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Question
Posted by: Gruella Da Ville | 2004/10/03

No children please!

Dear Doc,
I hope you can help, as I am at my wits end. I have a very peculiar problem, which is causing me great discomfort, embarrassment and money. I am a female, in my early thirties and I hate children. I don’t dislike kids, it appears I either intensely hate or intensely fear them. The problem is disrupting my life in such a severe way that I get agitated when I am in shopping malls or other public places and I hear children around, or see them running and playing. Not only is it affecting my life outside the home, but it is making my life a misery at home as well. Inevitably, one would have children playing in the neighborhood and especially with summer on the horizon, I dread the constant sound of children playing in pools or running around the gardens.
I know this is a totally irrational way to feel about children (after all I used to be one) but I can’t help it. I get shaky and irrationally agitated (to the point where I have sudden outbursts of anger (and sometimes I fear for the worst)) as soon as I hear any child-like noises at home.
Please help as this is ruining my life and my marriage. Off course I don’t even consider having children of my own and lucky enough my husband doesn’t want any children either. I just wish my reaction towards children would not be so severe. I am feeling really anxious about the impending summer and would like nothing more than good solid advice on the matter.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear Gruella,
Well, this sounds like a Phobia, and is very treatable. Sometimes there's a rather obvious reason WHY one might have such a phobia, sometimes one doesn't discover a reason. Fortunately, however, one doesn't need to know any "reason" for the essentially irrational fear within a phobia, in order to successfully treat it. Medications like some modern antidepressants can help,as can focussed Behaviour and Cognitive-Behavior CBT Psychotherapy ( talking theray ) ; and I think a combination is een better, if it can be arranged. You can gain the freedom from this highly inconvenient and potentially incapacitating fear --- so see a shrink for assessment and advice on treatment.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: c | 2004/10/05

I had a pretty similar reaction to children. I started taking anti-depressants a couple of years back for unrelated reasons, but one of the side effects seems to have been a dramatic lessening of my child aversion. I still don't particularly like them, and when they start crying or screaming it grates on every nerve in my body, but the overwhelming, blinding anger and revulsion very seldom surfaces anymore.

It is kind of a relief to know I'm not the only one...

Reply to c
Posted by: Mommy | 2004/10/04

Dear Doc.

Just wondering, is this really a phobia? If so then does that make racism a Phobia as well? How about an intense hate of Jews, Muslims, Catholics? Or is that a totally different matter?

It is just that it is shocking to me to read about somebody who has a phobia of children!

Reply to Mommy
Posted by: Gruella Da Ville | 2004/10/03

Thank you doc!
It is a great relief to know I need not have myself committed immediately ;) Will get on with seeing therapy right away. Will keep you posted on the progress.

Reply to Gruella Da Ville

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