Log in

No account? Create an account
Overcoming Coaster Phobia's Journal
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 6 most recent journal entries recorded in Overcoming Coaster Phobia's LiveJournal:

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
4:13 pm
Too Bad
It's too bad this community never really got off the ground. I think it was a good idea. I'm now a coaster fanatic and will ride anything (though some things still scare me), but I got there through a very long, gradual journey that started with being extremely coasterphobic -- and ridephobic in general. As a result I want to try to help other people make the same journey. I am in Michigan and I actually run a very small coaster club through meetup.com. If anyone in the Michigan/Indiana/Ohio area is reading this, feel free to contact me; I may be able to meet you at a park sometime and encourage you to ride (but not force you to -- that was one thing that really kept me from wanting to go to carnivals or parks as a kid, the worry that someone would try to force me to ride something). My closest park is Michigan's Adventure, and my closest big park is Cedar Point. I have been to pretty much all the parks in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, and I have twice made trips out to Pennsylvania to visit parks there. I've been to a smattering of other parks too.
Saturday, May 31st, 2008
3:44 pm
I moved to the DC area in February. I'm in the early planning stages of a potential trip to King's Dominion here in Virginia. I'd like to work with some of you guys to come up with a plan of rides to use in order to conquer our fears. Is anyone in the area interested?
Saturday, March 29th, 2008
2:44 am
I'm thinking about another fear-conquering trip at some point this coming season, just to all one of you know that I'm not dead. It's just been winter and I've just moved about 450 miles due south.
Saturday, October 27th, 2007
2:35 pm
Quoted from a comment I got to an entry over in amusement_parks:

--Try some of the wilder but mostly-in-one-place rides, first. If you can handle rides that go high into the air, coasters should be the next logical step. The speed isn't nearly so off-putting as the height of the tracks can be, at times.
--If the ride has a seat/car model out in front of it that will let you sit down in it and test the restraints, do it. Have two friends stand on either side of the overhead collar and pull it against you, then try to squirm out of it. Then realize that the locking system in the cars is probably a hell of a lot stronger than they are. Part of overcoming your fear will lie in convincing yourself that you'll be safe during the ride. If it would help, do some searching around online and check out reports on accidents that have taken place at amusement parks. Nine times out of ten, you'll probably find that the accidents happened because the rider or riders injured tried to do something stupid (like stand up during the ride, undoing the safety belt, etc.).
Friday, October 19th, 2007
9:01 pm
You CAN do it.
Well, okay... even after advertising this community on community_promo it seems we only have two members and one watcher right now.

I've found some interesting links over the past few days, dealing with panic attacks and

First, quoting our friends at Wikipedia, specifically the article on panic attacks:

Many people overcome Panic Disorder and sudden Panic Attacks on their own. It takes time, but in a sense, they ride out the panic attacks and eventually learn that nothing is going to happen during one. Often, they 'taper off' until they are not noticeable any longer. It is for this reason that some psychologists helping people with panic disorders induce them into an attack, so they can see for themselves that indeed, nothing will happen.

So... it would seem that I've gone about this in the wrong way. Although, I had no idea that what I typically experience on amusement park rides is a textbook panic attack, so I had no idea to seek treatment for that.

My solution... well, originally I just avoided amusement parks altogether, or wandered around the grounds and basically put a crimp in the enjoyment of the day for friends I'd gone with. I met an internet friend recently who is an absolute coaster fanatic, and she speaks often and with a kind of authority on coasters. I knew from day one if I was ever to meet her in person it would be at an amusement park (for that and other reasons as well). So I talked to her a few times about my fears and we developed a kind of game plan for attacking things gradually.

This past weekend I met her at Cedar Point. We did the gradual thing. I did a lot better than I expected, but a lot worse than I wanted to. I didn't bite people or dig my nails into their arms, as I have actually been known to do in the past (yay!). Basically, I think, I went on rides that most 9 or 10 year olds can take with no problem (provided they are tall enough).

I was reading up on phobias after I came home and I discovered the above-linked Wikipedia article. Well, what I experienced on Gemini (yes, I made it to that kind of ride, go me!) was exactly a panic attack. Good. Now we know I should concentrate on panic attacks.

Apparently, the typical psychological treatment for specific phobias, called systematic desensitization, can be self-administered. I'm not sure how effective it is without the aid of a psychologist, but I hate shrinks, so I may just give it a try.

A link: Self-administration of systematic desensitization

I've got a couple of ideas for the "Creating the Anxiety Heirarchy" list.

I haven't rated them yet, because I plan to supplement them with other ideas from the community when more people join. Also my anxiety levels for these things may be different than someone else's. The numbers are just the typical order I think they'd be executed in.

cut for potential anxiety triggersCollapse )

You get the idea. Does anyone have any more suggestions, either for that list, or for other methods of treatment?
Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
2:15 am
Community Introduction
Hi. tckma, your friendly moderator, here.

I created this community for a few reasons. Insomnia is one. ;)

More to the point though, I have a fear of riding roller coasters and other amusement park rides which I'd like to overcome. This past weekend I went to an amusement park with some friends of mine who were patient and helped me out immensely. I did a lot better than I expected to, but I still managed to have a panic attack on what many might consider to be a fairly tame ride.

I've been searching for suggestions for a few months, but my Google-fu and Wiki-fu are weak. There's surprisingly little out there. I imagine this is largely because people who, like us, have this fear, tend to avoid amusement parks altogether. I appear to be the only "special" one who wants to confront this head-on. There's got to be more people like me out there.

I'd remembered hearing a story on NPR about a year and a half ago on an immersion program, but I was unable to find any information on it. Ergo, what I envision for this community is:

- Find other people with coasterphobia who would like to overcome it.
- Develop a "therapy" program of sorts. Perhaps get people with knowledge of different amusement parks to determine a progression of rides to take. I'm also thinking of somehow developing a rating system. So, for example, a member of this community might say "I live near Amusement Park X, and I'm at fear level 3 -- what rides should I try in what order?"
- Eventually, host local park meetups for community members living in certain geographical areas having similar fear levels, and pair them with some coaster enthusiasts for help sessions.

The season's about over, so I think this is a good time to do this so that we can have this all organized for next season.
About LiveJournal.com