Carpophobia- Fear of Wrists

by Becky Harley

While I've always been hesitant to assign such a strong word as 'phobia' to the things I experience, there really is no other name quite as apt as Carpophobia. The underside of my wrists, where the veins are visible, make me very uncomfortable. If I'm watching a television show or movie and someone on the show, say, slits their wrists, my immediate response is to cringe, cross my arms, and turn my wrists inward to protect them. I remember the exact reason I became carpophobic, as well.

I was in the pool with my older cousin, Brandon. We were all swimming around in the shallow end. Brandon decided he wanted to freak out both me and my younger cousin Christopher by telling us something creepy.

He said, "The veins in your wrists can randomly burst open and then you can die."

It's such a silly thing to think about now. It was just something ridiculous he told us to freak us out. And yet, to this day I tense up if something so much as brushes my wrist. From seventh to halfway through eleventh grade I wore chunky, soft plastic bracelets at all times as a form of defense. And, of course, my friends were not at all supportive. Even saying so much as "wrists make me uncomfortable" would get hands immediately shoved into my face.

I don't understand why people treat phobias as a joke. If someone says "I have arachnophobia," you don't immediately shove a spider in their face!! Why are people so cruel? Never treat a phobia as a joke.

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