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September 10, 1989 | MICHAEL QUINTANILLA
Dr. L. Jerome Oziel, an associate professor of psychiatry at USC and a driving phobia expert, offers these tips for newcomers and natives who want to comfortably join the bumper crop of drivers on Los Angeles freeways and streets. 1. Start by driving in your immediate neighborhood. Take it slow and easy. Drive to a nearby grocery store or dry cleaners. Master all the turns and light signals. And steer away from rush hour. 2. Eventually build up to heading outside familiar ground.
August 13, 2013
Re "Take your shots, L.A.," Opinion, Aug. 11 Dr. Nina Shapiro is right on in lamenting the sorry state of childhood immunization in California because of the state's misguided "personal beliefs" opt-out provision. "Personal beliefs " are little consolation for the parent who needlessly loses a child to whooping cough, measles encephalitis or bacterial meningitis. Shapiro could also have emphasized the ironic paradox that California - among the bluest of states, with excellent educational, environmental and social programs and top-notch state, county and city health department resources - ranks among the lowest of the states in enforcement of child immunization.
My neuroticism is a trait loved ones associate with me as readily as my crooked smile, passion for Sunday-morning crossword puzzles and sponge-like absorption of supermodel trivia. Once I told a friend I was trying to visualize, and thus affirm, a phobia-free me. His reply: "My God, what would be left?" By preschool age, I was already a veteran white-knuckler.
October 13, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Medical reality television has a new kid on the block: "My Extreme Animal Phobia," in which people face their terror of four-footed and creepy-crawly creatures. Why extreme? Because when it comes to mental and physical health disorders on TV, the bigger the better. The show, which debuts Oct. 21, features three people temporarily living in a clinic trying to overcome (with the help of a therapist) their acute fears about various animals. The premiere episode features people who are deathly afraid of spiders, pit bulls and snakes.
She had to submit, her marriage was at stake. So the nervous bride-to-be, with small veins and a fear of needles, faced her worst nightmare: an inexperienced lab technician--armed with a syringe. The technician tied off her arm with a tourniquet and thumped it to bring up a vein. She poked in the needle. Nothing. She thumped again and poked again. Nothing. Thump. Poke. Thump. Poke. Drawing no blood, she turned to the other arm and started again. Poke. Poke. Poke.
For most of us, the act of merging onto the freeway or taking surface streets for the daily commute is an unconscious exercise, much like getting dressed or downing a bowl of cornflakes in the morning. But for some, the experience can be downright terrifying. It can cause life-altering changes to a daily routine: depending on others for rides, extending commutes by hours to avoid certain roads or freeways and turning down jobs or homes that require longer drives.
It may be the season to be jolly, but it didn't seem like it in the waiting rooms at John Wayne Airport. One woman's hands were clenched so tightly that they were turning pale. Another woman was trying to doze but continued glancing nervously around the room. A man was concentrating on a magazine but hadn't turned a page for nearly five minutes. Many others were chewing gum intensely. Glen H. Arnold recognizes these symptoms.
A Los Angeles judge testified at his disciplinary hearing Wednesday that he missed more than 400 work days in recent years because he has phobia about being a judge. Superior Court Judge Patrick B. Murphy, taking the witness stand in the third day of a hearing that could lead to his removal from the bench, said a combination of illnesses, including chronic fatigue syndrome, yielded a job phobia. "I was disabled by this phobia. . . . I was disabled by the bench," Murphy said.
Rose Deetra, an accomplished Hollywood film development executive, peered in the rearview mirror, spotted a white big rig bearing down on her and floored the gas pedal in terror. Ordinarily, Deetra never gets near the San Diego Freeway. It so horrifies her that her heart pounds and her chest tightens. Panic sets in. This time, however, her therapist was in the passenger seat. "Slow down!"
November 1, 1988 | From REUTERS
Eighty percent of the 11 million U.S. adults suffering from phobias or anxiety disorders could be successfully treated in as little as eight weeks with behavior therapy, drugs, or both, doctors estimate. But despite advances in the understanding and treatment of phobias, fewer than 25% of the sufferers of unreasonable fears and severe panic attacks receive treatment, doctors at the annual conference of the Phobia Society of America said last week.
March 5, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
A thermometer is the only piece of medical technology in most homes, so it's natural for parents to take a child's temperature at the first sign of illness. But increasingly, pediatricians are advising caregivers to think about leaving the thermometer in the medicine cabinet. In a report published last week in the journal Pediatrics, experts cautioned against "fever phobia" and instructed doctors to do a better job of educating parents on the relative insignificance of an elevated temperature.
November 9, 2010 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Fear is a complicated emotion, and scientists have recruited a scary laboratory aide ? the Brazilian salmon pink tarantula ? to help map out how the feeling is processed in the brain. Using video of the 8.7-inch-long arachnid, British researchers showed that the human brain engages several different systems when evaluating threats. For instance, the part of the brain that engages when a threat is approaching is different from the part that is activated when a threat is receding, they reported Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
October 24, 2009 | Robyn Dixon
Clackety-clack. Clackety-clack. I pause as I mount the steps of the 737, frowning at the spinning engine. "Does your engine always make that noise?" I ask the flight attendant boarding an airplane from Antananarivo to the south of the country. "Seat 5B," he says. "On your right." A moment's hesitation. I sit. (Mental image: Flames shooting from the left-hand engine.) The problem with having one of the world's most interesting jobs and flying to the world's most fascinating places is getting there.
July 12, 2009 | Jonathan M. Metzl, Jonathan M. Metzl is a professor of psychiatry and women's studies and directs the Program in Culture, Health and Medicine at the University of Michigan.
When I arrived in China late last month, the hazmat-suited public officials who met my plane had the same question for each passenger: "Have you had contact with pigs?" The officials took our temperatures, and then we were free to pass through customs and go on our way. As a physician who had come to Shanghai to lecture at a Chinese medical school, I found it interesting to witness firsthand China's public health response to the H1N1 virus.
December 31, 2007 | Rahul K. Parikh, Special to The Times
A colleague of mine was on call several years ago when he was paged to the emergency room to evaluate a baby with a fever. He started by asking the child's mother how high the temperature was. 375 degrees, she answered. My colleague looked at her for a moment. How, he asked, had she figured? She didn't have a thermometer. So to check, she turned on her oven and put one hand on her baby and one hand in the oven. When the temperature felt about the same on both of her hands, she wrote it down.
March 5, 2007 | Ken Layne, KEN LAYNE is the West Coast editor of Wonkette.
WITHIN DAYS of my move back to L.A., an assistant location production assistant came knocking on my door. One of Silver Lake's many public stairways passes by my new (very old) house, and this quaint, gang-tagged, open-air saloon and mattress-disposal site had been chosen to be a setting for an NBC pilot called "Life." The filming would be a quiet affair; "no stunts." No fun. We negotiated, and I failed to get a dollar figure for my promised compensation. As a result, I got no compensation.
May 26, 1989 | MAYUMI TAKADA and and JULIE LEE, Mayumi Takada is a senior and Julie Lee a junior at Sunny Hills High School. Mayumi is an editor and Julie a reporter and cartoonist for the Accolade, the student newspaper.
Remember the bogyman? Or the nasty gremlins or even Freddy Krueger? These monsters can haunt dreams and cause children to fear the dark. As children grow older, most can overcome such fears, but some cannot. Lisa Branco, a junior at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, says she has acrophobia, an innate fear of heights. She distrusts her balance and avoids high places. She remembers peering down from the Empire State Building when she was 6 years old and suddenly becoming dizzy and deathly afraid.
September 4, 1989 | MARY LOU FULTON, Times Staff Writer
The feeling washes over me every time I hear of an airplane crash or even a near-collision. "I'm never going to fly again," I tell myself as my mind replays the video of the latest airline disaster. "I can't cope with being 30,000 feet above the ground anymore." Of course, I know the statistics show that flying is safer than driving. I also know that the odds are overwhelmingly against anybody in the Southland dying in an earthquake, but that it does not stop me from worrying, either.
February 19, 2007 | Rosie Mestel, Times Staff Writer
Americans are awfully messed up about food -- so thinks Barry Glassner, USC sociology professor and author of "The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know About Food Is Wrong." We imbue certain ingredients with an almost magical power to heal -- when, that is, we're not fearing them as poisons we must strip from our diet.
May 11, 2006 | Deborah Netburn, Times Staff Writer
BEARDED and with brightly colored tattoos on both his calves, Jon Shiner looks tough, but he admits he has struggled with heights his whole life. "If I have to stand on a chair I get nervous, so anything up in the air pretty much freaks me out," the 29-year-old said. But on a recent Saturday morning, Shiner decided to face his phobia when he attended a free class at Six Flags Magic Mountain on conquering the fear of riding roller coasters.
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