Friday, March 24, 2006

you really *are* at the wrong blog

I’m not an expert about one single thing I blog about folks.
I am not an expert dancer, knitter, parent...or amputee.

I only have a couple of years practice at being an amputee.
I'm still at the point where I gleen some new information pretty much every single day.

Today’s lesson, is about apotemnophobia.
And the fact that, apparently, there actually is a cure.

Now, I know that people that can form phobias around just about anything. I had a very close friend who was agoraphobic. I'm truly not in judgement of people who develop phobias, not even phobics with a "fear of people with amputations". Honestly, I'm not.
You get what you get in life, and we all seem to get something.
Shit happens.
I know that better than anyone.

But until today, it has never occurred to me once, that as I go about my daily business, I might just be sending some passerby into a complete fit of anxiety.
(Sheesh. Whoops. Sorry. I didn't mean to. I swear.)

And that begs the question...what the heck do I do (if anything) if I meet you? Or we have to work together? Is there anything I can do to help or make it easier for you? And what do I do if you start to flip out?

The other big question that immediately jumped to mind today is (and I'm sorry to be morbid, but inquiring minds want to know):
What happens if you are phobic of amputees and you develop the medical need for an elective amputation yourself? I mean, what if you have this phobia and you get cancer? Or have vascular issues? Or complications related to diabetes???

My agoraphobic friend and I would just order take-out.
Somehow I dont think it's going to be quite as simple of a solution for you.


jodi said...

Hmm. I have a lot of sympathy for people with phobias, because I am afraid of fish. I do, however, think that amputee phobia is the most absurd fear I've ever heard of.

Are you sure that cure website is real, though? I just googled "ichthyophobia", which is just what I've always called my phobia even though I didn't know if it was actually a "recognized" phobia with a nice Greek name or anything, and I came across this:, an ad for the exact same video, with the text slightly changed to make the sickness fear of fish instead of amputees. I'm guessing they have hundreds of almost identical sites shilling the same self help crapola.

Gray said...

The parent website is actually quite amusing. "CTRN helps clients overcome fear of flying, fear of public speaking
and 1,300 other phobias." They indeed do have zillions of database-generated generated, virtually identical pages, differing by only a couple of paragraphs and a heading.

"Earn $$$ when you join
our affiliate program." I hope you remembered to sign up to get a small payment every time we clicked on the link. It's the least we could do to support you!

By the way, do people often collapse in the streets in paroxysms of fear when you go by?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... I'm sorry, but I don't feel responsible if someone freaks out at the sight of me. Sorry they feel bad, but it's not my fault. Some people freak out at the sight of people of other colors. Some people freak out over leaving their houses. It's sad. But I didn't cause it, and it's not my job to fix it.

Here's a good page explaining phobias:

The most important things I read here are as follows:

"By definition, phobias are IRRATIONAL, meaning that they interfere with one's everyday life or daily routine."

"Another possible explanation is that people generally develop phobias for objects they cannot predict or control. Danger is more stressful when it takes us by surprise (Mineka, 1985; Mineka, Cook, & Miller, 1984)."

My boyfriend has tried to help me make sense of how some people respond to me by pointing out that I am just not what they have expected to see today and that they just don't have anything in their psychological toolkits to help them cope with the surprise gracefully. Not my fault or theirs, just the way it is.

I think the best thing you can do for someone having an irrational or shock response to your appearance is just to act as kindly but normally, as everyday humanly, as possible. The rest is up to them, I'm afraid.

On a lighter note, I wonder if we made it into this book?