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How the Daleks have made my life a misery

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2000-07-06 Daily Express.jpg


A MOTHER-of-two who is terrified of Daleks claims the sinister sci-fi robots have ruined her life.

Shona McLaren, 39, is so scared of the Dr Who aliens she dreads the thought of them appearing on her TV.

Hearing the words "Exterminate, exterminate" sends her into a blind panic and even the show's theme tune makes her hide behind the sofa.

Mrs McLaren has sought medical help for her problem and has even asked members of her local church to pray for her. But despite attempts to confront her fears she is still no nearer to curing her bizarre phobia.

She now lives in fear of the BBC repeating any of the 600 episodes of the cult series which was first shown in 1963 and is dreading the making of a proposed Dr Who movie.

Mrs McLaren, of Tullibody, Clackmannanshire said: "The sight of them on TV or in magazines drives me mad. I'm a mature woman with two kids but I've always dreaded the thought of them coming anywhere near me. Daleks make me ill — they've ruined my life."

For years Mrs McLaren tried to hide her strange secret believing people would laugh when she told them. But she has now broken her silence in an effort to finally beat her phobia.

Her first encounter with the characters came when she was just six, after sitting down to watch TV on a Saturday night. She said: "One of my brothers told me there was a brilliant new show on called Dr Who and I sat down to watch. Then I saw the Daleks. I'd never seen anything so creepy. I broke into a cold sweat although my mum told me it was only make believe. I couldn't get them out of my head."

Despite being teased by her brothers, Mrs McLaren managed to avoid Daleks until she saw a boy in an alien outfit at a fancy dress party when she was 11.

Four years later the phobia was so bad she asked the minister and elders at a local church to pray for her. "They had prayed for all sorts of things before but never to rid someone of the fear of Daleks," she added.

Now happily married to husband Kevin, 42, Mrs McLaren's phobia is as bad as ever and was recently sparked during a visit to Ingliston market in Edinburgh. Mr McLaren said: "My sister Heather innocently mentioned there was a life-size Dalek on a stall. I turned round and Shona had already begun to charge up the street."

Phobia expert Mark Kenwright, a cognitive behaviour therapist at London's Maudsley Hospital said Mrs McLaren's phobia was common. "It may seem strange she fears something as odd as a Dalek but the fear is very real. Many phobias can be traced back to childhood experiences," he said.

Caption: ENEMY: Daleks were Dr Who's most famous adversaries In the TV series

Caption: PHOBIA: Shona fears Daleks

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  • APA 6th ed.: Getty, Sarah (2000-07-06). How the Daleks have made my life a misery. Daily Express p. 12.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Getty, Sarah. "How the Daleks have made my life a misery." Daily Express [add city] 2000-07-06, 12. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Getty, Sarah. "How the Daleks have made my life a misery." Daily Express, edition, sec., 2000-07-06
  • Turabian: Getty, Sarah. "How the Daleks have made my life a misery." Daily Express, 2000-07-06, section, 12 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=How the Daleks have made my life a misery | url= | work=Daily Express | pages=12 | date=2000-07-06 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=6 February 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=How the Daleks have made my life a misery | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=6 February 2023}}</ref>