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visual equivalent to "nails on a chalkboard"

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does anyone have any help with dealing with visual anxiety triggers? i don't know how to explain it but i have intense anxiety when i see certain things... kind of like when people hear nails on a chalkboard etc.. I struggled with it all through highschool and had to often go to the counselor during biology class because i get so anxious and sick when i see clusters of holes or circles etc. think fish eggs,spider eggs, honeycomb, mushrooms, cells, bone marrow, the frogs that lay eggs out of their back,etc. i finally figured out that it has a name (i don't know if its recognized as a legitimate phobia however)... Trypophobia. I am a young girl and out alot and its hard to see things that commonly occur in nature and physically throw up up or have goosebumps or want to pass out. recently there was a lice outbreak at my sisters elementary school and she didn't have them but i locked myself in my room because the thought of all the lice laying eggs in my hair physically made me sick.. does anyone have any experience with this type of anxiety/phobias?

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I also have trypophobia among other "visual" phobias and the only thing that has been legitimately helpful on a longterm basis is medication. I know that's not what most people want to hear, and I'm sure that other people have better non-pharmaceutical solutions, but for me, that's what has helped and continues to help keep phobias and the subsequent panic at bay. What it does is dull my panic enough for me to consciously sort out what I might be thinking or doing that is encouraging the phobic behaviour, and from your description of your experience above, it seems like your anxiety is very severe, so I'm sure that you understand that feeling of not being able to calm down enough to think rationally. Have you ever done exposure therapy? Are you in therapy at all? Working with an individual therapist on this sort of thing can be immensely helpful. Maybe some sort of ERP program might help you.

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yes i am! i have been seeing a therapist for over a year, but mainly because i had an ed, some personality disorders, bp, and lots of reckless behavior..etc. i am on a mix of medications for leveling out my emotions, and would really like to try and get rx for valium or xanax maybe (something solely for anxiety since i am already on ssris) but i am still quite young and scared she will think i am trying to scam for drugs! also i am sorry that you have similar issues but i am glad you have found something to help a bit!

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I'm not on any benzos at all and I have never been because I have a history of substance abuse. For me, SSRIs have been immensely helpful with anxiety. Are you finding your SSRIs ineffective for anxiety? Maybe you can complement your SSRIs with another drug that is not a benzodiazepine if you're afraid of looking like you just want to get high. Benzos are highly addictive and I know that's why when you're younger they won't prescribe you them as willingly especially if you have a history of reckless behaviour, etc. 


For me it took a fairly high dosage of an SSRI before I started to feel the benefits. It was hard during that waiting period when my doctor was slowly increasing the dosage and I felt like nothing was helping, but my anxiety has gone down drastically over the past year.


At any rate, I would bring this up with your therapist and doctor to see what they think because it's certainly a big issue in your life right now and it needs to be addressed. No one deserves to suffer and it's best to try not to be shy and assert your worries and concerns (which I know is not as simple as its made out to be, I have an issue with self-assertion and feeling like doctors will just believe I'm looking for drugs or making excuses, and I know it's tough).

Edited by radicalfeminist

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