Friday 13th, the day of misfortune, dread and bad luck. FEAR.
Fear is a concept that fascinates me. Sometimes a genuine reaction to danger, and others, a manufactured trick by the brain.
When explaining a panic attack or extreme anxiety to someone, I often use the scary film analogy. For example, when watching a horror film, you know that rationally speaking, nothing can physically harm you, but this doesn’t stop you from feeling afraid and wanting to protect yourself. It’s a similar reaction when a panic attack strikes. (Click here for some top tips on to alleviate the symptoms.)
I experienced this recently when watching ‘IT’ at the cinema. BLOODY HELL THAT WAS INTENSE! Although, it did make me question what Pennywise (the clown) could transform himself into in order to scare the shit out of me… Giant spider? Maybe… The dark?… Nah, I prefer it… Dead brother in the basement? I’d be more surprised than anything, seeing as we don’t have a basement.
How about, being called on unexpectedly in a meeting? Or asked to recite a ‘fun fact’ about myself? AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHH! Yep, that’ll do it! Anything that typical triggers social anxiety.
People who are experiencing mental illness often feel anxious about non conventional things, which are therefore dismissed.
I recently met a woman at an event who was terrified of any kind of sliding doors. E.g. Supermarket doors, trains/the tube etc. She once got into trouble with airport security because she panicked when asked to step into the scanner, and couldn’t because of the doors. When she tried to explain her distress, she was taken into an interrogation room and cautioned. Talk about traumatic!
She has since received therapy and can now successfully manage the issue.
The point that I’m making is that all fear is valid if it affects your daily life. It’s not something to feel ashamed of or berate yourself. The most important thing is to not let it control how you live your life. Don’t give it any ground, because trust me, it will always want more.