I used to have a phobia of both needles and of spiders. One of them took me 2 years to overcome. The other less than an hour!
When I started my Paramedic training in 1986 having a phobia of needles was not great. It wasn’t just the thought of someone sticking needles in me, it was the thought of me sticking needles in someone else that was horrific!
You could say that becoming a Paramedic was like going on a personalised de-sensitisation program.
I remember the very first time I gave an injection, and feeling so sorry for my patient as my hands shook and I broke into a sweat. I knew how I would feel if someone was about to do this to me, and her veins looked so small – I made an attempt but I missed her vein.
So then I got to feel even worse.
Not only had I stuck a needle in this poor woman, but now I got to feel guilty that she had to go through it all over again! I broke into a worse sweat and the anaesthetist took over.
I passed the Paramedic training. Then found myself out on the road with no anaesthetist to back me up and working in much more difficult circumstances. My hands still shook and I still broke into a sweat each time. It wasn’t until about two years later when I realised one day that I had focused entirely on my patient’s needs, and got on with the task, without giving my own fears a thought.
But it had taken 2 years!
As for my phobia of spiders (Arachnophobia), there have been times when I have been completely hysterical over spiders. On one occasion I ended up sobbing on my neighbour’s doorstep because there was one in the greenhouse!
It was very big and very black I’ll have you know.
Almost equal to the horror of the close encounter was the embarrassment of being in such a ridiculous state about it. I felt very stupid and out of control.
A cure though EFT
It was the final afternoon of a training course being run by a very lovely lady, who announced that there was no need for any of us to leave that course with a phobia.
One girl with a phobia of spiders agreed to be part of a demonstration, after a while using EFT (Tapping) she said it was ok to bring the spider into the room. Now I thought this was ok, because the spider was completely contained and would not be coming anywhere near me.
Everything was under control.
Hum, best laid plans and all that! Suddenly just a very few feet away to my left, a tarantula came into the corner of my view! I froze unable to move or breathe, eyes wide and filled with tears. Yes it was fully contained, but it wasn’t where I had expected it to be and I’d gone straight into a panic attack.
Fortunately, the girl sat next to me saw this and new exactly what to do. After perhaps half an hour of working with me using EFT – Tapping, my phobia of spiders was gone, and I was standing over this enormous spider wondering what all the fuss was about!
No longer terrified, the spider was now just plain ugly and I certainly didn’t want to pick it up, but there are lots of things I don’t want to pick up.
It amazed me how easy my phobia cure was, and life has improved so much, not just for me but for my husband too, who no longer has to sprint to my aid every time I see a spider, for fear of the consequences. And I no longer dread September/October time when there is an influx of house spiders, at worst they are a nuisance in that we have to catch them and throw them out.
I still marvel at the fact that I’m not terrified of spiders any more, it takes a while to get used to it, but the fact is I just don’t get that feeling about them anymore.