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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:12 am 
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Hi all,
I will try and be brief.I have a daughter who is extremely arachnophobic.In fact her fear has now begun to extend to large insects e.g craneflies etc She has been this way since 5 or 6 years old.The thing is the fear is now beginning to dominate and affect us all.For the last two nights we have had little sleep because she was convinced she had seen one in the house.( I usually dispose of them before she can spot them) When she did drop off to sleep for a couple of hours she awoke with nightmares about them.When she sees even a small spider, I have observed that she has a physical reaction.She turns pale and has even said herself that she gets dizzy.She is twitchy for hours after , jumping at the slightest trigger or even the word spider.
I had to recently take every book off her shelf before she would do her homework because she was convinced that she has seen one crawling onto a shelf.She has recently been convinced she can hear one in her room.
I have pondered if this is some kind of attention seeking but I don't believe it to be so.I can see her physically react and it makes her so very unhappy.Futhermore OH just tells her to grow up and stop being "a baby" which upsets her.Fear, it seem to me is neither age related nor logical.
This time of year is especially bad but generally the fear is escalating and dominating as time goes on.
So....anyone any ideas? I did go to the GP where we used to live and he was stumped and said the NHS offered nothing , e.g counselling/therapy to a child.We really cannot afford private therapy- I have made inquiries and costs are shocking.
I have tried all the talking through/logic approach etc but phobias are not rational.
Has anyone any experience of this or something similar with their children that they could share.She is in puberty and perhaps phobias peak at certain ages - I don't know.This is definitely taking a big turn for the worse though.Any ideas appreciated.Thanks. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:21 am 
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Try the school nurse - she may have ideas of where you can get help. I am sure there is help available for children needing it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:23 am 
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Thanks Rugbymum. :D Do secondary schools have such things? Sorry- never had to see a school nurse.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:25 am 
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Location: CORNWALL
Have a look at this:

http://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo//news ... 20,NS.html


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:29 am 
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Chelmsford mum wrote:
Thanks Rugbymum. :D Do secondary schools have such things? Sorry- never had to see a school nurse.



secondary schools have school nurses - the office should be able to tell you the name.

There are some reports of acupuncture helping with phobias like this - also hypnosis may be worth investigating


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:32 am 
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I have concerns about hypnotherapy - I don't really know why but especially with a young girl.Have you got any reservations yourself as a GP Herman?

Will email for school nurse details - thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:35 am 
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I was going to suggest hypnosis, but the doc got there first! Hypnosis will also be relatively cheap, but it may take a couple of sessions, it depends how receptive your dd is.

Just reading your post about your reservations CM (whilst I was mid post). Hypnosis doesn't take over your mind, it sends you into an ultra relaxed state which allows the practitioner to suggest solutions. I had it done many years ago for smoking. I was a 40 a day smoker and very sceptic, but without even realising it worked on me for a short while - I SHOULD have gone back for another session!! - but did manage to give up succesfully years later by will power alone, but I don't think it's an option (will power) for your dd.

I'm sure Herman has some sage advice for you.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:38 am 
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Thanks Snowdrops. I think I was channel browsing one night and saw some documentary on people claiming negative side affects years later.She is so young and impressionable. :(

Forgot to say thanks Northern soul too.Will print it and show it to Oh but he seems to think she should "get over it" in time but it is getting worse....


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:42 am 
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I sympathise hugely with her - my childhood fear of spiders turned into a major phobia in early adulthood. I did receive some treatment via my GP (simple behavioural stuff which involved keeping one in a jar in my bedroom for a while, amongst other things!) which didn't turn me into a spider hugger but took the edge off the fear so that I was able to control my obsessive checking, and no longer had panic attacks when I saw a spider (sounds like your daughter is experiencing this).

At the height of this phobia I did become absurdly sensitive to their presence, incidentally; I remember waking up once in the middle of the night, switching the light on and seeing a whopper exactly where I knew it would be... I still spot one in the room long before anyone else, though they don't particularly bother me now. I couldn't handle one much bigger than a money spider, but I can walk past them and am not bothered by knowing they're in the house.

I would try the GP again and stress how much it's affecting her. Meanwhile, make sure everyone in the family understands that it's a genuine fear, however irrational (I read somewhere that spider and snake phobias may have some sort of evolutionary origin).


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:45 am 
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It can't be nice for you.

In a small way I can understand what you're going through. A few years ago my ex hubby inadvertently made my dd scared of anything 'buzzy' and she would scream at even a fly. Luckily I was able to intervene before she got too obsessive about it and now she reacts like everyone else.

I really do hope you can find a solution, you must be torn between caring for your daughter's distress and logic telling you it's 'only a spider' - but to her it's not and there's the difficulty!

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