SocialPhobiaWorld.com  
     

Home Today's Posts Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
 
Go Back   SocialPhobiaWorld.com > Social Anxiety Disorder Forums > Social Anxiety Forum

 
Search this Thread
Old 05-08-2004  
Marcia's Avatar
Newbie User
 

Hi. I'm not sure that I'm posting this in the correct spot, but I'm going to give it a go. The moderator can surely move it to the proper place if I'm wrong, right?

Anyway, I'm trying to find someone with the same problem as me that can give me some advice as to what works for them. I've had a phobia of having my picture taken since I was just a toddler. Actually, it started when I was a baby according to my mother. I would scream blue murder if anyone pointed a camera in my direction. In my toddler years nothing changed. My parents don't have very many pics of me during that time because the ones they do have show me mainly with red swollen eyes and cheeks because of all the crying. Elementary shool years were a little better, but not much. Teen years about the same. Twenties same. As long as I was out with friends, having fun, I could handle having my pic taken, but only if it was very quickly done. No posing, no adjusting, no stress. Family get togethers became a horror for me. I dreaded going.

I know some of the problem stems from the way my parents dealt with me when I was very young - they got very mad. Picture taking became a horrendous ordeal because my parents did not understand how difficult it already was for me, and they just made it ten times worse. :(

Anyway, back to the present. I'm in my thirties now. I'm okay with handling cameras, I'm okay with seeing the pics of me afterward (tho' 75% of the time I don't like them), and I'm okay with other people seeing the pics. It's the process itself that is the problem. My worst experience was just over a year ago. My boss decided she wanted pictures of the staff to put on the wall in our reception area (I work in an animal hospital). One of our clients is a professional photographer, and brought all of his equipment with him - backdrop, lighting, etc. I decided it would be best if I went first so that I didn't have to wait and wonder when my turn was going to be (negative anticipation not good). Bad decision as it turns out. He took forEVER getting the lighting the way he wanted it, not to mention my positioning. It was turn your head slightly to the left, now lift your chin just a tad, no not that much, now smile, that's not a smile, and it went on an on... When I saw the pics several days later I realized that even though I was trying to smile, I actually looked angry. Needless to say, no pic on the wall. Anyway, back to the story. I ended up in fight or flight - actual panic attack mode, and I've never done that before. I would like to NOT repeat it! I really feel for those of you who deal with this on a more regular basis. Anyway, I had to leave the hospital. I was shaking, nauseous, sweaty, I felt a migraine coming on, my heart rate was sky high, as I'm sure my blood pressure was, and I know I wasn't thinking straight. To this day, I just have to hear his voice in the reception area when he brings his little dog in, and my heart rate goes up. I don't even have to actually see him or be in the same room. It's too bad really because he's a very nice fellow. I just can't talk to him about it and why I seem to be avoiding him every time he comes.

I'm trying to desensitize myself by allowing only good (and quite quick) picture-taking experiences, but it doesn't seem to be making a lot of difference. It's still really difficult. I'm not sure where to go for help. I've never met anyone else with this problem, nor have I actually even heard of someone else with it. I'm sure there's someone somewhere... :?

Sorry for the long story. I just wanted to explain where I'm coming from. If someone has some experience with this and can give me some advice, that'd be awesome! I won't be on computer again, though, until Monday now, so won't be able to respond 'til then. Thanks so much for letting me get that all out!
Marcia is offline  
Old 05-08-2004  
Anonymous's Avatar
Elite User
 

Hmmmm, maybe you have a bad memory of a sonogram from when you were a fetus? :roll:

I think that there are a lot of people that don't like having their picture taken... why? Becasue it's usually either 'hit or miss' and it's usually 'miss' and someone laughing at you in the picture. :(

I think you are feeling much too guilty about the work picture, the guy that took the picture sounds like a professional 'wanna-be', and if he were a genuine professional, he would have had techniques at putting you at ease and making you feel comfortable and your smile would have been natural rather than forced. He is probably embarresed be cause he knows this, and that's why it may seem as if he is avioding you, he probably thinks you are disappointed in him.... make the first move as if nothing happened and it will all likely be forgotten! :wink:

Why not try getting a digital camera that takes 'timed' pictures and take pictures of yourself and try capturing your best pose, sides, etc., then hopefully, the next time someone wants to take your picture, your be prepared and hopefully have a bit more confidence and composure?
Anonymous is offline  
Old 05-08-2004  
Marcia's Avatar
Newbie User
 

Thanks for the suggestions, but as I said before, the problem is not with how my pics turn out. I've had some really good pics taken of me before - it doesn't make a difference. The panic has just gotten worse. And the photographer IS actually a professional. The thing is that I have trouble talking to people about this problem and so didn't give him the info he should have had. He's not avoiding me, I'm avoiding him. It's my fault really. People have "poo-pooed" me and my phobia so many times over the years, actually been condescending and not believing me (just thinking that I'm lying and really am too vain about my appearance in pics) that I'm now scared to tell anyone for fear that I'll get the same reaction. It happens over and over and over. I'm tired of people making light of it - that just makes it worse. I've had to deal with this kind of reaction my whole life. :( That's one reason why I'm longing for some help.
Marcia is offline  
Old 05-08-2004  
Anonymous's Avatar
Elite User
 

I can certainly sympathize with you, there are a lot of people that don't understand my 'people' or other phobias, and when I TRY to explain why, or the reasons behind it, they can't comprehend it and they are even more confused. Some of them have said that it wouldn't be a problem because they would be with me, which in itself proves they have no idea of what's going on with me.

I had a really good freind where I worked that kept begging me to do things with her and I kept refusing her and she felt as if I was just being a 'put-on' or nice to her at work (although I did invite her to my place to watch a movie, etc.) & I finally figured there was no other choice but to try to explain my phobias to her and she tried, as everyone else does, but just didn't understand. She begged me to go to a huge craft exibit-flea market type of event and I finally agreed but I was terrorized about it and when the day came, I did well until I got to the 'food court' & to make it faster, my friend suggested I stand in the long line for french fries and she would do the same for the sodas so it would be quicker....as I stood in the long line, a lot of people joined in the line behind me. There were people everywhere crowding through the mob and a lot of them were standing right in the middle of the food court eating, shouting, laughing, and it happened, I had to drop out of the line because I was having a full blown panic attack and it was one of the worst I ever experienced.... attempting to make my way to my friend, I just FROZE and stood in the same spot shaking. Everyone was gawking at me & she spotted me and led me out of the crowd, but she finally understood and never asked me to go anywhere after that. :cry:

The only thing I know to suggest to you is to seek the help of a professional to aid you in overcoming your fears. It certainly sounds as is it's not going to be a 'mind over matter' type of thing you are going to be able to work out on your own, unfortunately, and it seems to be getting worse instead of better.

There are a lot of professionals that treat anxiety, depression, etc., and have never experienced it personally, so they too, don't always have the perfect answers, suggestions, or medications. It sometimes takes a long time before you can get the correct 'fixes'. I would really try making this crystal clear if you decide to go this route: " People have "poo-pooed" me and my phobia so many times over the years, actually been condescending and not believing me (just thinking that I'm lying and really am too vain about my appearance in pics) that I'm now scared to tell anyone for fear that I'll get the same reaction. It happens over and over and over. I'm tired of people making light of it - that just makes it worse. I've had to deal with this kind of reaction my whole life. That's one reason why I'm longing for some help."

Let us know what you decide, and good luck!
Anonymous is offline  
Old 05-09-2004  
Hope's Avatar
Newbie User
 

Marcia,

Here I was thinking I was the only one. Of all my SP angsts, picture-taking is probably nearly the most totally annoying manifestation, and has been since I can remember. The anticipatory anxiety involved is overwhelming.

Like you, we had to have our pics put up in a hallway frequented by staff and many visitors. We'd be warned weeks ahead (every year or two) that the photos would be taken - pure hell for me. A certain administrator (with less than enough to do) seemed to have this on a schedule.

I seldom get anything remotely approaching a relaxed smiling expression if the picture is posed and some setup time is involved - the anxiety freaks me out somehow.

In unposed, impromptu, 'action', or candid photos I frequently do fine - in fact have had compliments.

I don't know if there's any one magic-wand solution. One partial solution is 'action' shots - i.e. side shots of you at your work, for example, where you're not having to face the camera directly. I realize that's not always an option. If I know well beforehand there will be a picture-taking session, I've tried vigorous exercise to loosen up - which works only up to a point. A mild benzo can help, but I don't like resorting to that. Avoidance of course works, but isn't often an option.

I once did my own pic at home for the work bulletin board when all the photographer's pics turned out quite horrendously, however that was only possible that year because I knew the photographer fairly well and he slipped it in for me

Hope to exchange more thoughts with you Marcia, because you're honestly the first person I've ever run into I could even really mention the issue to openly.

Hope is offline  
Old 05-10-2004  
Marcia's Avatar
Newbie User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous
I can certainly sympathize with you
Holy cow, I'm sure you can. I've at least been lucky that I've never had the panic so bad that I've been frozen in place. Sounds like you've had LOTS of experience dealing with this sort of thing and know what to avoid. Thanks for sharing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous
The only thing I know to suggest to you is to seek the help of a professional to aid you in overcoming your fears. It certainly sounds as is it's not going to be a 'mind over matter' type of thing you are going to be able to work out on your own, unfortunately, and it seems to be getting worse instead of better.

Let us know what you decide, and good luck!
You're right. I've thought of looking in to talking to someone "professional". I just didn't know where to start and if it would be looked upon as a waste of their time when there are so many others with more important problems. I guess it's also a matter of my opening up and finding the courage to trust someone face to face. It's been a lot easier on the 'net! Doing it in person is another story. But I've been thru' "stuff" in my life before - stuff that has required courage on my part, so it's a matter of convincing myself that I've still got it within me.

I'm thinking my sister-in-law would be a good place to start. I've never discussed this with her, I guess because of the usual fear of what she'd think or say. She's always thought of me as a strong person (many people do), so if I can actually talk about this with her... And maybe she'd have a suggestion as to who to talk to. She was getting some counseling a little while back for some issues with my brother (who refused to go, but that's another story...). The more I think about it now, yes, the better that idea sounds. I usually visit with her every other weekend, so I think I'll maybe run it by her next time.

Thanx for the luck - anything is appreciated!
Marcia is offline  
Old 05-10-2004  
Marcia's Avatar
Newbie User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
Marcia,

Here I was thinking I was the only one. Of all my SP angsts, picture-taking is probably nearly the most totally annoying manifestation, and has been since I can remember. The anticipatory anxiety involved is overwhelming.
Anticipatory anxiety - OMGOSH! Do I know that! And I thought that I was the only one! I'm sorry you've got it too, but it's nice to know I'm not totally alone in this! Wow, I'm still amazed there's someone else out there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
Like you, we had to have our pics put up in a hallway frequented by staff and many visitors. We'd be warned weeks ahead (every year or two) that the photos would be taken - pure hell for me. A certain administrator (with less than enough to do) seemed to have this on a schedule.
My boss knows now that I will NOT be participating ever again. She does not totally understand, but realizes that it's not worth losing me over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
I seldom get anything remotely approaching a relaxed smiling expression if the picture is posed and some setup time is involved - the anxiety freaks me out somehow.
Yes, same here. I end up looking either terrified or angry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
In unposed, impromptu, 'action', or candid photos I frequently do fine - in fact have had compliments.
Yes, again. It has to be a "fun" situation with friends. No family stuff - too many bad experiences with past picture-taking there. But even with friends, it has to be a very quick shot. It used to be better before the whole professional photographer thing, but now, even with friends, it's difficult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
I don't know if there's any one magic-wand solution. One partial solution is 'action' shots - i.e. side shots of you at your work, for example, where you're not having to face the camera directly. I realize that's not always an option. If I know well beforehand there will be a picture-taking session, I've tried vigorous exercise to loosen up - which works only up to a point. A mild benzo can help, but I don't like resorting to that. Avoidance of course works, but isn't often an option.
Yes, the action shots are a possibility, as my boss is getting a hospital brochure made up - one with pics of the inside of our hospital and the services we provide. But we've tried that in the past. Even if just my arms are in the line of "fire", I go into anxiety mode. I like the idea of exercise. Ever since I took up long-distance running, I've noticed an improvement in my overall outlook on things (endorphins are nice!). Maybe that would be an idea - go for a long run beforehand. What's a benzo? A benzodiazepine-type med? I wouldn't like to resort to that either. And no, avoidance is becoming more and more of a problem, especially now that my sis-in-law is pregnant. There are inevitably going to be pics required of Auntie and baby. And my driver's license is coming up for renewal in a year's time, too. It never ends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
I once did my own pic at home for the work bulletin board when all the photographer's pics turned out quite horrendously, however that was only possible that year because I knew the photographer fairly well and he slipped it in for me
Hey, I did that, too, at another hospital I worked at. One of our receptionists was also an amatuer photographer, and since she was also a good friend, it worked out okay. She had me cuddling my cat - good idea. But that was several years ago, before things started going bad again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
Hope to exchange more thoughts with you Marcia, because you're honestly the first person I've ever run into I could even really mention the issue to openly.

Wow, I've never met another person with this same problem as me. I guess I've gone so long now without doing so, that I figured I just wasn't going to. In the back of my head somewhere, there was always the thought that surely there was someone else, and now I know there is!

Go ahead and reply here if you like or you can PM, too. Whichever.
Marcia is offline  
Old 05-10-2004  
Anonymous's Avatar
Elite User
 

Wow. I wasnt sure anyone else out there hated getting their photo taken as much as I do. Im only 18 years old. This fear became evident when I was around 15 years old. I was fine with gotten my picture taken by a family member or friend, but when I had to get my school photo taken, a got an unexplicable fear. I disliked the way I looked at the time, but most of all, I was afraid that I would get nervous having people watching me and that I would not be able to smile because of being so nervous. This turned out to be true and my photo that year was of me not even smiling at all. Family get together were horrible. I was embarassed just because it was obvious to everyone how afraid I was when everyone had to stand together for a photo. I have never been able to understand this fear or why it occurs. I also suffer from social anxiety disorder at the present time which is very painful. THats my story.
Julie
Anonymous is offline  
Old 05-11-2004  
Hope's Avatar
Newbie User
 

Marcia - sent you a PM.

To Marcia, Julie & guests - I think one of the biggest breakthroughs in dealing with specific anxieties is at least knowing we're not totally alone. At least that somewhat decreases our anxiety about our anxiety

I'm quite amazed by this site, and would sure hate to ever lose it. I used to be on some mailing lists, but they're now pretty much passe.
Hope is offline  
Old 05-11-2004  
Marcia's Avatar
Newbie User
 

Hope, I sent a reply to your PM. Mentioned how to get a PM alert in it. For now, you'll just have to click on Private Messages in the menu list to check. Let me know if the alert ends up working for you.
Marcia is offline  
Old 05-12-2004  
SliverWizard's Avatar
Newbie User
 

Hi, I've always hated my picture taken, just can't stand it. I don't really know why i hate it, i just don't like seeing myself in them and i hate when other people keep photos of me.

I avoided yearbook pictures in highschool, but a couple of years i couldn't, I hated seeing myself in them. My dad loves to take pictures, I dislike how he would always try to take them of me even though he knows i hate it.
SliverWizard is offline  
Old 06-09-2004  
Anonymous's Avatar
Elite User
 

Hi,

I really thought I was the original weirdo with this! My camera phobia started when I was about 2... and now 22 years on has just snapped back..

All through school I avoided cameras. My parents were actually really supportive about the whole thing. I realised how bad I was when a friend who didnt know took a snap of me, and I ended up knocking him unconcious. Fortunately he forgave me, but I tried some counselling after that, to no avail.

Passports, work ID and drivers licence have been done (and I was physically sick afterwards) but no real progress until...

I took up photography. Serious, proper, learn the basics. Overcome fear with knowledge, get to know the enemy. And it was starting to work, until a few weeks ago.

At a friends wedding, and I was handling myself very well (Top tip, get good at photography and you stay behind the camera... best avoidance measure EVER!) but when I was relaxing later in the evening with a group of family/close friends, one of the more tipsy ones decided to throw a disposable in front of my face and push the button. I dont know what happened for the next 2 ours, but when I came back round, I was told I snatched the camera off her and stormed off. And I had one leg covered in mud, so I had obviously been for a walk...

I dont know what to do. I cant even open my camera bag to download the days photos now. Everything seems in vain... :cry:
Anonymous is offline  
Old 06-10-2004  
Marcia's Avatar
Newbie User
 

OMGosh, what a horrible experience! And you were doing so well, too. Good idea about the photography thing. I just recently got a new camera with a built in zoom and used it at a concert. Gave me a lot of confidence when others commented about how good the pics I took were.

I think it's a time thing - your getting back to photography. Just like with me after my really bad experience last year. Things were really bad for several months, then started to improve a little, then I slipped back a bit at Christmas, then forward, then back a wee bit, etc, etc. But I have to say that in the past couple of weeks or so things have improved a lot for me. I've taken a couple of pieces of advice with regard to desensitization to cameras (and also re: talking to others and getting it out in the open) and tried to work with them. Seems to have been good timing for me right now, as I had my pic taken at the concert recently and it didn't send me into a panic at all. Well, okay, increased heart rate, but that was it. :wink:

I hope you are able to give it a good deal of time, then slowly get back to your photography. Sounds like the idea of being on the other side of the camera might not be realistic for you for a little while, though. I've had mentioned to me that I should try taking pics of myself with a time-delay type of camera when there is no one else around. Maybe, once you're feeling up to it, you could try that?
Marcia is offline  
Old 05-18-2006  
rj
rj's Avatar
Newbie User
 

marcia, i also have that kind of phobia. much worse than yours. i usually get sick after taken a shot. i dont know why. but im starting to overcome it now. i just make funny poses so i wont get affected much...
rj is offline  
Old 05-21-2006  
Steve_lambert's Avatar
Newbie User
 

i hate having my pics taken. I never thought it was down to my phobia but i guess you can link it with that. Iv always felt i was ugly, dispite having girlfriends. Im just not a photo type of guy. I rarely look in a mirror too, just hate it.
Steve_lambert is offline  
Old 05-21-2006  
IceLad's Avatar
Expert User
 

I try and avoid having my pic taken at all costs. I don't feel as if I ever look okay on them.

When I do get my pic taken, I totally freeze up and I can't smile in a mllion years. :roll:
IceLad is offline  
Old 05-22-2006  
Septor's Avatar
Elite User
 

I to avoid having my having my picture taken at all cost.I think I look to ugly for pictures and I can never smile.Bahh :(
Septor is offline  
Old 08-11-2006  
Mujareh's Avatar
Newbie User
 

What so you call the fear of having your picture taken? Photophobia?
Mujareh is offline  
Old 11-21-2009  
 

i have the phobia too
lalala47 is offline  
Old 11-21-2009  
limetree's Avatar
Intermediate User
 

That's great you are being proactive about facing your fear.

For this year's teacher's group photo my history teacher was bawling bc they were pressuring her to be in the pic which was going to be displayed in the hallway. I felt soo bad for her since this was in the middle of the playground where everyone could see...thank god she doesn't have SA. I always hated school photos bc of how much fuss they made over trying to get a perfect pose. Pretentious bs, and if the shot turns out bad, people make fun of you bc they spent all that time and effort trying to make you look good. >.<

My teacher might've wanted to work on improving her self-esteem before giving herself more to worry about by being in the pic and they should've just respected her wishes. People will make the choice to face their fears only when they're ready. I know people are sentimental about such things but on the other hand I don't see why people can't just let it go, especially regarding family shots. It doesn't mean you died or people won't remember you just bc you weren't in any photos. :/ Why won't they accept an xray instead? Not even of your brain? It'll only be important to get help for compulsory things like license renewal or missing persons ads in case you get abducted xD But then again perhaps you shouldn't listen to my SA-induced "**** social obligations" sense of indignation, hehe. O

Do you feel the same way about being videotaped?
limetree is offline  
Post Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads to Phobia of having picture taken
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
can you picture it? savage_beagle Social Anxiety Forum 1 02-07-2013 02:13 AM
The picture that goes with your name ScaredGirl Pictures Forum 144 07-20-2012 01:29 AM
[Picture] Social Phobia in the Future? - Virtual Reality Anubis Pictures Forum 13 09-14-2009 03:15 AM
another picture magic Social Anxiety UK 11 07-24-2009 09:41 AM
Do you like to have your picture taken ? COALPORTER Pictures Forum 17 04-23-2007 11:11 AM



Mobile Version
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2
All times are GMT. The time now is 07:48 AM.