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Eye-related phobia

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Nov 27, 2012
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Hi, I am new here and am trying to share my worst phobia here (I also suffer from depression and social anxiety, so might also be here to discuss this - but at the moment this is the reason for registering here).

I have an extreme phobia of everything related to eyes, which is worst when it comes to my touching my eyes, pulling down an eyelid, using eye drops / ointment or something like that or having it done by others.

I am actually terrified just by writing this and have to pluck up all my courage for it, this is how bad it is. It is particularly troubling to me that although I do (very luckily!) not suffer from any eye disorder yet, but any visits to the eye doctor would be absolutely impossible for me if anything ever came up. It is not just a matter of just getting it behind me or doing it, I absolutely cannot.

I have been like this all my life and the same thing has always been troubling me.

I wonder if anybody else knows this problem or can recommend things to do? Are there for example any eye doctors specialising in extremely phobic/anxious patients , a google search did not yield anything there (it might put my mind at a bit more ease if I knew there were)?

I know that there are for instance dentists around for anxious patients, and I also visit one - but when I think about it, although I am scared of the dentist, it is absolutely no contest for my phobia of anything to do with eyes, which is really terrifying.

Sorry if the text reads a bit crude and it is not that great an introduction - I am just very terrified at the moment :sorry:
 
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Thank you very much for you answer and welcoming me, fallen, its nice that somebody replied so quickly :).

Thanks for the link too! "Unfortunately" the fear seems to be rarer even than I had thought, since most things I find just have a template text for all phobias and then just replace the name of the phobia with any specific "unusual" phobia, so all I can find are these short sample texts (though they contain the name of the phobia then) and nothing specific :(

Sorry to seem so sulky - not a very good day for me!
 
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fallen

Guest
No need to apologise for seeming sulky-I can understand that you must get very frustrated and scared by this.

It's a shame that the info is so basic. Have you thought about either therapy or going to your gp about this? I also noted that hynotherapy was suggested on that site-would you consider that?

xfallenx
 
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Coincidentally, I have a GP appointment tomorrow, during which I wanted to discuss general anxiety. I had already received psychological treatment for depression once, but not here, and this is the first time I will discuss any mental health problems with this doctor at all. I wonder if I should bring up that topic too or just "introduce" my general anxiety (and depression maybe..) .

Do GPs in Britain usually refer you to counselling for such problems then and also prescribe anxiety medicines? Hm, I guess it will probably depend on the individual GP, so I will just have to hear what he/she will have to say! I've never thought about hypnotherapy tbh...
 
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fallen

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I would give your gp as much info as you can as it will give them the full picture of what is going on for you.
Yes, it does depend on the gp, but they should be able to give you medication for the anxiety and can refer you for counselling too. My husband did have counselling for anxiety a couple of years back and it did help. I've also had CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) for depression which is useful to help re-train negative thought patterns. I suppose your phobia may come under the spectrum of 'anxiety' too so some sort of therapy (there are quite a few types)may help you overcome this too.

All the best with the gp tomorrow-let us know how it goes.

:hug1:
 
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So I was at the GP today, but I don't think it was that much use. Maybe a starting point. I didn't score very high on the assessment scale for anxiety / depression either, and was referred to a local team helping one to organise self-help. They will get back to me sometime, probably waiting is all I can do with that phobia for now.

Might try tackle some other issues in the meantime - my general anxiety and depression are also still to be fought.
 
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I hope btw that people here do not think I am somehow making fun of phobias or anything or making a mountain out of a molehill or rather just blowing something merely uncomfortable out of proportion - it is really that most of the stuff related to eyes or required for treating eyes medically, i.e. even pulling down the eyelid, using eyedrops (or contact lenses) having anything touch the eye is just plain impossible for me. Sorry for ranting again. :(
 
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optom

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Jan 8, 2013
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I absolutely cannot
Operative word = cannot = can't

Years ago, there was a movie w/ a classic scene between a southern(U.S.) maid and a child of the house. The kid was complaining that he couldn't do something. When he said I can't - the maid responded w/ a classic line-"Didn't yo mama ever tell you that CAN'T never did nuthin'"

So instead of saying I cannot, say I will do this. It's purely mind over matter as are all phobias.

This is my 1st post - I am an optometrist and I just looked up phobia of touching eyes and found your post. I see people like you in my office all the time. If you are unable(I almost wrote can't!) to touch your eye, buy some preservative free artificial tears. They are designed to be used daily, even several times/day and they FEEL GOOD. Lie on your back, hold the container directly above your eye and watch the drop descend. Those who suffer from dry eyes do this many times per day. When you can do that ok, wash both hands thoroughly, moisten(w/ the articial tears) your index finger of dominant hand, sit at a mirror & w/ your dominant hand, use your long finger to pull down your lower eyelid & touch the white of your eye w/ the wet index finger. Almost everyone flinches initially as we all have a normal blink reflex. When you can touch your eye w/out flinching, you are ready to go to the eye doc and tell him/her, you want to wear wild contact lenses for next halloween. Set that as your goal! These are the instructions that I give to everyone who wants contact lenses and has never worn them, whether they have a phobia or not.

Think positive and remove I cannot from your vocabulary.
 
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Seann

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Apr 5, 2013
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Hi

I found your website through my daily google browsings.

I am not sure if I have phobia or not.

I had the phobia about hospitals and anything related to health cares since many years ago. But now I have a real problem that is worse than before and is getting out of my control.

About one month ago I went to see my optometrist for annual check of my eyes and she told me I have a freckle on my retina. My father has got prostate cancer. I was involved in his medical treatment for more than 5 years and maybe that’s why I am always worried about cancer. My PROBLEM STARTED EXACTLY AT THE MOMENT THAT SHE TOLD ME I have this choroidal nevus. Then I saw a retinal specialist to check my eye. He took a photo and told me it is just a small freckle and completely flat. Very common and he prefer to check it again after 9 months. Also he told me the retinal freckles change to melanoma very rare.

After that, I was still worried and sick. I can remember on day that my blood sugar decreased to 3.9 even after drinking coke. I was shaking during a day .always cold. And when I started to read articles on the internet, I could feel that temperature of my body is increasing .I couldn't eat too much. I went to see my GP and she gave me floxetin 20 .Now I am better. Then I went to UNSW Eye CENTER (CFEH) in Sydney Australia to check my eyes again. the did 2 or 3 types of CT scans , ultrasound checks and also they told me this is just a freckle diameter less than 1mm and completely flat, it should be check after 3 or 6 or 9 months depending on different items !!!! And then per year, after that day I feel better but my mental feeling is still depressed and again every minute I am thinking about death, getting blind and killing myself . Every day I am looking for websites showing and analysing risk factor of retinal freckles. All of them gave me positive energy. Most of them are showing 1/5000 or 1/10000 and even in CFEH the doctor told me 1/100,000 that is the very low risk for this bloody freckle. But my brain is frozen and locked on this issue , I am still sick and every day or it is better to say every moment I am thinking about getting blind , death , I am thinking about killing myself if I am supposed to be blind. I am reading different websites about ways if I am forced to kill myself although I think I cannot do it . Always I close my left eye to see what will happen if I lose it. As soon as I leave my house or office I use my sunglasses with stress. I feel sun waves can come through the window in to my house and make me cancerous. I have started using a lot of sin cream on my body and I do not feel safe about my sun glasses. I feel I have to buy something that can protect my eyes. I never like green tea but now I have started drinking 4 to 5 glassed every day as I have read that it has a lot of antioxidants. I am worried about my parents and I concentrate on my job so hard. Every day I would like to come back home and sit on my sofa and start reviewing my old pictures. Whenever do it, or I am watching a movie, someone in my mind tells me that I would never see that scene again.Recently I am getting worried about red nevous on my body . It was like a mental attack. my tongue in my mouth became numb and I was stressed for another cancer

PLEASE HELP ME. PLEASE. I am living in Australia Sydney
 
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I think I can understand you, I am pretty much the same about everything concerning my eyes, as I said in this thread already, although I have been so lucky not to have any problems yet. It is good that you seem to be calmed by hearing that developing a cancer from that freckle is extremely unlikely and that doctors also keep telling you that it is all ok.

I am familiar with the thoughts of thinking about methods of suicide in case something really bad happens and I think people should be entitled to these thoughts and, if they one day really suffer from a disease that would affect their life in a terrible and irreversible manner, also consider such a step realistically; so I do not even think such thoughts are necessarily bad. I know people on here might see this as controversial, by that I am not encouraging people to commit suicide, I am confining this to cases of severe illness!

However, it all seems to have turned into a "idee fixe" for you, which is something I am also familiar with :( And I am actually also drinking a cup of green tea right now too, for the same reason ;)

Taking care of one's health and taking precautionary measures are also not a bad thing. Wearing protective sun glasses is probably not a bad idea and I am thinking about getting them too, they not only have the health benefit but likely also the benefit of giving you a bit more peace of mind.

And that is the most important thing: I think for you this whole thing has - understandably for me - turned into a bad case of "health worry / health anxiety". There is material about this condition out there and help for people suffering from it, as it can have a detrimental effect on your life. You might want to google for "health anxiety" and I think it might be a good idea to seek counselling or psychotherapy to do with these issues.

Hope I have helped you a bit at least, you see, I am also quite lost in this maze oftentimes and do not really know a sure way out :(
 
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optom

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Jan 8, 2013
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Calm down

I have been practicing 40 yrs and have never seen a choroidal nevus become malignant. And they are very common - we see them weekly.

You are letting your anxieties take over your life. Try self-hypnosis, meditation, yoga, moderate exercise - outside if possible. There are books on all of the above.

Try deep, slow breathing at the 1st sign of anxiety.

Consider the story of Dolly Lefever as your inspiration. She had a fear of heights and decided she was going to get over it. She was one of the first women to summit the highest peaks on all 7 continents. She got over it in style!
 
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Seann

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Apr 5, 2013
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Thanks a lot
you can not imagine how much hope you have given to me by your post
tnx tnx tnx
 
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Popszilla

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Feb 15, 2021
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Hi, I am new here and am trying to share my worst phobia here (I also suffer from depression and social anxiety, so might also be here to discuss this - but at the moment this is the reason for registering here).

I have an extreme phobia of everything related to eyes, which is worst when it comes to my touching my eyes, pulling down an eyelid, using eye drops / ointment or something like that or having it done by others.

I am actually terrified just by writing this and have to pluck up all my courage for it, this is how bad it is. It is particularly troubling to me that although I do (very luckily!) not suffer from any eye disorder yet, but any visits to the eye doctor would be absolutely impossible for me if anything ever came up. It is not just a matter of just getting it behind me or doing it, I absolutely cannot.

I have been like this all my life and the same thing has always been troubling me.

I wonder if anybody else knows this problem or can recommend things to do? Are there for example any eye doctors specialising in extremely phobic/anxious patients , a google search did not yield anything there (it might put my mind at a bit more ease if I knew there were)?

I know that there are for instance dentists around for anxious patients, and I also visit one - but when I think about it, although I am scared of the dentist, it is absolutely no contest for my phobia of anything to do with eyes, which is really terrifying.

Sorry if the text reads a bit crude and it is not that great an introduction - I am just very terrified at the moment :sorry:
You are not alone. I have the same issues and am desperately seeking help as now i have a detached retina...... Ams autophobic with no comanions allowed at hospitals. PLEASE HELP!! DOUBLY DOOMED DUDE HERE
 

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