Surviving Megalophobia

So, my little count-down at the bottom of the page will tell you how many days I have left until I go on my Disney Cruiseline honeymoon.

This also marks the amount of time I have to get over a very serious case of megalophobia. ‘Megalophobia’ is an intense and irrational fear of large structures like giant statues, airplanes or hmm, say, cruise ships. I grew up around the Air Force Museum in Dayton, so visiting the airplanes helped to calm a fear of smaller planes, but the large planes they kept outside and in the big hanger are the ones I always averted my eyes from. The rockets are not okay for me to look at.

Buildings usually aren’t a bother, but objects that look as though they could move are. Personally, I think that this is a good bit of instinct left over in my genes that tells me to be afraid of big scary monsters. So, kudos to me.

I successfully faced the Epcot ball at Disney World last year, but I still had to shield it out of my frame of view when walking into the park and until I was completely under it or all the way over in World Showcase. What they don’t tell you when you get on Spaceship Earth is that you can see the inside of the ball at the peak of the ride. I did not know this. I politely had a quiet freak-out in my little ride seat.

When I board a plane, I’m okay to step on because there’s that nice opaque tube you get to walk through and you shoot out the end and right into the door of the plane. I put my hands up at the sides of my face like blinders so that I can’t see the edges of the plane through the space between the boarding tube and the door.

The cruise ship is the pinnacle of my megalophobia. It’s akin to seeing a fucking whale. Unlike giant statues, they actually do move. When I got close to a cruise ship in Key West last year, I can only describe the sensation as that it felt like it was LOOKING at me. It’s the most frightening, crushing feeling to have one there in front of me.

I’m not so nervous about looking out the window or over a railing to see the rest of the ship…I think it will be like a building while I’m actually in it. I am concerned about boarding the ship and the two ports of call that we’ll be doing at Nassau and Castaway Cay. I’m supposed to flap around in the water on the beach while a giant monster watches me just off the coast??

Yes, I know it’s stupid. that’s why it’s a phobia and not a rational, controlled fear. One of the reasons that I’m going on the ship is to try to conquer it.

I’ve been watching YouTube videos of people getting onto cruise ships (there are a surprising number of these…) to try to desensitize me to it.

If you have any tips on getting over a phobia, let me know.

UPDATE: I went on this trip and did really well on the ship. What I think did it was using the motion sickness pills and tricks that I had prepared for sea sickness. I’m not sure at this point if megalophobia has something to do with balance and the inner ear, but the Bonine motion sickness pills, MotionEaze smelly stuff, ginger gum and Sea Bands really helped.

I prepared myself before boarding by taking Bonine, and had very little problem with boarding the ship. I still shielded my eyes while on the gangplank, but on our veranda I could look up and down the ship during the whole trip without trouble. Mind you, I used all my motion-sickness precautions the whole time. We are headed for another Disney Cruise in September of 2011, and I can’t wait… with a purse full of motion sickness cures to aid the megalophobia!!

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3 thoughts on “Surviving Megalophobia”

  • Did you already go on your trip?

    I share this same fear, and am wondering (hoping) you made it through without that horrible phobia ruining such a beautiful trip.

  • I was in DC this weekend and stupidly thought I had outgrown his fear. When I went to see that giant Lincoln, I thought I was gonna die. I couldn’t even move. I totally agree with you this fear is very primal and rooted in our monkey ancestors. Best of luck with the Cruise ship, I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers. [email protected]

  • I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve had several freak-outs. The first was while walking between two locomotives in a museum. Another was while snorkling…I came across what looked like an underwater valley and the vastness created the same panic feeling. The weirdest was when I tried to look at a picture of an iceberg. It was emailed to me and I had to scroll down to see the whole picture. Half-way down I was hyperventilating! It was just so big and freaky! Nice to know there are other people who feel this way.

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