Forget Spiders, Flying and Heights, My Greatest Fear is... Kneecaps

Daily Mail - 18 September 2009

While most people's knees start knocking at the sight of a spider, for council worker Sarah Lister kneecaps themselves hold the greatest fear. The merest sight or the gentlest touch of anyone's kneecaps sends normally fun-loving Sarah into a dizzying panic, leaving her flustered, angry and sweating profusely.

Sarah's fear, known medically as Genuphobia, has made trips to the beach, nights out with friends or watching her fianci Chris Bayliss playing football an ordeal. Sarah Lister confronts her greatest fear - being surrounded by other people's knees Sarah, 25, from Gosport, Hants, said: 'In the summer it is worse because I don't feel like I can go to the beach or go to the pub. 'I worry that if I saw someone in a bathing costume or a short skirt I would just freak out. 'I quiver in fear if anybody tries to touch my knees, or accidentally bumps into them. 'I am fine with my fiancee, my immediate family and a select group of friends, but strangers' knees still hold a lot of fear for me. 'Even the thought of other people's knees makes me feel very uneasy.' Sarah's dread of knees began as an 11-year-old schoolgirl when she saw her father dislocate his knee after a freak fall at their home.

Since the traumatic incident, Sarah has tried a cocktail of quirky treatments, including hypnotherapy, to help ease her panic. Her condition has eased over the years and bubbly Sarah believes she can kick her distinctive fear ahead of wedding in May next year. Council worker Sarah hopes to get her fear under control by next May so she can enjoy her wedding to the fullest 'I went for my wedding dress fitting and I couldn't enjoy what should have been a happy moment for me because I was worried about my knees being touched. 'I want to be able to enjoy every aspect of my wedding day. 'It would be a dream to be able to sit on the beach on my honeymoon and have no fear.'

Charity Anxiety UK, which deals with phobias and other disorders, said: 'An estimated 13 per cent of the population will develop a phobia at some point in their lives. 'One of the most effective ways to deal with anxiety disorders or phobias is to understand it. 'There are a number of ways forward in terms of treatment of anxiety disorders and getting help including; services through the NHS, psychological interventions, medication and self-help groups. 'Always consult your GP to obtain a diagnosis if you suspect you are suffering from an anxiety disorder. 'Self-diagnosis is not an effective way as misdiagnosis could lead to the wrong treatment being administered which can set the sufferer back even further.'

Hypnosis is very effective in treating many phobias. Hypnotherapy enables the client to get to the route cause of the phobia, whether this is spiders, fear of flying, or kneecaps.  Hypnosis to cure phobias at The Harley Street Hypnotherapy Clinic in London, uses hypnotherapy in a relaxed environment treating the phobia quickly and easily, but still maintaining the client's pace.  Phobia hypnosis provides the client with a route to the causing event, changing the client's emotions to this event and therefore changing their future behaviour.  Hypnosis to remove fears and phobias enables the client to de-sensitise their emotions surrounding this particualr event.  Speak to trained hypnotherapists at the Harley Street Hypnotherapy Clinic for hypnosis to cure your phobia.

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