HUGE fear of mine. I W.I.L.L N.O.T. let my kids on them, thats how scared I am. If I'm afraid that my body won't listen, then forget about them and their strange minds..they might decide to lean over too far and...ugh. I have caused myself to literally throw up just THINKING about them on a ferris wheel. Weird..

Whats even weirder is that flying doesn't bother me. Maybe because its so "contained" that its not really like your high...

Mrs Furious said...

Marie,
I also have a fear of heights... and I think the fear that you'll throw yourself off is pretty common... it's my fear as well.
I went to the Aran Islands in Ireland... 500 ft sheer cliffs... my cousin could sit on the edge... I was on my stomach about 40 feet away afraid if I got closer I'd somehow manage to trip or hurl myself off.

Jennifer said...

Once I had a reaction to amoxicillin. It was just my skin got itchy and red and bumpy. But never to foods or anything. I am so afraid that my throat will close and I will stop breathing.

Completely irrational. I know.

The heights thing, we went to White Face mountain and there is a trail you can walk along the edge of the mountain. I looked down and the first thing that came to my mind was Dear GOD please don't let me jump or fall. I don't know where the jumping thing even came from. Just popped in my head. Weird.

Daniela said...

LOL.. not "lost" in the sense that it went missing, but "lost" as in it quit working completely. It was pretty freeking scary to have the plane kind of lurch about in the sky, and then the captain came on to let us know that we would be making an "unscheduled landing" in Philadelphia. You know when the flight attendants look scared, it's okay to feel like you're just going to go straight into the ground like a frigging dart.

AshinMT said...

Cockroaches. I used to live in Guam at one point and they are everywhere.. and fly at you, i broke down crying a number of times just trying to get out of my apartment. And this fear ties directly with my fear of any sort of bug/creature getting into my hair. BLech...

Suzy said...

Bats. When I was a kid, we had a pool in my backyard and when we'd go night swimming, bats would come out of the woods by our house and dive-bomb the glowing surface of the water. Of course, I thought they were vampire bats dive-bombing my head for dinner. Ever since, they freak me the heck out every time.

Chrissy said...

I don't really have any fears or phobias. I mean, I really don't have a desire to go on roller coasters anymore but I'd do it if I had to. I don't want to go to a monster car rally or an air show but that's not because I'm afraid of big tires or bi-planes. Mostly because people in the crowd always get run over by the truck when it goes out of control or the Blue Devils crash into each other and spew fuel over of the crowd. That's not a phobia - maybe a little too much imagination is all....

I will say the thought of touching the inside of a dumpster and then licking my fingers makes me want to puke. I understand why they did those exercises but that was just disgusting. I would have been like "hey dude - my fear is licking the inside of a dumpster! I avoid them like the plague!"

Which, as we all know, was spread by RATS! :)

Gigs said...

Driving unfamiliar places. I have had some pretty bad panic attacks while trying to get somewhere I've never been before. But truly the GPS has changed my life. Now that I have something that will literally tell me when to turn etc., I am FREE! The other huge help - if I do take a wrong exit or something, instead of feeling my body temperature rise and breaking out in a sweat, my best friend the GPS will just get me back on track. Yay for technology!

I also am afraid of heights. I try not to say anything to my kids because I don't want them to "catch" my phobia, but there is NOTHING like the fear of watching them get close to the edge of anything. I will completely freak out in my head... then I just tell my husband to watch them and walk away. I just can't stomach seeing it...

P.O.M. said...

I am definatley obsessive compulsive, but luckily I don't have any real phobias.

carrie said...

Hornets and wasps. I'm not allergic, but when I was a kid we had a babysitter who was. I think she gave me her fear which turned into this incredible phobia somehow. It's totally irrational, but I actually break into a sweat when I hear one buzz in the window, and will actually leave the house if one has gotten inside!

Mrs Furious said...

Sorry guys... I was out at a field trip all day... and then the stinker decided to not take a nap.

Carrie,
That's exactly how I feel about mice (not quite as extreme as rats... since I don't think they'll actually eat me alive..) but if there is one I have to vacate. And by vacate I do mean run screaming from the building ;)

Mrs Furious said...

Thanks for sharing eveyone.... Baby is crazy and not letting me type!

Amy said...

i didn't read all the comments so hopefully no one else makes this exact comment but i caught a few minutes of this show, and was so disgusted by the guy who wiped his hands on the toilet and them licked them so the OCD guy would do it - i nearly threw up. i mean, that is my #1 most disgusting phobia (toilets). Coincidentally my post today is about toilets [weird]. Anyway, I just can't imagine EVER doing that and although I'm a germaphob - not nearly as bad as these people. AND IT WAS A PUBLIC TOILET, no less. OMG - it just makes me get the willies all the way up from my toes just thinking of it.

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