In my case it wasn’t Ms Woolf but her namesakes. After all I’d been raised on European children’s literature and these critters featured a lot. Admittedly never in the Secret Seven or Famous Five, but I had a fertile imagination and the night time was when those boyos promoted themselves to driving cars and generally getting round on two legs. Leading to a terrified wail in the night.
Fears, irrational or otherwise – a lot of us have them. Fear of spiders, arachnophobia. Why and when did spiders produce such fear in some of us? Robert the Bruce wasn’t turned off from his close encounter, far from it. And of course there’s “aratnophobia”. I’ve seen someone clear a metre-high-plus bench top in one leap, to escape a rat. Needless to say the rat was legging it in the other direction equally as terrified. In his case quite rightly, as he bought it in the end and she came down off the bench.
Then there’s Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds, which reduced parts of a generation to a jellied mess whenever a large flock of starlings or similar gathered nearby.
It has been suggested that one in six of us suffer depression or a chronic anxiety disorder and there are plenty of books in our libraries on the subject that would suggest this might not be too far off the truth. In Phobias or the Way of the Worrier Tim Weinberg looks at the range of phobias – from common to bizarre. He examines scientific and psychological research to make sense of this strange world. And he shares his own journey in overcoming his fear of heights.
Anxiety, fears and phobias are not all limited to adults either. Freeing Your Child from Anxiety has easy, fun, and effective tools for teaching children to outsmart their worries and take charge of their fears.
Christchurch City Libraries have Conquer Your Fears and Phobias for Teens currently on order. Holds or reserves can be placed on this book now.
Nerves and butterflies are fine — they’re a physical sign that you’re mentally ready and eager. You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that’s the trick. ~Steve Bull