Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Carpophobia

As I'm sure a few of you know, I'm carpophobic.  I find myself having to explain myself and this fear quite often, so I thought that maybe I would address it here.  It really is quite interesting, actually.

Back in ninth grade, I started noticing people's wrists when they were extended and I would get anxious.  It was the weirdest thing - I didn't know why it was bothering me, but for some reason it was affecting me quite often.  Particularly when people would be resting their heads on their hands with their wrists bent back.  That's extremely common in school settings, so I was faced with this problem regularly.

I talked to Kylee about it.  She called me a weirdo at first of course, but then she did some research to see if I was alone with this weird repulsion.  And it turns out I'm not!  And it has a name!  Carpophobia is the fear of wrists, and it is just as valid as the fear of spiders, drowning, or anything else that some people may find "scary" (such a relative term).

As I mentioned, the thing that first started bothering me was people's wrists bent back as they rested their heads on their hands.  It's not just that that I find unsettling - it is in all cases when people's wrists are extended!  I avoid situations where I have to bend my own wrist back, for example pushups.  That's probably a bad example because I'd probably avoid pushups even without carpophobia, haha.  But yeah.  Extended wrists are scary, but it is also scary when people grab my wrists or anyone else's for that matter.  It is the absolute worst when I'm just walking through a crowd, and someone I know grabs my wrist to catch me and talk to me!  Don't grab wrists.

Even just talking about wrists makes my anxiety spiral.  I can't think about wrists or else I get nauseous and sick.  I start panicking slightly and have to remind myself to breath normally.  It took me a long time before I could wear my watch, as wearing things on my wrists is kind of horrifying (when you put your arm on a surface, it presses into your wrist!  Ahh!)

I don't find my phobia very restricting.  As long as people aren't talking about wrists or extending their wrists, I'm totally fine.  I'm not disturbed by their mere existence.  And I'm pretty good at calming myself down after getting worked up.  Luckily people are pretty understanding when I ask them to move their wrist (which I rarely ask, only in extreme cases).  Most of my friends are really nice about not doing anything with their wrists that would bother me.  Of course, there are some people that don't believe that carpophobia is real, and some people are actually absolute jerks about it.  I understand that it is hard to understand, and it is okay if you are going to do whatever you want with your wrists - I can handle it.  It is just pretty frustrating when people are outright rude.

So there you go!  Carpophobia.  Maybe you learned something new today, which is always a good thing.  Upon researching the subject (which was honestly terrifying), I've concluded that my phobia really is not as bad as it could be, thank goodness.  Maybe someday my fear will disappear as mysteriously as it appeared, but until that day you should probably refrain from grabbing my wrists.

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