I suffer from sclerophobia and amaxophobia...

by Janelle
(Wisconsin)

Hello all, 34 y/o female, retired AODA counselor and product of a very abusive home...mentally, physically and sexually.

I have been in therapy since I was a young adult, but only recently found the right fit of a therapist. I have been diagnosed with mild agoraphobia as well, but the more prevalent phobia is the amaxophobia--the fear of riding in cars.

I am okay if I am driving most of the time, but sometimes not even then. I will start to think I feel something going wrong with the tires, or hear a funny noise in the engine, and I will start to picture the car losing a tire and flipping over, or something happening with the engine and we get into an accident.

If I do not ground myself mentally, I can have a full blown panic attack. I do take medication for this and it does help, but I don't ride as a passenger in a car, I always drive or I death grip the door handle and the seatbelt the whole time.

The sclerophobia is not as bad as it used to be, and it helps that I live on the third floor, but I have a bad phobia about being burglarized or having an intruder in general. Basically having my personal space intruded. It used to be very bad when I would shower.

I would have to lock the door and have the dog sit outside the door while I was showering. I have a pretty good watchdog, but sometimes it still sneaks up on me.

As a kid, my Dad would get kicked out of our house, and then break back in, break down the door, talk his way back in, and if we were sleeping, there was no telling what we would wake up to. I think this has had a big impact on my fear of intruders. I myself was not sexually abused, but as a child, sleeping is usually a place of rest and comfort and such, and sometimes I would wake up to police, or screaming, or crying.

Anyway, there is a lot more to the story, and I am doing much better, especially after finding the right therapist and educating myself on the reason for these issues and medication and exercises to overcome them.

If anyone would like to comment or whatever, please feel free to do so. If you are not in a similar position, please keep in mind that the one who suffers cannot help the way they are, but they can try working through the issues, and patience and understanding are vital.

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