“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
― Marie Curie
Fears of people are the same commands of the brain, designed to protect them from errors, injuries, dangerous deeds.
Do not be ashamed of your fears, unless they turn into obsessive-compulsive disorder.
There are three main syndromes of obsessive-compulsive disorder: phobic, obsessive and compulsive.
While phobias include obtrusive fears, obsessions are obsessive thoughts (obsessive account, obsessive doubts, memories, drives, etc.), compulsive syndrome Includes obsessive actions (for example, pencil tapping on the table during a conversation, tics, rituals, etc.)
The beginning of a systematic study of phobias is considered to be in 1871 when Westphal described agoraphobia; he pointed out that phobias emerge in the mind of a person in addition to his will with the intellect unaffected in other respects and cannot be arbitrarily “banished” from consciousness.
The term “phobia” comes from the Greek “Phobos” – fear, horror. The original definition of phobias is found in Kaplan and Sadock (1994): “phobia is a persistently existing irrational fear, as a result of which there is a conscious avoidance of a specific, object-provoking object, activity or situation.”
Generalizing the definition of phobias, we can distinguish their following diagnostic criteria: the obsessive nature of fear, the clarity of the plot, the intensity and perseverance of the flow, maintaining the critical attitude of the patient to his state.
Kaplan and Sadock based on the psychoanalytic approach, emphasize the irrational nature of fear (Along with obsessive thoughts, perceptions, drives, and actions).
Phobia and fear.
Not every fear in life should frighten and not with every fear is to strive, to get rid of. Fear is often a manifestation of the “instinct of self-preservation.”
The same fear of heights, very common, is often our natural sensation.
And if you simply “avoid” from sticking yourself out of the window on a high floor – this, as they say, “is understandable and within the limits of the norm.”
But if you do not live or work as a result of this matter – then you can already talk about phobia as a neurotic phenomenon.
In many cases, it is fear that acts as a sort of protective mechanism, protecting us from any danger that encroaches on our well-being.
Fearing, a person becomes more vigilant, able to protect himself from disaster, to save himself from the impending threat.
So, fear is inherent in every person to some extent and can perform a protective role, protecting our lives from all sorts of dangers.
Many of the fears in a person’s life are not really phobias. Phobia is a kind of neurosis.
And any fears, even the outwardly ridiculous ones, are incorrectly called a priori phobias.
Even if you are afraid of seemingly non-threatening things or phenomena, this is not a phobia in the full sense of the word. Even the fear of darkness is not a phobia!
Fear of anything cannot be a phobia but under one condition – if this fear does not affect your whole life, does not totally affect your decisions, does not lead you through life.
Phobias should be strictly distinguished from delirium.
In a phobic syndrome, the patient is clearly aware of the obsessive, painful nature of his fear, which is a distinctive feature of the neurotic level of disorders.
In cases of delusions, the patient is deeply convinced of the “reality” of his own fear, the critic to his state is absent.
Another phobia is often confused with the so-called “post-traumatic stress disorder” – a severe reaction to a traumatic event that goes beyond the scope of ordinary human experience.
These fears are more like “fear as a manifestation of the instinct of self-preservation” (and only under certain conditions they can develop into phobias). And quite often they can be corrected with the help of certain methods.
Fear and obsession.
Obsessions are the phenomena of psychic life, the essence of which is that certain contents more or less regularly arise in the mind of a person, in addition to his will. Obsessions can be; desires, memories, thoughts, fears, actions, etc.
In this case, a person persecuted by obsessions, preserves to them a critical attitude, understanding all their absurdity and alienation of his reason.
But when he tries to stop them by the effort of will, this doesn’t produce results.
Obsessions do not have a direct effect on intellectual activity and do not lead to its reduction. However, they worsen the efficiency and effectiveness of human activities.
As a rule, compulsive states are accompanied by depressive emotions and feelings of anxiety.
The causes of such phenomena should be sought in the inner, not manifested mental life of a person, in emotional experiences that are either hidden from him or not sufficiently realized by him.
So, a deaf sense of shame or guilt makes the psyche look for means that can muffle this guilt or shame.
There are so-called ritual actions, the purpose of which is just to reduce the sense of guilt, its redemption.
It is worth noting that obsessive sufferings, as a rule, are people who, in the conduct of which, rationality clearly prevails over sensuality.
Such a person can assure that he does not feel anything in a situation that causes very strong emotional experiences in other people.
Such a violation of the balance between feelings and reason, ignoring the senses and focusing on intellectual experience is a fertile ground for all kinds of obsessions.
Fear and relaxation.
Relaxation is incompatible with fear and anxiety, since the latter are related to stress, and relaxation is a state opposite to stress.
That is why a collision with alarming stimuli in a state of relaxation deprives these stimuli of the ability to cause fear. The alarm simply ceases to arise.
If the breath is free, if the muscles are relaxed and the blood vessels are released – you cannot just feel the fear, you are free.
What we perceive as anxiety, fear, is a spasm, everything contracts: the muscles of the body, the vessels, the bronchi, the diaphragm, the stomach, the intestines, the heart.
There is also an insurance response, reverse the spasm: unclenching, involuntary relaxation, paralysis.
In case of fear usually there are: shortness of breath, palpitation, blanching, redness, sweat, trembling, dizziness, tension and stiffness in certain groups of muscles, for example, face or abdominals, ears?
As shown by the conducted studies, various stressful effects on the body (stress caused by some strong effect of a state of increased nervous tension, overstrain) cause excessive forms of emotional response.
There are states of fear, anxiety, resentment, grief, etc.
Such long-lasting emotions lead to psychosomatic diseases, which are based on the disruption of the physiological mechanisms of regulation.
The body becomes a “target”, struck by direct fire of poorly controlled emotions.
In response to stressful stimuli, the weakest organ of a person reacts; the heart, the vessels, this or that part of the intestine, the urinary system, the reproductive system, etc.
This is connected either with a genetic predisposition or in connection with a previous illness or trauma of this organ.
In psychotherapy, the patient must “teach”, “train” feel good, feel pleasant emotions (joy, delight, happiness, serenity, etc.) and manage pleasant emotions. As a result, there will be a change in vegetative indices, hormonal changes, etc.
However, having tried to fill all the cells of his body with an emotion of joy, a person will face those clamps that exist in him. So before you try to relax – unleashed to the fullest and dance until you fall!
And shout, or beat someone imaginary with all your might, or take the position of the “embryo” or “curdled hedgehog” – and squeeze, strain everything that can be strained.
Paradoxically, no one needs to explain what fear is, but fear has many faces.
Only to see beyond guilt, resentment, hatred, anger, jealousy … that lies the fear, is not easy.
But when one sees it, a clear understanding of others and himself comes.
To overcome fear, it is necessary to see the causes of fear and to weed out those of them that have irrational roots.
Overcoming fear is impossible without “identifying” fear.
You will be surprised when you see under which masks the fears of a person are hidden:
_ Shame is the fear of punishment, the fear of loneliness, the fear of being rejected. Simultaneously with feelings of shame and fear, a person also has a sense of guilt – either to the people around him or to himself.
_ Guilt is the fear of being unnecessary, fear of being excluded, fear of being lost, fear of dying alone, forgotten. It is easy to perform feats when all this is seen.
It is terrible to die slandered, accused, guilty. Even worse, when a person does not have the opportunity to justify himself or how to atone for guilt, to prove that he is not guilty.
It’s terrible for a man to die in guilt. Fear of being forgotten, fear of disappearing, fear of being excluded.
_ Lying is the fear of punishing oneself by others or by oneself.
Lying is a form of psychological defense that arises from a lack of trust.
The reason for the lie is a painful desire for self-affirmation.
Want to be good – what could be nicer?
_ Resentment is the fear that our needs will not be met, the fear of feeling the trust of life, the fear of losing control, the fear of suspense, the fear of abandoning stereotypical thinking, the fear of taking responsibility for one’s own life and for their own well-being in their own hands.
_ Anger is a fear of impotence because of the threat of individuality.
Anger arises when there is a threat of breaking boundaries: physical (hit, stolen, sick, etc.), emotional (offended, misunderstood, betrayed, humiliated, deceived, evil criticized, etc.), spiritual (imposition of false spiritual values ).
Anger and fear are the reverse sides of the same coin. Anger is fear that has become a defense mechanism.
First of all, anger is a fear of pain: fear of physical harm, fear of losing control, fear of the consequences of their behavior, fear of losing status and so on.
_ Jealousy is the fear of losing control over the situation, the fear of losing a person or people that help assert themselves, the fear of losing self-confidence.
_ Hatred is the fear of a lack of love. “Hatred is the polar opposite of love, in the same sense as illness is the polar opposite of health. If you hate someone, you must first wound your soul in many ways; You must be filled with poison before throwing it on others. ”
_ Envy is a fear of being unworthy, a fear of humiliation and loneliness.
_ Contempt (disgust) is the fear of being implicated in what a person despises.
The fear of losing respect and recognition by society, the fear of losing one’s own dignity; misunderstanding of oneself, fear of possessing yourself the very negative qualities of another.
To know how to get rid of fear, it is not enough to see the mask of fear, it is also necessary to understand why there is a distortion of fear into other feelings and emotions.
After all, the price of fear is an “unreasonable” unavoidable alarm.
Recognizing the presence of fear, you destroy the power of fear, but must recognize the cause of the problem in yourself.
“Fear makes us blind or, see the distorted truth of life, although if you drop a little deeper, it turns out that The only thing you should be afraid of is fear itself.”
_ Lobsang Rampa