FEAR False Evidence Appearing Real: A Poster Child for the Fear of Harm Subtype

When Johnny was born the nurses in the hospital appropriately nicknamed him “The Screamer”. Johnny continued to scream all day and night until the end of his second year; when he finally slept six hours without a tantrum or a night terror for the first time. Johnny would fight to get dressed, fight to stay dressed, fight to be held and fight to be left alone. We would spend hours trying to console him and took daily car rides in hope of a small nap to offer us all a moment’s relief. Naptime was when he practiced rocking his crib clear across his room, in a fit of rage. He was afraid to be alone even in the daylight and terrified of the night.  It was impossible to leave him with a babysitter and almost impossible for his parents to maintain composure alone with him. As time progressed, his newer nickname became “Johnny Rotten”; it was our sleep-deprived way of using humor to maintain our sanity. That same year we found ourselves at Yale begging for help from the most sought after physicians. How could a child this young be so difficult, act so threatened? As the night terrors continued so did the violent episodes. His tantrums lasted for hours and were accompanied with biting, scratching and throwing of objects.  He would attack his family members regularly and fight to be restrained.