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Phobia of pigeons affecting my social life

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MMS97

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I have a phobia of pigeons and I dont know how to get rid of it. I am not sure if I will be able to. What worries me the most about the situation is that people usually go to bars terraces to socialize. I cant sit there because there are pigeons around, under people´s chair etc.

So I will only accept to go to hang out with people at 21:00 or later when there are no more pigeons. I am ashamed of my phobia and no one knows.
 
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Keesha

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Everyone’s afraid of something. No need being ashamed. Is there any way you desensitize yourself some by viewing pictures of them?
 
M

MMS97

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Everyone’s afraid of something. No need being ashamed. Is there any way you desensitize yourself some by viewing pictures of them?
I read that the way of overcoming my problem is to desensitize (exposure theraphy) myselft to them.

I have been focusing and observing them closely as I walk past them but is not working.
 
K

Kayaker

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Try to play Pokemon games from GBA only with a Pidgeotto.
Seriously though, you have to desensitize, there is no other way I know. Take baby steps, don't make yourself feel too bad, but just try to get used to the sight of them. They won't touch you, it is not their nature.
 
M

MMS97

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Try to play Pokemon games from GBA only with a Pidgeotto.
Seriously though, you have to desensitize, there is no other way I know. Take baby steps, don't make yourself feel too bad, but just try to get used to the sight of them. They won't touch you, it is not their nature.
How to desensitize ? does it really work? will I be able to be 100% ok with them like I am with other animals?
 
K

Kayaker

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How to desensitize ? does it really work? will I be able to be 100% ok with them like I am with other animals?
Just keep looking at them. Observing. Like I said, they won't do nothing. They are naturally afraid of us too. They won't touch you or get too close of you, it is not their nature.
 
LORD BURT

LORD BURT

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Try to ignore them. They are quite timid and will not bother you.
 
K

Keesha

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I read that the way of overcoming my problem is to desensitize (exposure theraphy) myselft to them.

I have been focusing and observing them closely as I walk past them but is not working.
Maybe you are expecting to feel completely different too soon. Exposure therapy can be as gradual as you want to go. I think just the idea that you are even willing to observe them is a huge step. Give yourself credit for every step you make towards a healthier mental state.
You surprised me by saying you are already doing exposure therapy. I think you’ll get over this. It might take time but it’s just disable, in my opinion. I wish you the best. Life is too beautiful to be hiding in fear.
 
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Keesha

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How to desensitize ? does it really work? will I be able to be 100% ok with them like I am with other animals?
Yes it really works. You may never be 100% ok with them but even if you are only 90% ok with them its got to be better than what you are currently going through.
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Desensitisation works without a doubt but you can't just look at something a bit more often and magically not be afraid of it anymore, that's more like habituation (just getting used to something) you have to be able to see it and gradually be around it and feel more at ease in doing so. If that last part isn't there then you're not going to make progress; you won't really desensitise.
What you need to do is retrain your brain. Start by looking at pictures of them when you're relaxed and eat something you really like at the same time, like ice cream or something like that. The pigeon will be paired with a high value reward in your brain: pigeon = ice cream, pigeon = ice cream...pigeon = good! You can continue this further by seeing them for real from a distance and still rewarding yourself and then gradually get closer etc. But this should be done slowly over many days or weeks or months, depending on your level of fear. Don't rush it. You could try this yourself but a therapist might be able to help you take the necessary steps at the right times a little better.

The very nature of a phobia is knowing they are irrational fears. You know a pigeon is harmless but it doesn't change your fear. Try some of this above and see if it helps.
 
M

MMS97

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Just keep looking at them. Observing. Like I said, they won't do nothing. They are naturally afraid of us too. They won't touch you or get too close of you, it is not their nature.
They do come very close though I see the terraces and they go under people´s chair where they are sitting and I just find them disgusting to even look at I dont want to feel awful or suddendly be suprised to see one in front of me.

I need to be 100% desensitize that is the only way.
 
M

MMS97

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Yes it really works. You may never be 100% ok with them but even if you are only 90% ok with them its got to be better than what you are currently going through.
But that is not good enough. I wont go to bars terracs before 21:00 is I am not 100%
 
K

Kayaker

Guest
They do come very close though I see the terraces and they go under people´s chair where they are sitting and I just find them disgusting to even look at I dont want to feel awful or suddendly be suprised to see one in front of me.

I need to be 100% desensitize that is the only way.
Yeah, it's gonna be hard... but they will not hurt you. Some people say they can bring diseases, but it is very rare they are going to touch you, not to say its probably impossible because like I said, they are genuinely afraid of us too
 
M

MMS97

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Messages
198
Location
Spain
Desensitisation works without a doubt but you can't just look at something a bit more often and magically not be afraid of it anymore, that's more like habituation (just getting used to something) you have to be able to see it and gradually be around it and feel more at ease in doing so. If that last part isn't there then you're not going to make progress; you won't really desensitise.
What you need to do is retrain your brain. Start by looking at pictures of them when you're relaxed and eat something you really like at the same time, like ice cream or something like that. The pigeon will be paired with a high value reward in your brain: pigeon = ice cream, pigeon = ice cream...pigeon = good! You can continue this further by seeing them for real from a distance and still rewarding yourself and then gradually get closer etc. But this should be done slowly over many days or weeks or months, depending on your level of fear. Don't rush it. You could try this yourself but a therapist might be able to help you take the necessary steps at the right times a little better.

The very nature of a phobia is knowing they are irrational fears. You know a pigeon is harmless but it doesn't change your fear. Try some of this above and see if it helps.

I know the pigeon is harmless but is absolutely disgusting to look at. When I see one close to me unexpectedly I also jump not out of fear of being hurt but out of disgust.


does it work 100%? someojne here told me it works but maybe only up to 90%
 
K

Kayaker

Guest
Watch videos from that game. Pigeon simulator. It is quite fun. Let's try what I seen on a harry potter movie: ridicularizing the object of your fear.
 
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