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    Includes Expert Content
    panic over fireworks
    avatar
    iheartbarges posted:
    For as long as I can remember I have had and very difficult time with fireworks. I have come a long way however. When I was young I could not handle them at all, screaming, crying, hiding, and threatening to hurt myself and others. I am now 27 and can handle going to a professional display with no problems. I still have a crippling problem with the thought of unexpected firecrackers, bottle rockets etc when I am at home, friend's backyards, or especially walking to my home from the car. If I do hear them i do not have the crazy adverse reactions like I used to though, but instead i am consumed with trying to avoid hearing them again. (sleeping in interior bathroom of house, tvs turned up in every room, making wife let the dogs out, and over all stress) . I also have a habit of researching all things fireworks when I start to think about being worried about hearing them. To make the matter harder to figure out, if I hear a loud noise and then realize it is not a firework, I am fine. I have attempted hypnosis for relation and acupuncture with mixed results. Acupuncture actually got me to the point of setting off fireworks myself last year, which was a huge step. I have also tried seeing a physiatrist who diagnosed me with OCD and prescribed citalopram. It worked with limited success but I choose to stop after realizing my Dr. had no real interest in helping me and gave me the impression that she thought the whole fear of hearing them was silly. (I actually obtained citaloram again from another office but did not stick with the treatment as I did not think the amount it was helping me justified the side effects.) It is now getting to the time of year where this problem of mine really begins to drive me crazy. To add to the stress of it this year my wife is due with our first child on June 28th, the time I am most stressed by this issue. I want more than anything to have this erased from my head and to function like a normal person, especially with my son around in his first days of life. The thought of feeling like I usually do in the time I should be helping my wife and loving him makes me furious. Any thoughts or suggestions would be great and appreciated in ways I cannot express. Thank you all in advance!
     
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    Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
    I don't think it's so unusual to be concerned about fireworks, since we hear so much about accidents surrounding them and they also are rather frightening because of the sound they make. We are all wired, by nature of our evolution, to be somewhat afraid of sudden, loud noises that indicate danger is near. Fireworks may be fun and colorful, but they are dangerous. They contain gunpowder and, for that reason, they are illegal in many places.

    It's unfortunate that your psychiatrist could not understand the problem you are having, but I don't believe that this necessarily requires medication. I would think that some biofeedback training with a psychologist who handles these kinds of anxiety problems, would be best. Biofeedback is generally accomplished with a set amount of sessions and during it you learn how to relax while you are being exposed, usually, to some of the things that frighten you.

    Your wife's due date is coming up soon and, therefore, I would think you would want to find either a cognitive psychologist or a biofeedback psychologist who can help you now. As you said, the acupuncturist seemed to be helpful, so it sounds like you will be able to overcome this difficulty.
     
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    WeDoRecover responded:
    You won't find anyone here that thinks any kind of fear is silly. We all know the fears we have are irrational, such as my fear that the clouds are going to fall on me, or that buildings are going to fall on me...whatever it is, no one here laughs. Follow Dr. Farrell's advice and keep talking it out here.
     
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    iheartbarges replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
    Thank you so much for the insight. Unfortunately with a lot of things going on I was not able to coordinate professional help and the worst time is coming up. Luckily the baby preparations have me pretty well distracted. I am still experiencing floods of overwhelming panic at the thought of how i am going to handle the weeks surrounding the 4th though. Hopefully i will be able to meet my acupuncturist in the next few days and be able to cool down and "reset" with her. Thank you again!
     
    avatar
    iheartbarges replied to WeDoRecover's response:
    Thank you so much for the insight. Unfortunately with a lot of things going on I was not able to coordinate professional help and the worst time is coming up. Luckily the baby preparations have me pretty well distracted. I am still experiencing floods of overwhelming panic at the thought of how i am going to handle the weeks surrounding the 4th though. Hopefully i will be able to meet my acupuncturist in the next few days and be able to cool down and "reset" with her. Thank you again!
     
    avatar
    Patricia Farrell, PhD replied to iheartbarges's response:
    Okay, I hope things to work out very well for you and that you do feel much better.


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