Meet the girl who has a phobia of STICKERS!
This is the girl who has a phobia of STICKERS.
Jade Marshall, 19, from Brighton, first realised she had a fear of the childhood treat when she was seven at a sleepover.
Since then her discomfort has developed into a full-blown phobia and she cannot stand to be around stickers.
The nursery worker is fine with sticky tape and Post-It notes, but cannot stand to be around stickers.
She said: “I know that it’s ridiculous because stickers couldn’t hurt me or anything, I just can’t help it.
“I’m okay if it’s a brand new sealed packet, but if they have even started to peel off I freak out.
“If one of the kids at the nursery where I work has got a sticker from the dentist or something we have to move the whole day round so I’m not working with them.”
Troubled Jade says her fear started at aged seven at a sleepover where one end of a friend’s bed was covered in stickers.
She said: “This girl had stickers from school all over one end of her bed on the bed stand.
“We were meant to be top and tailing but I didn’t want to sleep near the stickers – I don’t know why they just seemed weird.
“You know what kids can be like and the more I asked the more she said no.
“In the end I asked her parents to take me home, but they couldn’t because they’d had a drink.
“I had to sleep on the floor. I just remember lying there thinking about the morning when I’d finally be able to go home.”
Since then Jade’s fear or stickers, which is so rare only one phobia expert, Peter Field, has given it the name pittakionophobia, has got worse.
It prevents her going in certain shops and she is always on her guard.
She said: “It is worst when the sticker has started to peel off or is dirty for some reason.
“I can’t go in shops like Primark that have size stickers on the clothes or stickers like ‘look at my back’.
“In the changing rooms they will be all over the floor and I just can’t handle it. People don’t think about it and stick them to the walls and things.
“When stickers are used to seal food I have to build up to it and cut it straight through with a knife.
“I bought some new boots days ago and I am still psyching myself up to take the price sticker off the bottom.
“I have to grow my nails especially for getting stickers off.”
Jade has learned to handle her phobia to the best of her ability, but longs for the day she could afford treatment.
She said: “I think everyone would have treatment for their phobia if they could.
“At first my family didn’t believe me and would try and come near me with stickers, but once they saw my reaction they were very understanding.
“I’ve found ways to deal with it, but it’s not easy. I tried to avoid telling the people at work but one day it was unavoidable.
“I hope that one day I’ll be able to get some treatment or therapy so that I can live a normal life.”
Peter Field, the first hypnotherapist in the country to treat this phobia, said: “Those who are afraid of stickers or of sticky labels often feel foolish, becoming reluctant to talk about it to others and so it remains largely hidden.
“In my clinical practice I have treated only five people for this particular phobia and would be more than happy to see Jade and treat her.
“The real problem is that most of those suffering from the fear of stickers simply do not know that effective treatment is available.”