Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fear - What It Is & Family Members

Just like the maze in this photo, fear is something located within the very center of who we are. Many people find their way in, and/or out, while the majority don't.

Fear is as an "emotional response to a threat*". And since we also come with an innate ability to avoid danger (fight or flight), and have higher senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, speech & thought) a threat can also be learned.

Originally "fear" meant the event (calamity/disaster) itself, then eventually came to mean the emotional reaction. This probably came about because of observation of the different way people's natural preparedness kicked in to not only present, but to perceived future events, as well. And interestingly enough, fear is now also described as always relating to a "future" event. In other words, our most innate fear, or fear of the unknown (what's going to happen).

So that's what fear is. It's family members are similar, yet different, (like all families) and they are:

Caution: (father) - the ability to take in all the information and proceed carefully. Distrust is sometimes a brother to caution.

Worry: (mother) - the aspects (mental and/or emotional) of a present or future event.

Dread: (oldest) - to anticipate something with fear. "Murphy's Law", if something's going to happen, it will/is not good.

Anxiety: (middle child) - both a psychological (mental/emotional) and physiological (body) response/reaction to a threat. Usually this is from an undefined threat. Can't put your finger on it, but feel/think something isn't quite right.

Panic: (fraternal twin to anxiety)- an acute (right now/immediate) sudden fear, whether the source of the fear is known or not. Panic is describe as "acute anxiety".

Terror: (grandparents) - sudden & pronounced fear before an event occurs. Many times this is what we "see" right at the beginning of something, and/or know that we may have any immediate control over what's started to happen.

Horror: (grandchildren) - shock, disbelief, & mental/emotional detachment after the event.

Phobia: (youngest) - excessive desire to avoid something. Even if the person knows the source of their fear, since it's something "not them" (as with the child learning what's self & not self), it's to be feared. There may or may not be other imbalances associated with phobias. (See parts 2 & 3.)

Paranoia: (wild child) - excessive, and many times, uncontrollable thought process about the unknown, that results in the belief of some kind of harm happening. Paranoia can happen to any one (and not just those chemically unbalanced) for a variety of reasons. And, unfortunately this include societal programming. (See Parts 2 & 3.)

Paranoia is also difficult to treat, as no matter how good the gene pool, support, and etc., this imbalance can occur anytime (short or long term) to anyone. Fortunately, research into the brain, nervous system, and mapping how the energetic systems of the body work, is providing new insight and ways to treat paranoia.

Fear is a two edged knife, as the saying goes. It can be a motivator to cut through illusion, or harm our selves and/or others. For the majority of us/humans, we have the ability to educate our selves about fear, and then choose how to deal with it.

In this 3 part series: Part Two - The Society of Fear: The interesting ways fear has been/ is used (Some you may know, some might surprise you.) Part Three: What We Can Do. How fear affects our bodies ( some common, but mostly unusual places we store fear based thoughts/feelings/memories) and some simple self help suggestions.

* www.wikipedia.org

Sources: www.wikipedia.org, www.nlm.nih.gov, www.symptomfind.com, www.answers.com, www.webmd.com, and www.mentalhealthsamhsa.gov

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