Psyched: A Radio Show

Psyched: A Radio Show

Psyched: A Radio Show

DOCTOR JONES (DJ): Good morning and welcome to PSYCHED. I’m Doctor Jones and this is a show about real life and the human mind. This morning we’re going to talk about phobias. A phobia is a very strong fear. When you have a phobia, your body sometimes shakes and your heart beats very fast. You feel like you are in danger, but really there is no danger. For example, I know one person with arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. She can’t even look at a picture of a spider. Now, a picture can’t hurt you. We all know that. But a phobia means having a very strong fear- when there is really no danger. A phobia is very strong, and it changes your life. Believe me, a phobia is a very serious issue. [Sound effect indicating a caller]

DJ: Good morning! Here’s our first caller: Anna, from New York. Hello, Anna.

ANNA: [Excited; high-energy] Doctor Jones, hello! Thanks so much for taking my call. I have a phobia story for you.

DJ: Please go ahead. We’re listening.

A: Well, first of all, I really agree with you-a phobia is a very serious issue. Here’s my story: I always wanted to go to Paris. So I worked really hard and saved a lot of money. Finally, I went to Paris, and I was so happy. I went to the Eiffel Tower … you know, it was the dream of my life. I was so excited when I started to climb up the tower. But after a few minutes, I started to feel very scared. I didn’t know where I was. And I was confused. Where was the top? Where was the bottom? I just didn’t know. So I started running down the stairs really fast. I was so scared-I had to get out. There were lots of kids on the stairs, kids on a class trip or something. But I didn’t care. I just ran past them! I had to get out. I felt like I was going to die in there.

DJ: It sounds like you had claustrophobia: the fear of small spaces. Was that your first experience with a phobia?

A: Yes. And that was just the beginning. Then it got worse: After I came home, I couldn’t take elevators or drive my car.

DJ: Yes, because those are both small, closed spaces.

A: For a long time, I couldn’t do so many things.

DJ: What kinds of things?

A: Well, some of my good friends live in tall apartment buildings, and I was afraid to take the elevator. I always walked up the stairs-and it took forever! And when I looked for a new job, I could only work in low buildings, not high ones. And I couldn’t drive my car, so I couldn’t travel easily.

DJ: I see . .. So, there were a lot of changes in your life .. .

A: Yeah, and not good ones. But I’m better now.

DJ: What helped you?

A: Different things-going to doctors. They helped me. And reading books. I read about twenty books a week because I really want to understand my phobias.

DJ: And how’s your life today?

A: It’s still not very easy, but it’s better. I’m a lot better with elevators.

DJ: Any advice for people with elevator phobias?

A: Yes-don’t take a job in a high building-not even for a million dollars! [Both laugh] I’m just kidding. I guess my advice is: don’t be angry with yourself. Lots of people have phobias-you’re not the only one. And it’s not your fault.

DJ: That’s right, Anna. I completely agree. Thanks so much for calling today … and good luck!

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