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Own Body Phobia?

I

Ian Haines

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
153
Location
Merseyside, North West England.
What is the name of the phobia that causes a person (as it causes me) to be too afraid to even look at, or uncover/undress? I've had this for around 48 years and no therapist has ever even scratched the surface of it - many were stunned that they'd never heard of it, until they met me.

It makes life hell, I can promise you that. Getting clean?...nope! Smelly?...as standard!

As an adult, I've never been seen in shorts, or topless, or with any more than only the top button of a shirt opened. I can't stand dragging my sleeves up so that my GP can take blood for blood tests. I used to get out of games and sports, in school, no matter what was required. It's probably here, with me, forever...I adjusted to that, long ago.

Has anybody else ever had this phobia?...or, has anybody else heard of such a phobia?
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
13,534
Location
The West Country
Hi,
It's not something I suffer with but 48 years is a long time for you to deal with this on your own, so I really hope that you can get some help soon.

Do you know what the reasons are behind this?
Is it being self-conscious of not thinking you're good enough? A fear of picking up on germs? Or generally feeling uncomfortable with anybody's anatomy?

I wonder if it's been difficult to get help with because it's not quite clear what exactly it is about it that makes you so anxious?
 
I

Ian Haines

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
153
Location
Merseyside, North West England.
My first 11 years of life saw me heavily modelling off my dad, the role model from hell! He was a sufferer of acute hypochondria; he became body-obsessed after at least one heart attack. Of course, him being my senior male role model, I took into my memory every single body part about which he obsessed. He died, in front of me, when I was around 12. We didn't like each other, so that wasn't much of a problem to me.

But, by then, the little boy who was still inside me had made decisions of his own. "Dad had hundreds of worries about over a hundred of his body parts, and then he died!" The little boy within me connects all those worried daddy body part with a resulting, ultimate death caused by something wrong with one body part, some body parts, or all body parts. My inner child has connected dads body obsession with his death, and I think went on to suspect that my own body parts having something odd about them, one day, might mean that I'm going to die, too. Making that connection was easy.

Therapists have tried to help me, but they always insist on spending time dealing with my agoraphobia, so we've never got close enough to the subject to do any good. It's too late for me to get rid of it, so I'll just have to live with it. I just wondered if anybody had heard of the phobia...if I remove or adjust clothing and see a body part, I'll find something scary on that body part and that might be the one that kills me, just like the little boy inside me thinks that that one, and that one, and that one...killed daddy!

To give you an idea of how a coping style (not altogether a therapeutic/helpful approach) just naturally flows from a person with a strong enough phobia, but with some brain cells to apply to the problem. Back in 1983, I taught myself to touch type. Not just was it so that I can get things down, in type, more quickly, but.........SO THAT I NO LONGER HAD TO LOOK AT THE BACK OF MY HANDS, again, as my father often did, worrying about spots, blemishes, veins, etc..

Trust me...I could write a book about this, and I don't even have a name for it. (It would have to be a comedy, though!) The nearest name is another name adapted and I use it as a working title: instead of body dysmorphia, I call it dysmorphophobia - it's the only name, online, that I've found that sounds close.
 
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