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  1. #1

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    Irrational Fears; Earthquakes.

    I live in WA state- A place known to be at imminent danger of "the big one". After watching coverage of the latest horrific Japan quake, I'm even more irrational then I was before. I have a completely irrational fear of earthquakes. I literally lay in bed assuring myself we are about to have a huge one, then I can't fall asleep, and have terrible nightmares about them and how my family wouldn't be able to find eachother safely. My biggest nightmare is not knowing where my family is post earthquake.

    Do you have any good tips on how to get over this? It's a daily thought of mine; my friends think I'm crazy, but its a huge, huge fear that I can't seem to overcome.

    Thoughts?
    Next DL trip is in 2 WEEKS!!!!!

  2. #2

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    Re: Irrational Fears; Earthquakes.

    One thing you can do is set up a system (or systems) to make sure everybody can get word around if you don't have cell/landline available. We were in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the phones were sporadic for a while; our roommates couldn't call their parents. From Simi Valley, we called my sister-in-law in Oxnard and asked her to call our roommates' parents in Arizona to say they were ok. Set up a central location that everybody can call to, or something, in the moments that the phones work. Usually there's something that is still ok. Landlines frequently will work when the cell towers are down, and text-messages get through better than a voice call when the networks are busy.

    Not sure how to get over the fear, other than to point out how much time we don't have earthquakes. Or have little teeny ones that you don't notice. The last big one was 1994- 16 years ago. How much time since then have we been (nearly) earthquake-free? I've never dealt with a phobia, but I'm sure there are websites that can help. Or maybe you can talk to a therapist who deals with phobias. I had some fear after the 1994 one, but it sort of faded as time went on, and we had fewer aftershocks, and the magnitudes went down.

    I see it as kind of like worrying that an airplane will fall out of the sky onto your house while you're in it. Sure it could happen, and a big earthquake could, but it's not something you can do anything about, so it's best to let it go. I know, you say that's the thing you can't do, but how do you deal with other things that you can't control? This is one of those.

    Have you been in an earthquake? Or is this a fear of the unknown? Having little earthquakes helped my anxiety over them.

    I hope you find a good way to get some peace.
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

  3. #3

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    Re: Irrational Fears; Earthquakes.

    I live in WA too (probably 2 hours from you) and one thing that has helped me a lot is being actively involved in an emergency group. I used to be terrified of things like earthquakes, wildfires, people coding, you name it. And I lived through a wildfire. I've had code training/such. And about a year ago someone mentioned joining the Decon team at the hospital. It's completely empowering. I know how to react when something happens. Instead of running from an emergency, I am in the thick of it. In fact with this earthquake/tsuanami thing and the nuclear power plant I was reading about that stuff and instead of being scared my mind went to a.) they're probably using geiger counters-awesome!- and b.) if we have something like that I'd be in my suit (they were in their decon suits!). Point: if you can find something like that, an emergency team even a group, instead of being scared you can be knowledgible (sp?). I have pictures of me in my phone in my hazmat suit, nerding it up. So much fun!

  4. #4

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    Re: Irrational Fears; Earthquakes.

    Ooohh, yeah, that's definitely a great suggestion! I'm an emergency volunteer with the city, and I didn't consider that as reducing anxiety.
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

  5. #5

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    Re: Irrational Fears; Earthquakes.

    I definitely sympathize with you on this!! I also live in WA state, near Seattle, and I share the same exact irrational fear of earthquakes and it really is a terrible feeling to have all the time. I've had this fear for quite some time but it does always get worse when there is a major earthquake elsewhere in the world. I have other irrational fears when it comes to my son, but this is probably the worst one. I obsess over what we do if one were to occur, and I excessively worry about not knowing where my family is or if they're safe after an earthquake happens. I also tend to think about it the most at night while lying in bed, and can't sleep because I'm just waiting for it to happen. I feel overwhelmed, sick to my stomach, my heart starts beating fast.. it is awful. I actually found this thread because I googled irrational fear of earthquakes to see how common it was..

    I have been in a couple significant earthquakes, and they were by far the most terrifying experiences of my life. I am suprised that I didn't have a heart attack during either one. The fact that there is no way to detect one coming scares me to death..most of my irrational fears involve things that I have no control over and that I can't prevent from happening. I have a pretty big irrational fear of my son riding in cars, especially when I'm not driving or if he is going to be on the freeway.

    I wish there was something I could do to limit these fears that often take over my brain. I can't seem to find any comfort when it comes to earthquakes. I am definitely open to suggestions!! Thanks!!

  6. #6

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    Re: Irrational Fears; Earthquakes.

    I still think the best plan for relieving distress is to plan for the earthquakes, so that you know you are ready. Where would you shelter in a quake? Stock up on food and water. Make sure you have fuel for the barbecue so you can heat up food. Plan for how your family can get in contact. Keep your car reasonably filled with gas. Have cash on hand, since ATMs won't work without electricity, nor can you rely on credit cards.

    Having been through a decent sized earthquake, they don't last as long as it seems, and you cope afterwards in surprising ways. My mom was visiting here in So California (from earthquake-phobic Minnesota), and we had a little one; her eyes got big, she looked around, and then decided that that wasn't so bad. And most of them aren't.

    How about therapy? Therapists are very good at dealing with phobias and anxiety. They can probably teach you some ways to handle it.
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

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