Anxiety – The Fear of the Fear
Often when struggling with anxiety issues such as phobias or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), many people feel challenged and even trapped by intense feelings of fear and uncertainty. I believe that in many cases it is the intense fear that people try to avoid by performing a rituals of some kind or trying to preempt every consequence by constantly analyzing. In short I believe it is the fear of the fear rather than the fear of the thing itself.
For example imagine someone who feels compelled to keep checking if their front door is locked before leaving for work. The need to feel safe by checking the door soon gets lost as the compulsion to check takes over. By the fourth or fifth time of checking it is no longer about ‘is the door locked?’ but is replaced by ‘I need to keep going back and checking just to stop feeling like this.’ Sometimes the thought of facing these intense fears is just too overwhelming and people just stay where they are rather than experience trying to change.
Fear attacks most aspects of our lives for example our relationships, our careers, our passions. In fact it attacks pretty much everything and leaves us unable to live fully.
Recognizing however that often it is our fear of feeling a particular way rather than the thing itself we can, with the help of a therapist, begin to identify our particular fears and feelings. That new understanding can give us the energy and empowerment to confront them, learn to regulate them and take more control over our lives.
It may require being creative, compassionate and patient with yourself but just a small step at a time can chip away at the grip the fear has on you as you grow in confidence and resilience and begin to live life more fully.
This article was written by sentientcounselling