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The roots of fear - and how to conquer it?
rohvannyn posted:
I'm hoping Dr. Wilson will weigh in on this one, though I want to hear from anyone who is interested.

I have a lot of problems with various kinds of anxiety, I am phobic, and I find that every year I discover new things I am nervous about. Previously I dealt with the fears one by one, trying to habituate myself to each stimulus, and it didn't work very well.

Then I thought about it, and I think I know the real problem... I don't deal with the sensation of fear very well. For me, fear isn't just a warning but an absolute barrier that blocks me from all kinds of things, and I convince myself I don't want to do them because it's easier to cut myself out of fun than it is to overcome that huge, insurmountable barrier guarded by figurative burning gasoline and water lizards. I would do almost anything to avoid even confronting fear.

I would like to learn to deal with fear sensations themselves so they didn't completely control me. But all the articles I read focus on the subject of the fear, not dealing with the sensations that the stimulus causes. That, to me, actually reinforces the problem because it doesn't teach me how to deal with the fear sensations! Dr. Wilson addresses something similar to this in his advice of how to deal with anxiety. That's different from what I've encountered in the past, and I think it might hold the key. So I wanted people's thoughts on this.

So, my main question is, can we get used to the fear sensations, at least enough so we can see past the adrenaline dump and everything else, and make a conscious decision of whether to do the activity (or whatever) or not? People do, because skydiving exists, but how to I do that too?

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