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Fear and how to deal with it?
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rohvannyn posted:
Hi, all. I'm looking for a little insight, if I can find it.

Gradually over my life I have realized that fear is at the root of most of my problems. I have a few phobias and have been discovering some pretty pernicious social anxiety too. Whether it's fear of what will happen, or fear of how a person will respond to something I do, or fear of conflict, or all kinds of other things. I feel that I am "wired too hot," so the effect of the emotion, whether adrenaline rush or terror, just seems to have a bigger impact. Put simply, it appears to me that things hurt me more than most other folks. At least, that's what it looks like! Because of this, I can trace some of my other issues, such as being seen as passive aggressive, resentment of others, twitchy responses, and all kinds of other stuff too tiresome to name back to the core problem of fear.

Strategies tried so far: meditation, need to do more of it. Mindfulness is great but it's so hard to remember! I start off with good intentions and then get a stimulus and ping! There I go again, responding inappropriately. I've also tried pretty extensive self analysis. Even knowing where the problem is though, doesn't make it go away. I seem to be a little stuck. Suggestions of what has worked for others would be appreciated, or if this the wrong community, let me know.
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Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
You appear to be indicating that there's not only self-control issues, but self-concept as well. You question your abilities, prejudge other's responses to what is done or said and then react instead of giving yourself a bit of time to consider how to respond.

One thing we try to help people to do is to allow yourself to pull back from a situation, count to 5 and think your reaction or perception over. Could they have meant something other than what you think? What would be the best way to handle this and still walk away feeling okay without causing a train wreck? Life is a bit like politics and a bit of acting and you have to practice how to use both because, in the end, you will be able to feel better about yourself and others.

Cognitive therapy is always a good idea when you work with a licensed, experienced psychologist. Consider it.
 
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rohvannyn replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
Thanks for the suggestion, I appreciate it. That's correct, I think there are self control issues. Learning to step back a little and look at my reaction, instead of just reacting, would be helpful. I do have some issues with self concept as well, mostly in bouts when I'm feeling pessimistic. Do you think cognitive therapy could do anything about the fear issues? I ask this academically, with my current financial situation medical care is not a possibility.
 
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Patricia Farrell, PhD replied to rohvannyn's response:
Cognitive therapy is something that would be helpful in helping you look at your fears in a more realistic way. Yes, there are things that we fear for good reason; dangerous situations, certain animals, etc. However, there are also situations like social ones where we can learn not to be afraid and to act in a positive manner that will benefit us.
 
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lb707 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
Perception is so interesting......how two people can perceive an event so differently is amazing. When I am more anxious my perception is more negative.

When I take time to think I realize some of my fears are justified but most of what I fear never happens or is just in my mind. It has to become a practice as anxiety can take over if we do not make CBT a habit.

lalab
 
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vqrobb responded:
It seems to me you need to "get out " of yourself. Do a good deed for someone, find someone who is down and out and offer them help, volunteer in a homeless shelter, any of these things will get your mind off your problems. Then take a little time to be grateful. Gratitude goes a long way towards making fear unimportant.
 
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rohvannyn replied to vqrobb's response:
That was/is one of my main coping strategies, doing something nice for others, trying to help others. I work in a field where that's about all I do all day, actually. The purpose of my post was to go deeper than that, to get to the root of the problem instead of a band aid type solution. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or something similar will probably be the eventual solution, till then I am trying to look at the reasons why I do certain things and hopefully help things that way.
 
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lissmeanstrouble replied to rohvannyn's response:
Rohvannyn, you remind me so much of myself its silly! I too, over react and get the feeling, that my feelings hurt worse then others! So glad to stumble across some one who feels the way I do, and even more refreshing you have proper punctuation, spelling and grammar. In short, you are definitely intelligent enough for my taste, and in any case should not worry about negative reactions to comments, or "looking stupid..."
I too, am feeling the way you are, just kind of at a loss, cause I read about how I feel alot and coping skills and I seem to still fly off the handle. Its getting better, but still struggling.

And where you said your purpose was to go deeper, I always feel that there are never ever ever enough words minutes or capable listeners to let out all of my deep deep thought on...and the deep deep thought gets me lost.
 
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apearlian replied to lissmeanstrouble's response:
am 40 years old and get everythng your feeling and saying. i recently have seeked help. got prescribed some meds, but its not working, my fear has turned to paranoia that has turned into recluse. my first suicide thought and attempt was when i was 7. 1st diagnoses was11 2with mania. its hard for me but my faith that im here for a reason keepss me alive
 
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rohvannyn replied to apearlian's response:
Hi, Lissmeanstrouble and Apearlian. Thank you both for your thoughts.

I have a little to report and some progress I've made. One thing I have been doing is picking little challenges to build up my "anxiety resistance muscles," so I can find small successes to prove to myself I can succeed. I've also been writing more about my issues in an attempt to clarify and understand them better.

Finally, I have picked up a copy of "How To Be Your Own Therapist" by our own Patrical Farrell. Not only am I loving it but I am also finding a tremendous amount of help in it. I feel as if I am at a point where I can begin being more honest with myself and owning up to my issues, and seeking concrete solutions for them. I know it's not an instant fix but I'm finding improvement immediately. My fear hasn't magically gone away but isn't as overwhelming now that I have a path to go forward on.


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