Apiphobia, or melissophobia, is the fear of bees, and spheksophobia is the fear of wasps. If you search online, the results look promising, until you click on each page and see it is a marketing website to buy a cure for your phobia. Good luck, Chuck.

http://www.wikihow.com/Overcome-the-Fear-of-Wasps-and-Bees Wikihow is actually a pretty good resource, lots of ideas, at the beginning it says this:  “Luckily, you can overcome the irrational fear of wasps and bees by confronting them, changing the way you think about them, learning how other people act around them, or talking to a therapist about your situation.” Sounds hopeful, right?

After 30 years of panic and embarrassment, I decided to seek therapy. I was a new mom, and I didn’t want my daughter to learn my phobic behaviour, as I did by watching my mom’s reactions as a child.

My family doctor referred me to a local psychiatrist who works with phobias, and he immediately told me he couldn’t help with this particularly difficult phobia. He sent me to CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) in Toronto. I saw a psychiatrist for about a month of weekly sessions. He told me to buy the workbook they use for treating phobias, and helped me design a graduated exposure therapy. Part of the treatment included freezing dead wasps, and having my husband “surprise” me by suddenly appearing with a wasp in front of me. 

Ponder this for a moment. Picture it.

Let me remind you, I was the patient, and he was the psychiatrist. Which one of us is crazy? My husband was having the time of his life with this little game. He did scare me at first, but we quickly learned that I am not afraid of dead wasps. Not so scary. But I will scare if a smiling, demented person chases me down the hall with a dead wasp.

So the conclusion of the psychiatrist was that we had gone as far as we could, and that there was no cure for this particular phobia because we can’t practice having me spend time getting used to a live, benevolent wasp (but there may be hope for my husband).

Well, that was discouraging. It would be really costly, but I could try seeing a psychologist, so that was my next step. I was in a hurry because it was now autumn and time to practice was running out. That will be my next post, and the title will make sense!

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One thought on “and now I’m afraid of grapes

  1. Please don’t tell me the psychologist asked you to use grapes as a substitute for wasps and bees! Awaiting your next post with much curiosity.

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