Wikipedia defines Phobias as (from the Greek: φόβος,phóbos, meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”) is an intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared stimulus.. What happens when you have a phobia of something that you can’t avoid, like old age or senility or Alzheimer’s? I have been deathly afraid of these since high school when a group of us put together an organization called “The Cast”. We went all over Riverside and performed. The one most memorable performance was at a nursing home, on Valentines Day.  We arrived after having bought several boxes of Valentines, the kind you give in grade school when we all had to make mailboxes, and signed them from “The Cast”. The cards were distributed and we performed for the folks that were able to get to the day room with little or no assistance. When the performance was over we toured the facility and hand delivered Valentines to those that could not attend the performance. One lady informed me that she had not seen her family, children or grandchildren for many years; one said nothing and just proceeded to eat the glue off the envelopes.  Hers’ and anybody else’s that she could reach from her wheelchair. Everywhere I went I found people that had no one visiting them on Valentines, no one there to share time with or even phone calls to pass the time. I realized this was making me very uneasy, the longer it went on the more uncomfortable and agitated I felt, and I finally reached the point where i needed to leave, and I needed to leave NOW. I had never had a panic attack before; I now know that was what I was having. I fear growing old and not having my mental abilities. I fear even more growing old and not having the physical capabilities but still having the mental capacity to understand what is happening. I know it is irrational, however, it is there. I watch my parents grow older and they have their own set of problems. I have to wonder what mine will be. Who will I share them with? Will I know the people around me or will they just be strangers each and every day?


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