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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009
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    Scoleciphobia . . .fear of worms

    Hi everyone! My name is Chris and this is why I am here.

    I have an extreme phobia of worms and especially, parasitic worms.

    Linky from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoleciphobia

    I am not sure when I developed this phobia, but it has gotten worse and worse since I have gotten older. My education and my job only make this worse.

    TRIGGER WARNING! If you are afraid of worms and similar creatures, my story may trigger you. I'm sorry! It makes my skin crawl just to type this. Don't read further if you are as scared as me. Unless you want to and maybe can help?

    I'm very much embarrassed by my phobia. My family and friends find it hilarious, but of course, I do not.

    I don't know how or when or why I developed this phobia. This is my story:

    I remember when I was a little kid and went fishing with my family. I was not afraid of worms or maggots when I was a little kid. I clearly recall baiting a fish hook with worms or grubs with no problem. My dad used to send me out into our yard after it rained to dig up fishing worms. I'd dig them up, pick them up with my hands and put them in a bucket for our next fishing trip. No problem. My dad bought little styrofoam containers of maggots for ice fishing and put them into our refridgerator. That never bothered me when I was a kid, but just the idea makes me want to vomit now!

    Somewhere during my mid 20's I started to find worms to be disgusting. I don't recall any specific incident or anything that caused me to become to grossed out. I just started to find worms unpleasant to look at. I disected earthworms in biology class in high school with no problem. I went into the army after high school. I remember in basic training digging a fox hole and there were earth worms in the soil. They were no big deal then either.

    After I got out of the army I started having nightmares about worms invading my body. I thought they were just nightmares. After I got out of the army I went to college. I have always loved animals and I wanted to become a veterinarian. I started college. My classes were mostly biology. That's when the phobia really hit me.

    I started off doing very well in college. I had a 4.0. Until zoology and parasitology class. When I started to learn about all the worms in our environment, all the microscopic worms, all the parasites, all about how the worms live and mate and everything, I started getting really freaked out and paranoid. I tried to ignore it. I worked for about 2 years in a wildlife rescue center when I was in college. It was part of my education to become a veterinarian. I loved helping the animals and I was good at it, but I was always freaked out by looking for worms. Some of the birds ate worms for food. Lots of animals were infested with parasitic worms. It became intolerable.

    It became so bad that I dropped out of college. I gave up on my dream of becoming a veterinarian because I was so freaked out by just the idea of worms!

    Well, I dropped out of college and worked for about 5 years at a desk job. Despite being as far away from worms as physically possible, my phobia got worse.

    I eventually went back to college and got a degree in geology. There were times during geology classes that I had to dig into the soil and so forth. I managed to play it "cool" and ignore any possibility of earth worms. I saw earthworms during a few field classes but managed to play it off so no one caught on that I was ready to pee my pants and puke my guts up!

    Well, I have been working as a geologist for several years now. I do have to deal with earthworms sometimes when I need to dig or drill into the soil. I'm about half ok with earthworms, so long as I have rubber gloves on. I dont like to even look at them, let alone touch them, but I do, so long as I have gloves on. I use a shovel or something to get them as far away from me as possible when I encounter them. It's the parasitic worms, maggots, and other worms in the world that really freak me out.

    I'm constantly in fear that I will get infested with some bizarre parasite. The TV shows like "Monster inside me" on animal planet only make it worse, yet I can't help but watch. My cats are indoor cats but I constantly get them checked for worms several times a year. I look for worms all over the place, even in places where they would not possibly be. I'm totally obsessed and freaked out by just the idea of some worms. I have a true phobia and it sucks because I know it is not rational.

    What makes it worse is that I recently had 2 incidents where my worse fears came true. I can't even talk about them right now. Even though I know they cant hurt me I totally freaked out. I ended up moving to a new house and completely abandoning my old house because of it. I'll talk about those 2 incidents if people really want to know but it will be hard for me.

    What sucks is that I KNOW that phobias are not rational. I KNOW that what I am afraid of cannot hurt me. I am fearless in so many actual dangerous situations, yet encounters with freaking little worms and other similar creatures make me cry and run away!

    Well, that's why I am here.

  2. #2

    Re: Scoleciphobia . . .fear of worms

    Hello Chris, Thank you so much for this highly interesting story. You are a good writer and you have humor. Even though as with all of the other books from people about OCD and phobias, the stories are gripping yet very funny to read. I laughed so much reading your story, because I can relate so much. There is so much humor in this situation. Even though it's horrible to go through all of this fear and disgust, but it is still so funny, too. I have serious nightmares about worms. I dream about parasitic worms, they are always really large, larger than earth worms, and they sometimes have hair on them. When I wake up I have to make myself calm down for quite a while. It's very disturbing. I have had this phobia since I am a little girl. I wonder where this phobia comes from. I have no idea. I am not afraid of earth worms, I like gardening and anthroposophical agriculture, so I have a compost in the garden where I throw everything in it, dog mess, tree leaves, and organic matter from the kitchen. Earth worms live in this and transform the organic matter into really rich and black earth soil which smells great. I love it. So I linked up goodness with the earth worms. The planet could not sustain itself without them. Doesn't bother me either that they transform corpses into soil. But, like you, I have a really serious problem with the parasites. Before I forget, I wanted to tell you that I read your reply to the lady who is scared of dogs. I fully relate to you regarding people, too. I am afraid of humans more than of any other living being including parasites. Ha. But anyway, intestinal parasites are disgusting and I strongly believe that the world could exist without them. But ever since I learned about Dr. Richard Schulze, an herbalist, who has the best herbal detox cure in the world, my fear of catching parasites has drastically reduced itself. His detox tee and formula is so powerful that it eliminates all parasites out of the system. There are powerful plants in every area locally, that one can pick themselves even, and make tea out of, which work super. I have even given my dog the tea and he drank it. I wanted to become a veterinarian, too, when I was 20, but I knew I was not able to cope with cruelty cases. I can't watch those documentaries about what the US army is doing during their warfare testing and weapon's tests. My clinical psychology professor told us that she had serious problems with the rhesus monkey tests which she had to conduct during her study phases. She almost could not stand it, because she said that the monkey trusted her and she had to break the trust with the experiments. That made me reconsider my future regarding the study program. Then I had to quit my psychology study program just before the bachelor's exams, because of my phobia of giving presentations. Good for you that you started another study program and finished it. Take care. Nicola
    :mrgreen: :wink:

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2009
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    Re: Scoleciphobia . . .fear of worms

    Nicola, thank you for replying in such a kind manner. I was expecting ridicule and taunting like I get in real life.

    I quit college during my junior year as a biology major, despite having a 4.0. Part of it was the ickiness of thinking about worms in all forms and part of it was because of the animal experiments. Luckily, I quit before I was expected to perform any animal experiments in college. But I learned all about some very cruel experiments the government did when I was still in the army. The thoughts of them still make me angry. But that is a whole 'nuther rant. I'll stick to the topic here.

    From your post, it seems you share my phobia of parasitic worms? Those worry me most of all.

    Like I said, earthworms are on the low end of my phobia. Parasites are on the high end of my phobia. I am always uber-vigilant about food. I read and see things on TV about insects in our food supply. I put everything in the fridge or freezer, because I am afraid insects will invade it and lay eggs and larvae will emerge.

    I became a vegetarian back in 1994, but I still worry that I may have eaten something that left parasites in my body.

    In the past year, I had 2 horrible incidents where I came face to face with worms where I did not expect them. I completely broke down. After the 2nd incident, I abandoned my old house and moved to a new one, despite financial losses. It was all I could do to gather my essential belongings in the hasty move.

    TRIGGER WARNING! This is graphic and personal!

    Last May, we had heavy rains here in central Ohio. major floods. I lived in a pretty nice townhouse. I had a patio out back, with a sliding glass door. During the heavy rains, I came downstairs to find several earthworms crawling around the floor of my dining room and kitchen! Oh my freaking god! I stood in stock for a few minutes. I was paralized. I keep a very clean house, and to find f-ing worms in my house sent me into shock, seriously!

    I used a wad of paper towels to pick them up and throw them outside. I found several other earthworms squirming under the sliding glass door to my patio. Apparently, they were trying to find higher ground during the flood. I had no idea that earthworms could actually squirm their way under a closed patio door! It totaly freaked me out. I picked up the worms with wads of paper towells and threw them back outside. I then poured a copious amount of salt in the sliding glass door tracks and onto the patio stoop and all around my back patio. Take that! The salt kept the worms out, but I was still grossed out! After that, I poured salt all over my front and back steps all the time, to make sure no worms came anywhere near my house.

    Well, I slowly recovered from the flooding/earthworm incident. I was vigilent with pouring salt on my front and back steps. I was disturbed, but thought I had overcome one of my major phobias. What happened in July nearly made my brain explode!

    I keep a VERY clean house. I am a clean freak. I clean my whole house, top to bottom, once a week. I clean as I go in the kitchen and bathroom. bleach cleaner, paper towells, etc. I also have 2 cats and their fur gets everywhere.

    In mid july, for a few days I noticed what I thought was stray cat hairs on my bathroom counter. I used paper towells and chlorox cleanup spray to wipe them up and thought nothing of it. I was constantly cleaning and used to cleaning up after my cats.

    One morning, I went into my bathroom and washed my hands. I accidentally splashed some water on the counter. Where I splashed water drops I noticed movement. WTF? I looked closer and what I had thought were stray cat hairs were squirming in the water! Despite my horror and disgust, I had to look closer. What I thought were stray cat hairs were actually tiny worms! Some kind of larva! They appeared to be crawling out from the wood under my sink basin where the caulking had been worn away. Well, I totally freaked out! I thought I was halucinating. I sprayed the whole sink and counter with chlorox and wiped it up with a big wad of paper towells. After that, even more tiny worms squiggled out from the edge of the sink onto the counter. I sprayed them with chlorox and they writhed around. I was horrified and disgusted and in complete shock!

    Luckily, I was in the process of moving to a new apartment. I took my cats and stayed in a hotel for 2 days before we could move into my new apartment. I never set foot inside that bathroom again. I hired some college boys to move the rest of my stuff. I moved into a 2nd floor apartment, so earthworms cant invade my house, even if it floods. I am still vigilant against flies, ants, beetles, etc. that might move in. I researched what I had seen and I think the little worms were either drain fly larva or some kind of wood-eating beetle larva. I am over vigilant about makin sure there is a good seal of caulking around my sinks now, but I still worry about it and obsess over it.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    1
    Hi Chris, My name is Sajida and I'm from India. I share the same phobia as u and have had an incident that made things worse for me these days. In India, having such a phobia is often a taboo, as you're never understood and constantly mocked and ridiculed for it. This becomes an emotional set back as you don't want to share it with anyone. I'm seroiusly at loss of words right now, as the thought of worms invading my body or in the environment, makes my skin crawl and gives me a chill. I'm hoping for serious help. Kindly suggest what do you do to overcome the fear. Although even I understand that phobias are not rational, but the more I think about it, the worse it gets. And ofcourse, the TV show 'Monsters Inside Me' makes me throw up, but even I can't help it but watch. Please help.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    1
    I'm not sure if my phobia is the same or not. I have a highly irrational fear of worms, but the earth kind, not the parasitic kind. i cannot even look at a picture of one with going into panic attack mode. I have had this phobia as long as I can remember. One of my first memories as a child is waking up in my bed and being terrified that there were worms in my bed, so I curled up into a ball and slept on my pillow. I must have been only 2 or 3 years old at the time. I am now in my 40's and the fear is the same. Steady rain that bring the worms out on sidewalks and driveways is torture for me. I have recently developed a great interest in gardening, particularly flowers, but if I see a worm out there, I seriously drop whatever is in my hands and run away. It's very frustrating. My husband needs to dig and plant all of the flowers and plants I buy for the yard because of my fear. Any idea if this is the same phobia, or something different?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle E View Post
    I'm not sure if my phobia is the same or not. I have a highly irrational fear of worms, but the earth kind, not the parasitic kind. i cannot even look at a picture of one with going into panic attack mode. I have had this phobia as long as I can remember. One of my first memories as a child is waking up in my bed and being terrified that there were worms in my bed, so I curled up into a ball and slept on my pillow. I must have been only 2 or 3 years old at the time. I am now in my 40's and the fear is the same. Steady rain that bring the worms out on sidewalks and driveways is torture for me. I have recently developed a great interest in gardening, particularly flowers, but if I see a worm out there, I seriously drop whatever is in my hands and run away. It's very frustrating. My husband needs to dig and plant all of the flowers and plants I buy for the yard because of my fear. Any idea if this is the same phobia, or something different?
    Hi Michelle,

    You most likely have a fear If you had a phobia it would apply to any type of worm, parasitic or not.

  7. #7
    Hi Chris,

    First of all well done for typing your story, it most certainly isn't easy. It does sound like you have a full blown phobia. Where are you based?

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    :A
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    Hi. It was actually discovered where seemingly random phobias and unwanted emotions and anxieties came from. You absolutely need to go check out Dianetics. It's the modern science of mental health. Go to the .org and watch the videos. I recommend getting the DVD (it's 4 1/2 hours long and gives you ALL of the data on how to handle all of this stuff. I mean HANDLE, as in erase. ok? Good.

 

 

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