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Fear Management

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posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 08:24 PM
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The management of fear is an important skill to develop, especially by those in professions that fear is an on-going mental health issue.

Fear management is not usually taught as a human study, in that most of the time it is thought that you either have courage or you do not. Like a lot of things though, learning teachniques and training with them can help.

However, lack of courage is rarely the problem, but rather it is the cummulative effects of fear over time that are most problematic, in that it causes such conditions as PTSD, socio- and psychopathy and other fear-related mental illnesses.

In the military, a lot of money and human suffering could be alleviated by using fear managment by combat units if fear management was taught and practiced by soldier, especially in extended setting such as the Iraq War.

My group has experience with Fear Management as taught scientifically, and I would like to express my opinions on the subject as ideas that could be used for the reduction of mental illness in people subject to this deadly emotion.




posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 08:32 PM
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Firstly, what is Fear?

Fear is an emotion analogous to pain in the physical body. It is a natural signal that has been with humanity and animal kind for millions of years. It is the natural way by which the person is informed of danger and the necessity of survival in a dangerous setting.

What is fear's purpose? A healthy fear emotion is a strong signal to your mind for you to discontinue what you are doing and do something else. It is a warning that you are in danger. How you shut off a healthy fear is by removing yourself from that danger, and the fear subsides.

In animals, fear is a transient phenominon only occuring by chance, when a predator is near, or a fight with another animal is immenent, or some other dangerous event is occuring. Humans on the other hand, because of their minds, have the ability to anticipate a future event even far away, and this ability has a downside of increasing the duration of fear considerably.

However there are pursuits and professions where removing yourself immediately from danger is not an option, therefore the use of mental techniques of how to control that fear is necessary.

Is Fear dangerous? Yes. Most people think that because fear is an emotion that it does not constitute actual damage to you. However nervous breakdowns, over-stress and fatigue are immediate health concerns, with the longer term concerns being PTSD, sociopathy and psychopathy.

Medicine primarily deals with the health of the physical body, however Fear Managment is an important part of mental hygine for many professionals that have to deal with fear on a regular basis: undercover cops, firemen, soldiers, etc.

It may be of some use to them to study fear management as a disipline in order to properly deal with negative emotions for their happiness and continued mental health.

[edit on 24-1-2009 by JoanTheBlind]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 08:43 PM
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Your avatar is.... Scary!



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 08:56 PM
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Starred and Flagged, Joan.
Very helpful topic for many I would imagine.

I would also add here the tactical impact of fear on decision making.
It is disastrous.

The ways of shutting down one's fear are something that would
be of an interest to hear about, I believe.

Great subject and good luck sharing your knowledge - helping your readers.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 09:23 PM
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eH: Starred and Flagged, Joan. Very helpful topic for many I would imagine.

J: Thanks.

eH: I would also add here the tactical impact of fear on decision making.
It is disastrous.

J: Yes, one of the things that anyone who has been in a fearful situation knows is that fear has an effect of shutting down one's higher mind functions, and their behaviors are mainly primal and reflexive.

One aspect of Fear Managment as a discipline is the teaching of the importance of making decisions BEFORE the person enters a fear state, and the recall of those decisions during the fear state so that even when high level thinking is impossible that your choices are mentalized.

How is this done? Before entering the fear state, you immediately look into the future and ask "What can possibly happen?" For a soldier entering a building, there are a small number of possibilities that can be anticipated:

(1) He will meet an armed combatant.
(2) He will meet an unarmed civilian.
(3) He will enter an empty building.

In training, CORRECT training, the soldier will not only be taught, but taken through training (to develop his reflexes and lower thinking) to anticipate these three events.

In case 1, he will be taught to kill or take prisoner. In case 2, he will be taught to keep his line of fire away from them. Interestingly, in correct Fear Management, option 3 is trained for.

The correct training for the absense of a threat is to slowly reduce your fear level such that it doesn't fatigue your emotional state. How this is done is by "frosty" training. It is analogous to how physical trainers teach a cool down period after physical exertion. By slowly reducing your fear level instead of the emotion of instant releif, you can increase your tolerance for fear in the long term.

Frostiness is a technique where the fear level is held and bled off over the course of a few minutes. In case there is a surprise, you are still in the emotionally ready state for it. Surprises can be the most damaging of fears as they have a tendancy of overloading your emotional state.



[edit on 24-1-2009 by JoanTheBlind]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 09:27 PM
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reply to post by JoanTheBlind
 



I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain



That about sums it up.

You have to know fear to conuer it. You cannot prepare for it, you cannot vanquish it... you must learn to manage yourself while you are agraid.

On a broader scale I think that most fear stems from a fear of death or harm to the body... coming to terms with that and reacting to fear is not so hard.


[edit on 24-1-2009 by asmeone2]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2


On a broader scale I think that most fear stems from a fear of death or harm to the body... coming to terms with that and reacting to fear is not so hard.


I believe there are many distinct types of fear, perhaps they could
be generalized in some categories which I'm unaware of...For example,
fear of social rejection - public humiliation - that is not in 'fear of death'
or 'fear of harm to the body' categories.

Also, it's tough to react to fear, talking from my personal point of view.
And, the best reaction is what?
If one is not trained and many are not - the number of situations
in combat zone and real life are limitless - then fear will definitely
impact one's decision making and as such possibly one's destiny.

Fear is profound. It's elemental. I liked the notion that emsed1 raised - of
fear being a sin. I tend to believe in that, in some unexplainable way.




[edit on 24-1-2009 by eventHorizon]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 09:45 PM
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eH: The ways of shutting down one's fear are something that would
be of an interest to hear about, I believe.

J: Not so fast there eventHorizon. (And I said what I did there for effect).

In my group, it would be considered improper to use the language "shutting down one's fear". I will explain why this is. It is forbidden in my group to use the term "Fear Control". The term Fear Management is the correct term. Why is this?

The manipulation of the fear response tempts a person, but even more strongly the group, to participate in activities that are actually detrimental to the mental health of the group.

The problem is that Fear Managment does have an effect on operational effectiveness. Because of this, there is a temptation on the part of the Commander to use FM as a way of increasing his group's strength.

If a group submits to the temptation to divert FM techniques from that of mental health preservation, to techniques that increase operational effectiveness this is called Fear Control. And thus why Fear Control is forbidden.

Fear Control can lead to situations which further damage a person, and after the period of Service of that person, deeper forms of mental illness can develop, and suicide increases.

Responsible teachings and trainings of dealing with fear, guilt and grief are therefore based on Management, NOT control.

However, I understand the intent of your statement eH.

To manage fear, is an art practiced by the individual and a scienc of the group, and must be correctly implemented systemically within the group for the benifits to be obtained. As this discussion continues, we will look at how to manage fear so that mental hygine can be maximized, and mental illness can be minimized.

eH: Great subject and good luck sharing your knowledge - helping your readers.

J: I am starting to get the same feeling, eventHorizon.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 11:27 PM
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I'm a singer/songwriter who has a great fear of playing infront of people. I never really did it, but i write tons of songs all the time. I can't stop and i feel it's the only thing i know how to do.

What do you reckon i could do to overcome this fear ?

EDIT : I know that what you're saying is true, because instead of facing my fear i have grown more and more depressive sitting in my flat and have become isolated from the world and everyone. All the time i feel i'm hiding from my destiny and it has made me mentally ill to the point where i recieved the diagnosis of schizotypia and been treated with anxiety pills.



[edit on 24-1-2009 by JustAThought]



posted on Jan, 25 2009 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by JustAThought
 


JaT: I'm a singer/songwriter who has a great fear of playing infront of people. I never really did it, but i write tons of songs all the time. I can't stop and i feel it's the only thing i know how to do.

What do you reckon i could do to overcome this fear ?

J: One of the things I'm going to talk about is Desensitization.

To perform correct desensitization is by talking to professionals that are doing what you want to do, and you ask them about their fear levels. Desensitization should not have as a goal fearlessness, but rather an appropriate fear level.

It is possible that you will find that your current fear level is similar to those that perform in front of people. If this is the case, then a mild desensitization could be done.

How is desensitization performed in this case? Play in front of people. Start slow, observe your levels of fear, anxiety and nervousness, treat yourself well, and slowly but surely learn how to accept the fear by playing in front of small groups.

What you might do is decide you want to do something with it, obtain a personal computer and a multi-track recording program, and make some of your own music. Burn it to CD, and see if you can get an interest going. Even without playing in front of people, by doing this, you will still feel nervous as people are going to be listening to and judging your music.

It is said that a journey of a thousand miles is started with a single step. I dont think it matters much if your final effect is big or not, so long as you use your talent wisely.


JaT: All the time i feel i'm hiding from my destiny and it has made me mentally ill to the point where i recieved the diagnosis of schizotypia and been treated with anxiety pills.

J: I have many friends that are schizophrenic. Actually if you are taking anxiety pills too then you might be schizo-affective.

Sometimes I think its part of a person's destiny to slow down and focus on keeping themselves as healthy as possible. That you have a talent, perhaps you could continue developing it and play on a street corner, or find some other small venue to explore that possibility. You don't have to become the next Yngwie Malmstein.



posted on Jan, 25 2009 @ 07:44 PM
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I want to ask this question publicly:

"What is life without fear?"

Imagine a person who has that part of his/her brain inactive,
that one has no fear, fear has no impact on his decision
making, no impact on her reality perception, no impact
on one's life...

Are there any known cases of that? Or are we a Fear-sick
society? Any feedback is welcomed.



posted on Jan, 25 2009 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by eventHorizon
 


Maybe not exactly what you're looking for, but a syndrome that fascinates me since social fears are my biggest and most entrenched fears, is Williams syndrome:


Williams people talk a lot, and they talk with pretty much anyone. They appear to truly lack social fear. Indeed, functional brain scans have shown that the brain’s main fear processor, the amygdala, which in most of us shows heightened activity when we see angry or worried faces, shows no reaction when a person with Williams views such faces. It’s as if they see all faces as friendly.

NYTimes Source



posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 09:00 PM
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americandingbat,
Thank you for posting this. This is directly related to my question.
Fascinating facts.

So it does appear that Fear is "brain-originated", and as such could
be artificially suppressed. I assume via food additives for example
when needed.

Another thought that I'd like to raise here is that there is, in my opinion,
a possibility that ALL thoughts point-zero at Fear. I know it is far-fetched
but if we look closely to the true origins for all these thoughts we come
across daily - is it not Fear that is originating or at least accompanying
many of them, again - if not all.

Replies/Ideas are welcomed.



posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by JoanTheBlind
 


Thank you.

I will try these suggestions and do one thing at a time so i can build up the energy slowly.

I'm very scared as i'm writing this though, about the thought of doing any of this stuff.


wish me luck



posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 09:37 PM
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JoanTheBlind,
I'm not sure what your org specializes in, if I would have to
guess that would be group fear management, however allow
me to ask you this -

on an individual basis, what does it require to consistently
manage one's fears? Is it a function of practice? Is it a matter
of enlightenment when a bulb gets suddenly lid for all, an eureka
moment if you will?

Also, I still wonder if there are humans here on Earth living w/o
any fear - information posted on Williams syndrome is quite
fascinating - I would imagine unofficial surgical or not procedures
for similar kind of perception. What's your take on this info?
Best regards.



posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 01:51 AM
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reply to post by eventHorizon
 



eh: on an individual basis, what does it require to consistently manage one's fears?

J: The answer can be expressed in one word: courage.

Fearlessness I don't think exists, and if it does, it is weakness like sociopathy or psychopathy.

What was said on that syndrome reminds me of people who are born without a sense of physical pain. It is not very nice what happens to them. To just touch on that, they have a problem where they feet hit the ground to hard and it ends up crippling them. What might sound like a wonderful idea, isn't. A healthy sense of fear and pain are natural signals within the person to do things a certain way.

eh: Is it a function of practice?

J: I didn't want to get too metaphysical with this discussion, but it appears that nature is a critical portion of managing one's fears. In other words, your fear threshold has a lot to do with what you are born with.

However, like anything, practice helps a lot and can reveal much of your potential to manage fear within yourself.

For example, there are various strategies that are incorrect. For example, panic and covering fear with anger are common incorrect strategies.

Correct strategies include learning to embrase the fear, to increase your ability to keep your higher mental functions working even during moderate fear, and simpler techniques that include mental hygine and correct habits.

I have had an opportunity to talk with people who are adept at managing their fears. I have noticed simularities between them. A common one is that of admitting they are feeling fear. Counterintuative, but it seems that being able to admit that one is feeling fear has something to do with surviving it intact. There is a calmness to them.

Also, another thing that comes to mind is "Bending Blade", in that it is similar to that Dune quote, in that it has to do with the idea that a perfect blade is not the sharpest or the hardest, but rather one that flexs a bit while under pressure. It is similar to the story of the reed and the Oak that endure a great storm. The Oak snaps under the pressure, but the lowly reed survives. The Oak asks the reed how it did it, and the reed says that it doesn't fight the storm but rather flexes and bends with the storm.

eh: Is it a matter of enlightenment when a bulb gets suddenly lid for all, an eureka
moment if you will?

J: I would be afraid that a eureka moment might lead to an incorrect strategy. For example, I have heard some elightenments about ignoring or denying the existance of pain and fear. Somethings you just have to endure. If you can't endure it, get out of the situation that is causing the fear.

eh: Also, I still wonder if there are humans here on Earth living w/o any fear - information posted on Williams syndrome is quite fascinating - I would imagine unofficial surgical or not procedures for similar kind of perception. What's your take on this info?

J: Fear is a natural impulse, like pain, comfort, hunger, thirst, desire, ambition, ego, and the multitude of various impulses that we feel everyday. Because of this, the short-circuiting of a natural impulse leads to problems.

For example, it could be that the tendancy that some priests have towards pediphelia is caused in part in trying to totally turn off their natural sexual instinct.

Also, bulemia/anorexia is another example of people thinking that they can control, and not manage, their hunger desire. It doesn't work well in practice. It leads to mental and physical problems far in excess of the benifit derived from loosing weight.

For some human beings, just telling them that it is something they just have to manage isn't an option, they insist on some cure or miraculous treatment. But fear management is about as natural as saying "If you are thirsty, drink water." In other words there is a strategy that is optim



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 09:30 PM
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JoanTheBlind,
Thanks for your replies.
You mentioned that fear management requires courage.
I couldn't agree more.

However I think in some cases it's more than that.
Some will die in flames defending their ideas while
others will claim anything at the first mentioning of flames...
Is this courage? I think it's more of a fanatical devotion
that somehow locks fear, and possibly even pain.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 06:24 AM
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A very interesting thread, thank you JtB. I would be interested in joining. I have (quite?) some experience in the field of dealing with fear and trauma professionally & personally (specifics further down), yet I would still consider myself more a beginner in this field than someone who has "mastered" the proper management of fear. Therefore I think I might be able to contribute (some) to this thread and I hope to learn here as well. At this point in my life (not that there is any other point, haha) I think working on an enlightened skillfulness in the management of fear is a worthy goal.

Okay, my professional experience of dealing with fear lies in the field of residential care (specificly childcare). At the moment I am not working in this field (I'm on a self-imposed sabbatical in one of the sunniest countries in Europe), but for the past 20 years I have been. Of this time the past 7 years in residential childcare have been the most intersting with regards to the subject matter. I have worked in situations were reasonably small kids were terrorising an entire team of adults (and at times I have felt as if leading a group of soldiers through enemy teritory). In this period the work was mainly, as we called it: firefighting. Later I helped pioneering a new approach. Trying to understand the state of mind of the young people from the point of view of a model called "the trauma model". This gave a great advantage, and with the knowledge came more courage (as a team) to tackle the source of the aggression and to look more honestly at our own fears. To work in a team and to continually reflect on one's experiences were invaluable in learning and developing in this environment and gradually we grew more confident in our approach and could start in helping the young people in facing THEIR fears and managing them.

On a personal level it has been much harder to get a handle on fear. I have had a partner who sufered from PTSD (in the same period as working in the above mentioned settings), and no matter how hard I tried not to, I always got tangled up in her fears whenever they threw her over; meaning I always engaged with these fears, never seemed to be able to stay "objective", to keep my peace.

On yet another level I also work with a technique called rebirthing (trying to become a professional, but that is another story) - not sure whether I have to explain rebirthing here, but in short it is a technique wher one uses circular breathing and mental awareness to delve into deeper layers of oneself, where one can discover all kinds of half/unconscious thoughts and beliefs that are truly running one's life. Here the encounter of fear has been manyfold, but specifically a major aspect of it appears to be very physical. For instance: in rebirthing it is relativelly common to reexperience parts of one's birth (hence the name rebirthing - although recently it is being called rebirthing Breathwork). One of the major cellular(?) memories I encountered here was the experience of being stuck in the womb, contractions going on, nowhere to go, for days. This experience appears to have "messed" me up considerably. I have memories of being very confident and full of love
etc BEFORE this experience of being totally stuck, but these states seemed to have been drowned thoroughly by this experience of being stuck and, I think, the sense of fear accompanying that experience. This appeas to have had a profound effect and is still, to THIS day continuing... So I suppose here I have come to the effect of fear on a subconscious continuous level. I am not sure whether your group (this is addressed to JtB) has any expereince with these levels of fear, but I would be definitely most interested in learning how to manage these types of fears.

Finally, for the past 22 years I have been a student of A Course In Miracles (hence my username here), which paradoxically states that: fear is the opposite of love, which HAS no opposite (fear therefore



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 06:35 AM
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(cont.)
being considered an illusion). It would be interesting to be able to rise to this level of fear management, without using ostrich tactics, but that is perhaps a long way off...

Anyway, so far my short account of experiences with fear and fear (mis)management. I'm looking forward to an interesting journey.

And at some stage I would like to hear more about the group you are speaking of in your postings JtB (I found THIS thread after having read through another thread related to the "window of opportunity" that brought me to this whole ATS site in the first place and was intigued by your postings there too. However this current thread is much closer to my heart and it is this one I have chosen to join).



posted on Feb, 10 2009 @ 01:36 PM
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"What is life without fear?"
Life without fear is psychopathy.
Afterall, if you don't fear consequences of actions, you don't have a moral compass TOWARDS those actions.
Yes, there are in fact people who live without fear. We make movies and write books about them.



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