Fear, Anxiety and Phobia

Today Jagat Cinta will discuss about Fear, Anxiety and Phobia

My fear and doubts have vanished like mist
into the distance, never to disturb me again.
I will die content and free from regrets.
This is the fruit of Dharma practice.
Milarepa, from 'Fruit of Dharma Practice'

What is Fear?
In all cases, we could say that fear is a reaction to something that may happen in the future, be it realistic or not, it is always uncomfortable. And here we find one of the contradictions of fear itself: it should work to keep us from discomfort, yet it is uncomfortable itself.

Western Therapies - General Approach
Therapies for irrational fears work on the same basic principle: discover by experience that the feeling of fear (paranoia) is an exaggeration of what we perceive in the world, and force our rational mind to keep in control of the emotion. So, if you are afraid of spiders, perhaps the cure starts with simply drawing them, then looking at a small one - far away locked in a safe place - then forcing yourself to go closer (the rational mind says that nothing can happen), in the end, usually the patients will regain so much control that can even hold a poisonous, hairy, huge tarantula in their hands - obviously the end of therapy! This is not because they are exceptionally brave people, but they have gradually learned to take control over their exaggerated emotions, by realizing these emotions were not based on a real danger.

In extreme cases, people can be much harder to treat. Specifically when the reason for the fear is vague and hardly known, like imagining that you are being followed (paranoia), it is not always straight-forward or simple to make people realize that these fears are unfounded and the rational mind should take control.

Many types of fear/phobia are identified, I found some in a web blog recently:

Common fears:
Acrophobia: Fear of heights
Arachnophobia: fear of spiders
Agoraphobia: fear of open spaces
Belonephobia: fear of needles
Brontophobia: fear of thunder and lightning
Claustrophobia: fear of confined spaces
Hamartophobia: fear of sinning
Suriphobia: fear of mice and/or rats
Necrophobia: fear of death
Pentheraphobia: fear of the mother-in-law
Thalassophobia: fear of the sea
Xenophobia: fear of strangers or foreigners

Also some fears may be more common than generally thought:
Athazagoraphobia - fear of being forgotten, ignored or forgetting
Atychiphobia, Kakorrhaphiophobia - fear of failure
Metathesiophobia - fear of changes

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