it was bad when i was younger, but it has only gotten worse, within just the past few weeks/months in fact. for example, i was browsing unexplained-mysteries.com a few minutes ago, looking at thumbnails of animal deformities (extra limbs, heads, etc. dont ask, im bored), and saw a picture of a snake, probably no more than 100x100 pixels, and had a panic attack. after i calmed down, i had a "hallucination" of sorts, in which i looked at an upside-down cd. with the shadows on the desk and the glare on the cd, my mind saw a coiled up snake and i began to panic all over again.
everytime i see a snake on television, in print, on the computer, or even hear or see the word, i get knots in my stomach and tense up. i begin looking at the floor, as if im afraid ill see one there. ive had nightmares that cause me to wake up screaming, crying, and/or panicking.
my question: does anybody else have a fear so bad that they begin to panic very quickly and easily, even if they just see the word in print of the thing of which they are afraid? has anyone ever overcome such a fear, and if so, how?