Help please with specific phobia

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matt1988

New member
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
Messages
3
#1
Hi all

I'm new to the forum. I'm 25 years old and for at least the last 10 years I have suffered from a very specific phobia.

I do realise it's very weird and unreasonable, but I just cannot sit down with people sitting behind me. For example, in a church, cinema/theatre etc.

If I go to watch a movie I'll make sure I get there early so I can sit right at the back. Once I'm sat down in the back row with the knowledge noone will sit behind me, I feel an instant strong wave of relief. On the rare occasion I go to the theatre I will only go if I can buy a ticket in the very back row. Recently I went to the cinema and decided to sit nearer the front, but when a couple came in and sat behind us, we moved to the back row as I started to feel anxious.

If I have to go to an event where I cannot sit in the back row, and people are sitting behind me, I feel extremely shaky, anxious, panicky, fidgety, and just feel desperate to get out of there. I'm not sure why I get like this, but because I'm aware that I'm shuffling around in my seat I get conscious that the people around me realise something is wrong, and this makes the problem worse as I then think they're watching me.

The last event where I was in this situation was July 2013 at a family wedding. I'm pretty sure I had a panic attack and thought I was going to pass out. I know it's totally irrational and I'm not in danger in any of these situations, but because I've had these experiences every time for as long as I remember, I think I have subconsciously conditioned myself to expect to panic.

It's all I can think of ahead of such events, even if I know the tickets I have bought are for the back row, I worry if we get there late someone may have taken my seat and I would have to sit in front.

For many years I have consciously avoided events or situations where this happens, and I have a long term girlfriend who is aware of the problem and is understanding, but she forgets about my problem, and I feel silly discussing it with her.

The avoidance of such situations may start causing issues in my career (missing events which may help me, also I am studying and taking exams and worry more about being able to sit at the back of the exam room than passing the exam!)

It's also affecting me personally, it gets me down at times, and my relationship with my girlfriend would be more exciting if we were able to go to the theatre etc/new events more often, without being anxious.

Importantly, I have 2 family weddings in the autumn/winter 2014. One of which, in December is my sister's.

Several years ago I went to my GP who was less than helpful, not very understanding and had no useful recommendations. I've since changed doctors due to a change in address, so I intend to try the new GP soon.

I've also a few hundred pounds on private psychological therapy which didn't seem to help.

I feel like I've convinced myself I'll always have this problem, and it fills me with intense anxiety, and I dread events I should be looking forward to.

Please can anyone suggest any treatment or medication which may help me?
 
BlueGlass

BlueGlass

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#2
Hello. Welcome to the forum.

One thing you could try to do is when you go to the cinema or any place, sit near the back but not right at the back and stay there as long as possible before moving and then over time hopefully the time you can it in the first seat increases until you can watch a whole film or whatever without much anxiety.

I think going to your GP and trying to get some therapy sounds like a great idea.
You may be able to get some meds like diazepam or similar to relax you, but they are addictive and a last resort imo.
xxxxx
 
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ozma aveisan

Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
7
#3
You posted this a few years ago?do you still have this phobia? i feel similar way and can suggest a few things
 
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matt1988

New member
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
Messages
3
#4
Hi Ozma

Sorry I have only just been reviewing my email and seen a notification that you sent a reply.
Apologies for taking so long to respond.

Yes it's still causing me big issues, I would be very interested to hear any suggestions,

Many thanks
Matt
 
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ozma aveisan

Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
7
#5
Hi Ozma

Sorry I have only just been reviewing my email and seen a notification that you sent a reply.
Apologies for taking so long to respond.

Yes it's still causing me big issues, I would be very interested to hear any suggestions,

Many thanks
Matt
Hey do you have instagram or any other way of talking apart from here?
 
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