Man is afraid of grandmothers


Blackleaf
#1
The man afraid of Grannies

WARNING: this page contains a picture of a little old lady. Read with extreme caution


Granny phobia ... OCD sufferer Stephen Drake



By SAMANTHA WOSTEAR

FEBRUARY 10, 2007

BURLY Stephen Drake peers nervously from behind his curtains to check that the coast is clear.

It’s a precaution the shaven-headed 36-year-old insists on taking before he will even consider venturing outside his home.

For Stephen suffers from a terrible fear which has left him virtually housebound for years. He is thought to be the only person in Britain with a phobia of GRANNIES.

The dad of two is so frightened of little old ladies that the mere sight of one is enough to make him hyperventilate and even collapse.

The former factory worker has been treated by top psychiatrists, written a book about his problems and even admitted himself to a psychiatric unit for help — but nothing has rid him of his fear.

He says: “There’s no doubt it has changed the course of my life. It’s ruined my ability to work, affected my relationship because we can’t go out and affects my children’s lives.

“It all started one night when I was 17. I was watching the news and a report came on about an old lady being viciously assaulted.

“Police were looking for a suspect and I remember thinking how awful it would be to be responsible for such a sickening crime.

“That thought stayed with me and although I had never been violent in my life, I started to panic about being responsible for something so horrific. It got worse and worse and I became so frightened at the mere thought of a granny being hurt that I started to avoid them.”

Stephen, of Bookham, Surrey, had previously suffered with mild obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Irrational fears are a common associated occurrence.

He says: “I started to cross the street to avoid grannies and steer clear of places they might be, like bingo halls and the Post Office.

“If I did pass one, it would leave me in a state of anxiety for up to 48 hours. One day I went into Guildford shopping with my mum and after being faced with two old grannies with walking sticks and curly grey hair I had a severe panic attack and collapsed.”

By the time Stephen was 19 he was so desperate he admitted himself to a psychiatric unit — but to his horror there were lots of old people on the wards. Although the course of therapy worked, it wore off after only six weeks.

He says: “I’m not a small bloke so to say I’m frightened of grannies sounds daft.”


Cry for help ... couple Stephen and Catherine


Encouraged by his doctor, Stephen began visiting a local pub, where 12 years ago he met partner Catherine.

He was honest about his OCD, vigorous list-checking and agoraphobia and they fell in love.

But he managed to keep his granny phobia secret until six months later when Catherine became pregnant.

The couple began rowing about his refusal to go to the hospital with her and he had to come clean.

Catherine says: “It explained why he’d been so nervous about meeting my mum. He was always weird around her but I just put that down to mother-in-law stuff.”

With Catherine in the picture, Stephen did his best to attend hospital with her, but it was an ordeal. He was there when daughter Caroline was born but rushed home afterwards. It was the same when Caitlyn came along four years later.

Three years ago the factory where Stephen worked closed.

After a stint as a supermarket cleaner, he and Catherine decided he would stay home to care for the girls and she trained as a driving instructor.

The girls are now 11 and seven and Stephen picks them up from school every day. If a granny passes, he grips their hands and the girls know to avoid them at all costs.

He also wears a special pair of dungarees which he can grip on to if his heart starts to race.

He hasn’t been into a shop for years and wishes he was able to take his daughters to the park like others dads do.

While the only place where he really feels safe is home, Stephen remains upbeat.

He says: “You have to learn to live with what you’ve got and adjust. I’ve got a wonderful family and I’m very proud of them.

“I know this condition will never leave me but I know how to live with it now. I just wish more people understood.

The truth is that grannies are probably more scared of me — but I just can’t help it.”

thesun.co.uk
 
marygaspe
#2
Just about the oddest thing I have read about! Mind you, my paternal grandmother was someone we all feared as children. She was a stiff, authortarian old biddy.
 
tamarin
#3
The lad's a 'tard for sure. A granny-wimp. But we live in an age where the ****less always have an audience. It would be hard to sit in the same room together. I'd likely attack him. Might help him with his phobia though.
 
tamarin
#4
Why would a word like f*ckless suffer deletion? That's nutty.
 
marygaspe
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

The lad's a 'tard for sure. A granny-wimp. But we live in an age where the ****less always have an audience. It would be hard to sit in the same room together. I'd likely attack him. Might help him with his phobia though.

Heh heh. Well, I have four grandchildren so far. My son and his wife have a a 14 and an 11 year old, one of my daughters a 7 year old boy and my other daughter a five year old girl. So, I guess he'd run for the hills from me!
 
tamarin
#6
Mary, indeed he would. And then when the sissy finally took a rest I'd drag him by his bootstraps back to you to apologize. I'm old school. You show respect in the presence of ladies.
 
marygaspe
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

Mary, indeed he would. And then when the sissy finally took a rest I'd drag him by his bootstraps back to you to apologize. I'm old school. You show respect in the presence of ladies.


Well aren't you the best! Forgotten value that!
 
eh1eh
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

Why would a word like f*ckless suffer deletion? That's nutty.

****less, ****less?
 
Libra Girl
#9
In a sense I can empathise with him. I have a phobia about hearing people talk about illness, especially cancer.. If the topic of disease or illness comes up on the news I'll run around the house with my hands over my ears, looking for the remote. My friends and family, although sympathetic, can be amused when, in company, someone who doesn't know me brings up a serious health issue. My eye's work overtime in pleading silently with them, to get me away from that person, or turn the conversation tactfully and with good manners. I don't know why I am so afraid of the topic since I am generally healthy, and rarely need to see a doctor. I am also terrified of cats! Go figure...
 
karrie
#10
It's funny, because I've just been studying phobia formation, and reading how his formed is text book. Neat. Once you start avoiding something, the relief you feel when you're away from it, starts building a phobia. If you feel better when you're away from something, then your brain decides you'd REALLY feel better if you were just kept away from it altogether.

Phobias are next to impossible to get rid of, because it's almost impossible to stop a person from feeling relief once the object of their fear leaves, thus, it's almost impossible to break that link in their brain. Blackleaf, thanks for helping me study for my upcoming exam! lol.
 
DurkaDurka
#11
I would like to blindfold that guy and drop him off at a bingo hall, let the games begin.
 
Curiosity
#12
Very few professionals in the mental health field have conquered phobic reactive disorders....

Many of those working to help a phobic patient have never experienced this phenomenon therefore they have no idea of the intensity of the helplessness of the victim - it is as if life itself depends on getting away from or breaking free from that feeling of impending death.

Some prescribe medications - which only mask the phobic reaction, and the "causes" of phobias morph from one object to another.... for example:

One woman who could no longer drive in heavy traffic was trapped as a dependent. During therapy she was able to conquer her fear of driving alone, but when she arrived at her destination: store, bank, work, etc., she could not leave her car to enter the place.

Phobias are generally derived from unresolved anxieties - some even unrecognizable to the person - and the phobic reaction in the "here and now" takes the place of the actual event of which the victim
desperately covers up any recognition.

Tragedy such as death, physical confrontational events such as a car accident, a fight, molestation, all of these can throw a person into a phobia which may seem unrelated to the trigger (if the person can recall the trigger because some are years old)....

Medals to anyone who has lived through these experiences and come out a stronger person....
 
eh1eh
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

I would like to blindfold that guy and drop him off at a bingo hall, let the games begin.

Oh ya! You get some good ideas durka.
 
hermanntrude
#14
at least he's made himself some money by selling his freaky story to a cheap tabloid.

Phobias in their true form are real things and tamarind's dragging him back method wouldn't help one bit. A lot of people say they have a phobia when what they have is really a mild fear.
 

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