Like everyone else, I have gone through life having to overcome certain fears, some rational, some not so. However; recently a certain fear has been developing to a point I think it might be verging on unhealthy and irrational.
For some unknown reason, I developed a phobia of losing my house, more specifically, it falling down. I have researched subsidence and heave to the point I probably know more about it than a structural engineer! It started with me becoming obsessed with small hairline cracks due to natural movement, which lead to be looking into the foundations of the house, the type of soil it is built on and common problems with properties of a certain age. This has developed to the point I know every single visible crack on the outside and inside my property and I monitor them regularly on a daily basis. I appreciate this is irrational and that I am probably obsessing over nothing, but I now have to inspect the cracks daily and have an internal sense of dread that seems to be getting worse as if I am waiting for some catastrophic to happen to my house.
My home is the only place I can truly relax, so to have my sacred place become a place of dread is a big deal for me. I am becoming more anxious and agitated and I regularly have dreams of my house falling down or disappearing down a sinkhole. This is a fear that is now becoming constant and beyond my ability to control and manage.
I have been through the motions of tackling it logically and assessing the probability of these fears happening, and although they are very unlikely, the fact that they could be likely at all is enough to drive it in my mind.
I'm not sure what to do now to try and manage things better. Counselling, psychotherapy and CBT are out of the question as the services near to me don't cater for people with ASD.
Has anyone else had phobias suddenly manifest like this? There is obviously a root cause, I just can't get to it at present.
Not so much phobias, I think I only have one and It's been with me since childhood, but I do get sort-of-OCD about things all the time. I say "sort of" because I was reprimanded for calling mine OCD as I never think anything bad will befall me for NOT doing these things, I just don't seem to be able to stop myself from doing them.
Mostly they vary and change with time and something perfectly normal can suddenly pop-up as becoming compulsive for no apparent reason. Most of the time I just go with it, let it become a ritual for a while and don't think about it too much, and that way it tends to ease off or stop on it's own. Maybe I get bored with it? I don't know. Other times, it can become a problem if it starts to get in the way of me doing other things or lasts too long. Does this sound like what you're experiencing?
I have no idea about root causes. Maybe it's a side effect of preferring / needing routine and order? Maybe it's a from of stimming in that it's comforting, for a while, to perform these rituals or routines? I've never worked out which but they do tend to, eventually, wear off. When it's become a problem I try to break them down into their individual components, so instead of repeating it three times in a day I'll force myself to stop at once and only at a specific time. Maybe next, i'll try 'if I do this today, I can't do that' with 'that' being something I REALLY want to do (maybe drink coffee that day or read). Working it like that has, up to now anyway, eventually worked for me.
The only other thing that's helped me to stop any of my weird little rituals has been one of my children noticing it and teasing me about it, they can be quite merciless and relentless at times and that's usually put paid to whatever it was feeling 'comforting' at all!
Endymion said:Mostly they vary and change with time and something perfectly normal can suddenly pop-up as becoming compulsive for no apparent reason. Most of the time I just go with it, let it become a ritual for a while and don't think about it too much, and that way it tends to ease off or stop on it's own. Maybe I get bored with it? I don't know. Other times, it can become a problem if it starts to get in the way of me doing other things or lasts too long. Does this sound like what you're experiencing?
Yes I do experience these and so long as it doesn't harm me or anyone else, I just go with it and don't see it as a problem. Tapping on things 5 times seems to be a persistent one at the moment.
These rituals though don't usually make me anxious or make my mood/thoughts worse. If anything they can make me feel better. But the issue connected with the house makes me feel very anxious and agitated. In fact if I don't act upon it, my mood can turn awful and I can't relax. My thoughts, which I am normally very good at controlling and challenging, can spiral out of control. This is why this one has become so bothersome for me. I have only experienced this once before with a very valued possession of mine, so I wonder if the two might be connected, in that it relates to items/possessions that hold great value to me and there is an underlying fear that they could be lost/damaged/taken away etc.