Video

Voice Over:
5 year old Suha, whose mum Marianne has a rather unusual concern.

Dr Christian:
What are you worried about with her?

Marianne:
She’s scared of going into the toilet because of the shower curtain. She doesn’t like the shower curtain at all. We changed the curtain to something that’s got butterflies on it, and kind of insects, and she is scared of butterflies and one case she got constipated because she did not want to go in there.

Dr Christian:
Ok, so do you think it’s the insects that are really the problem.

Marianne:
That’s what I assume, yeah. Well, that’s how it started.

Dr Christian:
OK.

Voice over:
Suha has joined the ten million people in the UK with a phobia. It’s a learned response, usually from a parent, if a young child sees a parent in a vulnerable position this can translate as a phobia. The most common phobias are having vaccinations, animals and insects.

Dr Christian:
We don’t need to do anything dramatic, I can send you off to see someone that can just help her work through this idea that curtains aren’t scary, and they aren’t anything that’s going to harm her or attack her, because that’s usually what the fear is. Alright? Well, we’ll arrange that for you ok.

Marianne:
Ok, thank you very much.

Voice over:
Dr Christian has organised for Suha to meet Nancy Secchi, a child mental health specialist who ought to be able to rationalise Suha’s fear of insects through play.

Nancy Secchi:
These insects are so precious, so precious that I have touch them really carefully in case they just break. Do you want to put one of them down?

Voice over:
Nancy also uses puppets in a pretend bathroom, with even a pretend shower curtain, to act out Suha’s good and bad experiences of going to the toilet.

Nancy Secchi:
Mummy, mummy I’m going to go to the toilet, mummy? The curtain’s down. In you go.

Voice over:
5 sessions in and Suha is showing remarkable signs of improvement. Some kids grow out of phobias, others have them for life and like Suha will need therapy to overcome them. For now though, it seems that Suha and insects are off to a flying start.

Read the video transcript

Suha is one of 10 million people in the Uk that suffer from a phobia. Mum Marianne thinks it’s the creepy crawly insects and butterflies on that shower curtain that scare Suha. Insects are one of the most common phobias, along with animals and injections. Suha is sent to see child mental health specialist, Nancy Secchi, to treat her phobia through therapy and play.

The EB team would like to thank:

Nancy Secchi, Child Mental Health Specialist
Kaleidoscope, Lewisham Centre for Children and Young People

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I am PETRIFIED of spiders and moths.It doesn't matter if they were the size of my little finger I am still petrified of them.I recently had a spider drop on my bed and i haven't slept on it since (at least a month) then even though I know it isn't there.I have seen a psychologist and this did not help AT ALL.I need serious help because this affecting me in things I want to and need to do in school as a 14 year old.Please Help me :(





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This sounds really silly but I'm really scared of dogs. When I was little I walked past a vet to go to town and this man was walking some huge dog and I got really scared and ran away... I've been scared since...what can I do?





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Do you know anyone with a small very calm dog? if you do try uilding your conidence around it and then work up to bigger ones

I am a 55 year old lady who for the past few months have had heartburn each day for no particular reason. The burning sensation is in my chest area usually between my breasts and is more severe after and during eating meals and sometimes just out of the blue for4 no particular reason at all. I have mentioned this to my G.P. but he just said it is something that will go away on it's own. I have been taking long term medication for an on going problem for many years now and so I wonder if this has any thing to do with this matter, or4 possibly if I may have an ulcer? Any information would help, thanking you Chris





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I had an endoscopy and found i had a hiatus hernia. my doctor pescribed ranitidine tablets and take gaviscon liquid ,once in the morning and at least ,2 hours before bed. I still have heartburn ,but the condition has improved ,also coffee ,spicy foods and stress can add to the condition.

i have a VERY bad phobia of injections. i will not have any one them but now my cancer jab has come up and i really need to have it but i will not have it. Last time i was told i had to have a blood test i fainted and had a seiser, i wasin the doctors at the time else i would of died,everyone says i am stupid but i think that its more than that. What should i do?





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Im PETRIFIDE of Spiders. When my mum catches them she puts them in the loo, i mean i know they wont come up again (out of the loo) but it still scares me so i NEVER properlly sit down on the looo i hold the loo and hold mysf above thr loo or i squat like not site down on the toilet seat. Is there anything that can be done??





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im terrifed of spiders





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