Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fears, Phobias, and Anxiety Attacks

Fear:  a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Phobia:  a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.

Anxiety Attack:  an intense attack of anxiety characterized by feelings of impending doom and trembling, sweating, pounding heart, and other physical symptoms. 

For an hour and a half last night my husband, Eric struggled through a fierce anxiety attack.  He has been prescribed medication to be administered by shots every day.  He agreed to take this medication even though he has an intense fear of needles.  In his anxiety, I had to literally chase him around the bathroom to give him this small shot.  To the untrained eye, it was quite the comedy routine between Mr. and Mrs. Potts.  In fact, at one point, my oldest son walked in and witnessed the event as I was coaxing (loud voice, exasperated voice, yelling) at his father to come out of the closet and sit down on the tub while Dad was protesting (loud voice, exasperated voice, yelling) from said closet that he wouldn't and that he had changed his mind about the whole thing.  It really would have been funny if wasn't so frightening for Eric.  He was absolutely terrified.  Eventually, the tiny shot went into his arm.  "That was easy!  Oh, my gosh Bri, I'm so sorry!"

I have an intense fear of flying on planes.  I believe this is because I'm a control freak.  I don't like the fact that my destiny is in someone else's hands. For instance, Captain Jack is sitting in the cockpit drinking a Frappuccino, munching on a jelly doughnut, and discussing his bad date with a Madonna look-a-like.  Suddenly a blob of jelly splurts out of his doughnut and lands on his obnoxious striped, airlines issued tie.  Captain Jack looks down, hits the controls with his knees, and spirals the plane into a 45 degree angle.  Now, I'm not one to deny Captain Jack from discussing the horrible date he had with the Madonna look-a-like nor from enjoying the jelly doughnut (as I've been known to partake in them myself), but what I do take issue in is that my life is in his hands.  My control was turned over to a stranger having the bad judgement to date a screw ball still thinking it's cool to bleach her hair, wear fishnets, and expect some sort of payment beyond dinner and a movie. So here it is in a nutshell, I have a fear of flying, a phobia of falling, and anxiety attacks about turning my life over to complete strangers, and in this case, a total idiot behind the controls of a large aircraft.  Lovely.  Pass me my Valium, please.

I would assume everyone has some sort of fear or phobia but how we handle them is as unique as we are individuals.  I've been known to cry louder than the babies in front of me on airplanes.  I begged Eric once to get our money back for the return trip so we could take a relaxing train excursion home.  He merely handed me a bottle of Dramamine which knocked me unconscious and made his return flight much more pleasant.

Eric was held down by three technicians once (per my request) to draw blood so he would not make a quick get-a-way to the waiting room.

We all have reasons for our phobias.  Some of us know what they are, some of us don't.  What I do know is that sometimes we have to work through them as painful as they may be.  Now that you know what Mr. and Mrs. Potts' are, my suggestion is that you never take a long distance plane trip with my family especially if I have to give Potsie his daily shot during the flight, unless of course, you enjoy a little comedy along the way.

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