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WHAT IS GLOBOPHOBIA

WHAT IS GLOBOPHOBIA

June 27, 2019 2 Comments

There are several parts of living in this world that give me stress and anxiety. Yet my greatest source of fear is, and always has been something which is named “globophobia”.

Essentially globophobia is referred to as a fear of balloons, usually as a result of the noise they make when they burst. Yet this phobia does often extend to anything else which makes the same noise.

The name “globophobia” isn’t as well known as some others are. However the phobia itself has been heard of by most people at some stage of their life. As young children it’s rather common to experience fear of the shock of loud and sudden noises. But it becomes a lot more unusual as we progress to older children and into adulthood.

From the very beginning of my life I have been terrified of loud, sharp noises; as well as being fearful about receiving the distinctive shock in my heart from hearing a noise like that. My autism also heightens my reaction to sensory stimuli including noises around me.

When I was three years old I met a clown at a fairground who was blowing up a balloon to give to me. But instead of being excited I screamed and ran away. Mum then told him that I was a child who’s scared of balloons, yet my then 18 month old sister did like them. So the balloon was offered to Jessica. Though mum (after thanking him extensively) explained that the mere sight of a balloon nearby would make me very fearful. Events with fireworks shows would also make me equally frightened. There has too been an additional feeling of guilt within me that all of my younger siblings (while I was present) missed out on a lot of these experiences which children should enjoy.

During my school years (primary school in particular) my phobia came out into the open more, and this added embarrassment to my list of uncomfortable feelings. Whenever we had balloons in the classroom I would instinctively cover my ears and run out of the room. There were some kids who teased me because of that. In Grade 2 our class was set to go to a local theme park to see some circus and magic shows. Yet mum and my teacher agreed that I shouldn’t go along due to my phobia. I agreed too, despite that meaning that I couldn’t go to the Warner Bros theme park.

FEAR SPECIAL KIDS BALLOONS FIREWORKS

At the age of fourteen I went to see the stunt police car show at that same theme park. However when they were firing guns (which were fake but with an identical loud cracking sound) I was shaking and crying. Finally at the end of the show there was a massive explosion. During that I lost control completely and was screaming hysterically. It took a long time for my family and the helpful staff at the show to calm me down, and I was extremely embarrassed.

Throughout my entire life to the present moment, this phobia of mine hasn’t passed or lessened. I’ve never been able to enjoy a fireworks display while hearing the sounds, and whenever I see a child bouncing on a balloon I instinctively cover my ears and run away (even into a busy road or car park, if there’s no where else to run away to).

However in the past decade I’ve been travelling to California a few times and visiting the Disney parks. It’s been during those trips when I have desperately wished that I wasn’t too scared to enjoy the spectacular pyrotechnic displays at nighttime. It’s a 13 hour flight from my home town of Brisbane, though it took us many trips to find a solution to the problem. However it finally came to us that the perfect solution was to use earmuffs. Regular earmuffs aren’t strong enough to cover the noise of fireworks and balloons bursting. But industrial earmuffs are, and luckily they are easily available to us because we own and run a car/motorcycle spray painting workshop.

So on our most recent trip to Disneyland me and my brother Dylan (who also doesn’t like loud and sharp noises) wore earmuffs while watching the fireworks show. I felt so happy because I finally got to enjoy my first pyrotechnic show. Dylan felt exactly the same. As for balloons it’s a bit more of a challenge because I can’t walk around shopping centers wearing earmuffs the whole time just in case I unexpectedly see a balloon. The reason being that I would be unable to hear anyone talking to me. However over the years I’ve learned to keep a sharp eye out for any signs of a balloon and as soon as I see one I’ll do my best to stay clear of that area.



2 Responses

conner
conner

November 08, 2022

ima 13 year old kid afraid of popping balloon

Dalia D.
Dalia D.

November 18, 2022

I just want to thank you for sharing your story. I am 53 and still suffer from being afraid that a ballon may pop. I don’t go anywhere they have firecracker shows, but I love to look at them. So I’ll look from my home if it is visible to see from where I am. As much as I love balloons, I am afraid of the popping noise. My family and friends don’t understand and it is embarrassing to me sometimes. So I always stay away from certain events. I’ve learned that this is my issue and I let people know that we all of something that we are afraid of or don’t like and mine just happens to be the sound of a balloon popping. I never knew what it is called until I read your story. And on top of that, it was the end of last year that I found it that other people have my same issue. My family says I should talk to someone about it. I did have a traumatic incident in my childhood, but even in that my dad (foster dad) tried to help me overcome. He bought a bag of balloons and blew them up and put them in the garage and told me to go and stomp each one to pop it. I did pop some of them, but I couldn’t do all of them. I covered my ears when I stepped on those that I did pop. I would love to be able to sit in a room with balloons and not worry about them popping. With all of that being said, there is one type of balloon I do like, and that is the aluminum balloons. They don’t affect me any. As long as they are standing freely and no one is trying to pop them, I can be in there presence. I even allow the ones that are given to me on special occasions to float as long as they can until they can’t anymore. So once again, thank you for sharing your story and educating those of us who suffer with Globophobia.

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