Under what circumstances could you confront your worst phobias?

What are the **minimum **circumstances required for you to confront your worst phobias - spiders, sharks, heights, deep water, etc.?

“Confront” means direct exposure to your phobia for *one hour *- for instance, allowing spiders to crawl all over you, swimming in the midst of a dozen great white sharks, walk along the thin ledge of a 300-foot tower, or swim in water four miles deep.

If someone you loved were there with you?

If you’d be paid a lot of money (let’s say, $100,000?)

If your worst enemy had the same phobia and had to participate in the same experience for much longer than you?

If you knew you’d be safe throughout?
Obviously, some phobias can’t be tested this way (what of fear of death, or amputation, or blindness,) but what if your phobia can be experienced?

If I were absolutely sure I’d be safe…

No, wait. Nope. Even then, I couldn’t do it. You couldn’t get me into a glass coffin full of even the safest, most harmless, inoffensive spiders.

(It would be “debating the assumption” to say that, since my mind would break down into screaming madness, I wouldn’t actually be “safe.”)

I used to have paralyzing phobia of dogs. I got over it through cognitive therapy, and I highly recommend it. The methods mentioned in the poll all seem silly to me.

A hunnerd thousand bucks for climbing a step ladder? I’m ready.

Per Wikipedia:

I don’t have any of those, AFIACT. I have some perfectly rational fears. “Swimming in the midst of a dozen great white sharks, walk along the thin ledge of a 300-foot tower, or swim in water four miles deep” - these things are objectively dangerous. Fearing them is rational. Courting danger unnecessarily in ways I would derive no pleasure from would be totally fucking stupid.

Okay, substitute “confronting fear” for “confronting phobia.”

It would take assured safety and $100,000 to get me up on a ledge with a mime.

$100,000? No.

A fund that will pay 100% (full boat) of the tuition for both my kids for 4 years at the Very Best college/university that they can get accepted to with Absolutely No Settling due to finances or financial aid?

Bring it on.

I was horribly afraid of public speaking. I had a couple of very bad experiences in grade and high school that I still remember over 40 years later.

So I volunteered to be a technical instructor while in the military. I also taught college night classes a few years later. Even after years of talking in front of people, it makes me nervous, but I can do it.

My reason to confront my phobia was to beat it.

Something like this?

Only if it would save my daughter’s life, I’d have sex with a clown. No amount of money would be worth it and there could be no guarantee of safety.

One choice is to have your ‘enemy’ with you? People have enemies? Personal enemies? Seriously?

I guess my tough one is heights. I’ve swum (swam) with sharks scuba diving. The dive boat chumed the waters to get them close. Blues and Reef sharks. No Whites though. It was interesting. I will admit that I probably used a lot of air at the decompression stop when the sharks where circling.

For heights, can’t do it. I used to. Mountain Search and Rescue. If I could rope up, no problem. Did a training video when dropped over a 100 ledge in a basket. I was in the basket filming.

A ledge without protection set … no way.

Since my biggest fear is being widowed again, and the only way to guarantee I never am is to die first, I don’t think there’s much that could make me confront it willingly.

Pretty much this. I disagree with water depth, 40 feet or 4 miles, makes no difference to me.

Also, the choices don’t mean anything real for a true phobia IMO.

I’ve done pretty much all the things I am afraid of but that does not mean that I am now comfortable doing them.

I may chose to die for you,
but I will not die because of you.

There is always some kind of a choice right up to death.
Then it is too late.

IMO… YMMV :stuck_out_tongue:

The $100,000 seems pretty good to me.

I don’t have any real phobias. I am a pretty brave person. BUT I’d be able to get over one of my fears (centipedes, say), for a big chunk of money.

I’m sorry, but no. I can’t even wash my face in the shower like normal people. I have to catch the water in my hands and splash my face (the same as washing in a sink). If I put my face directly under the water stream, immediate panic attack.

Yes you could put a snorkel and submerge me to test my phobia, but there’s no way I’d be a willing participant. You’d have to put me in a straight jacket, and tie me in place, and even then I’m not sure I’d survive the panic attack.

I’m afraid of spiders and of balloons. I’d definitely be willing to confront either for an hour, in a scary way, for $100,000.

A fear of preventing the hotlinking of images?

(This is what I see when I click on your link.)


I really really wish Gary Larson would allow reruns of his strip (a la Peanuts and several others), because trying to find his strips online-so as to share with others-can definitely be a crapshoot.

Carry on.

Been there, done that, in various ways. I’ve had prolonged exposure therapy for both fear of heights and PTSD which included imaginal and in-vivo exposure. That means about 2 hours a day of exposure to max levels of anxiety for approximately 3 months.

It’s fucking terrifying, yeah. But in the end you have less fear and more freedom in your life overall, so it’s good.