Phobias are irrational, but some can come from a real place and has an origin story. Mine causes me night terrors and follows me.
First Stop Denying
At first, I was going to bring to light my clourophobia, which is the fear of clowns. But Kendra and Ed kindly removed with the re-adaptation of the movie IT. With that in mind, I decided to bring light to a phobia that most people don’t talk about because it’s scarce.
Often this phobia is either an afterthought to a person or something that passes. In my case, it terrorizes me since my childhood. If I am, to be honest here, the only positive I ever had in my life was my grandpa.
When reflecting upon my life and how I grew up, I was—and I despise myself for saying this—a victim of terrorization. I grew up developing dementophobia.
One Bad Day
My grandparents raised me after my mother gave birth at the young age of nineteen. Due to her stage in life and that her boyfriend left running, I grew up with older ways. However, my grandmother was not the kindest person. She knew how to demolish something psychologically with surgical precision.
To this day, I cannot look at myself in a mirror without seeing an abomination. She clearly stated that I was not wanted and that she had everything ready for an abortion, but my grandpa saved me.
I knew at a young age that I was not meant to be alive. My grandpa kept reminding me that I was precious to him, and it helped more than I can express.
However, the weight of my grandmother’s words slowly broke each bone in my body. My earliest memories start at the age of four, where I can recall my first signs of OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, behavior.
I would pick at my lips until it bled. I would carefully separate all food colors and never mix one with another. I had many rituals, which, with time, grew out of proportion.
It led me to one day, realizing that my mind changed. My grandmother repeated that I was crazy despite having me medically tested twice and coming back negative. It was inside my head.
She said that by the age of thirty-five, I’d turn insane and that I’d end up in a mental hospital. That fear crawled under my skin and remained there. The terror was so real that I became a masochist and would exchange one pain for another, but I cut too deep one day.
The Terror Of The Brain
Words are not without their razor-sharp edges. Each time I felt a threat or hated or abandoned or that I was a burden, I would cut myself. I was afraid that I would lose my sanity. I was ready to end my life at the first sign of psychosis. How would it happen? I had a plan.
My OCD, cardiophobia, carceraphobia, and acute, chronic anxiety mixed with PTSD had me deal with lots of darkness. I had those for a long time. I just didn’t know it yet. PTSD showed up once my grandpa passed away years after my grandmother. I took care of him in his house until the very end.
Due to how my grandma treated me and my mother’s absence, it was hard. I grew maybe too close to my grandpa. After all, if he was the ultimate reason for my existence, perhaps, in the end, he was the only one who wanted me.
Despite my mother repeating, she did want me if she was ready to go through with the procedure he saved me alone. I told her when a child that abortion might have been the best for her.
My journey had me question every move I made and thought I had. My only supporting beam to keep my mind in order was my grandpa. I warned a few people that once my grandpa would be gone, I’d die with him. I was right. Nothing was ever the same. I changed, and my fears grew way bigger than me.
My Mind Is Gone
It has been years now, and I refuse to acknowledge his departure. I did not allow myself to grief. I will not because my phobia is real and irrational because there is no logic in losing sanity. I am afraid. Society does not accept people that have paralyzing phobias like a common fear of spiders. If it has anything to do with someone’s brain, it has to be fake.
Let me tell you something society: when a phobia is so great that it prevents you from knowing what it feels like to sleep without waking up in terror, it’s real.
When a phobia is crawling under your skin so deep that you feel as if you’re choking by your own hands, it’s real. Face it, people, phobias are an illness, and not every one of them is curable.
Did I give up on myself? No. I am simply damaged and need some repair. The road to recovery is a long one and has many sharp stones on it. I have decisions to make, and it scares the shit out of me. The hardest in my story is acknowledging that I had a horrible grandmother and possibly a not-so-good mother.
The Definition of Dementophobia
Dementophobia is a specific phobia for people who have a fear of insanity and turning mad. Most of these people fear to lose themselves and reality. Severe stress is one inciting factor, as well as a family’s genetic history. Social stigma is not helping the case of dementophobia in those suffering from it.
Dementophobia is one that can be about depression and OCD. Sharing with the world a phobia that has a link to mental illness is a fear I have. But, I’m one who wishes nothing more than to break stereotypes. I am afraid of losing my mind. There. I said it.
The most common symptoms in association with this particular phobias are as follow social withdrawal, panic attacks, anxiety, headaches, feeling faint, dizziness, nausea, excessive sweating, heart palpitations, breathlessness. This comes from a website, and I can assure you it is real because I suffer from those.
The Anxiety That Never Ends
Depersonalization is something unique to each individual. Panic attacks can happen differently from person to person. The trigger differs from one individual to the next and can have no trigger at all. OCD, in this case, is not a good helper because it increases the anxiety because the person loses control.
Therapy is one way to go about it to help learn how to live with the phobia. There are no cures to dementophobia or OCD. Doctors to help diminish the overwhelming feeling of terror often prescribe antidepressants.
Because my grandma told me that there was a mental illness history on my paternal side, it increased the fear of losing my mind. Words are sharp. Don’t use them unless they are kind.
What To Do?
Those types of phobias require professional help. I cannot stress this enough. If I knew back then when I was a child, what I know now I would not be this damaged. Therapists can have specializations. Please, if you can, shop for the right one that treats people with anxiety.
Because those phobias are about anxiety and OCD, and depression, seeking a doctor’s help is wise. To help diminish the amplitude of the situation, medication is in order.
I promise it makes a big difference. Also, research with credited websites can be helpful unless you are hypochondriac. If so, do not do research on your own and reach out for help.
This is my story, and I hope it helped a few because it sure as hell took all the energy I had to share this part of my life. But Gothic Bite Magazine is important to me and helping others just as much.