Testimony - phobia of death / wake / cemetery

Testimony of Madam L, in her late-fifties, on how she overcame her personal phobias relating to anything connected with death / wake / cemetery

Before I went to seek therapy from Dr. Selina Chew, I had several phobias and was already suffering from OCB (Obsessive Compulsive Behavior) syndrome for several years and was taking medication prescribed by my psychiatrist to keep control of my OCB condition. 

For the past 12 years, due to certain triggering events, I had phobias on anything that is connected with death of people / wake / cemetery or be associated with sick people especially those that are suffering from cancer. I was always very fearful of being contaminated with “dirt” from people who touched me or who come near me after they had attended the wake of a dead person or who had been to a cemetery recently or visited a dying person suffering from terminal cancer. 

Consequently, I was driven to clean my house constantly whenever we returned home after we have gone outside to shop or dine, as I was fearful that the people we came into contact with while we were outside the house, had been to one of the places mentioned above. 

I became even more fearful whenever I saw one of those directional placards to a wake in residential areas while I was driving or when I passed by a funeral hearse. I had anxiety attacks and immediately felt pain in my forehead. After that, I would avoid driving through that area for several days or even weeks. I also avoided driving pass cemeteries and would take a longer detour to get to my destination. Whenever I had no choice but to pass those directional placards to a wake or cemeteries, I had to change my clothes immediately and take a shower when I got back home. I had to throw away those clothes that I had worn earlier, as I feared being ‘contaminated’. 

Over a period of time and because of the above phobias and my OCB condition, I became highly anxious about almost everything including dealing with and when performing routine household chores which then affected the quality of my sleep and sometimes making me feeling depressed. I lost weight and was exhausted from obsessive cleaning things around the house. I had the obsession to clean my car tyres and to clean the car porch every time I parked in my garage. I had to ensure that I cleaned them and complete all my household chores, before I could retire for the day. I was even doing more work than my maid, as I didn’t allow my maid to do certain cleaning chores. 

Whenever it was the yearly “Qing Ming” (Chinese All Soul’s day) period, I was afraid to go out shopping especially for fruits or vegetables, as I feared that the fruits or vegetables would be ‘contaminated’ from being touched by people who had gone to the graves to pray for their deceased ancestors. When dining out, I was afraid of being served by people who had gone for “Qing Ming” prayers. I was fearful of being in contact with people who had been to pray for their deceased ancestors during this period. During last year’s “Qing Ming” period, I had severe anxiety attacks and almost collapsed out of fear. 

While the medication from my psychiatrist does help to reduce my physical condition but it could not help me to overcome my psychological fears on the phobias mentioned above. 

However, after several sessions of past life regression and hypnotherapy with Dr. Selina Chew, I found that my phobias could have originated from one of my past lives when I was a boy then, who was seen playing on and around other people’s graves in a cemetery, which could be the cause of my present life’s karma on having phobias on anything connected with death, funeral and cemetery. I also went back to the age of 8 in my current life, when I first attended a funeral – that of my grandfather in Thailand. His coffin was huge and scary looking. It was a fearful event for me as I was just a little girl witnessing something that I didn’t understand, whilst everyone around me was crying. My conscious mind had totally forgotten about it but it was there in my subconscious mind when I regressed. Those and several other events in my current life when I was a child were probably what caused those fears and phobias in me. 

Together with the past life regression and hypnotherapy and healing therapy given by Dr. Selina Chew during those sessions, I am feeling a lot better these days. 

I feel a lot calmer nowadays and I no longer get anxious easily while dealing with matters and performing my various household chores. I stopped washing my car tyres and my car porch since the beginning of this year, whereas in the past, it had to be done every time I got back home. Furthermore, nowadays when I am driving and whenever I passed by a directional placard to a wake in a residential area, I feel a lot calmer and do not have the anxiety attacks that I used to experience in the past. The headaches were gone too. I got my normal weight back and looked better and felt happier. 

I was able to sit at the same table with a friend whose father had recently passed away, whereas I couldn’t have done so before this. During the recent “Qing Ming” period, I quite calm and was able to even dine out several times and attend a religious gathering with hundreds of people around me, who would have definitely attended the “Qing Ming” prayers. 

In view of these improvements, I am able to sleep better and do not suffer from depression anymore and I am able to lead a much normal and happier life. 

Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Selina Chew for her help to enable me to overcome my phobias mentioned above. 

13th April, 2010