Kick Fear to the Curb – Chapter 1 – What is Fear?

What is Fear?

Many people are tormented by fear – so many, it would shock you to know how many dear ones suffer torment and are harassed in their minds and emotions due to secret fears.

Worry is a form of fear. Some believe worry is an expression of love. It is not. Worry is torment. It happens to torment those around the worried person as well. Worry may be obsessive in that you can think of nothing else but what you are worried about.

Fear has many forms. However, it is worth noting that Dr. Karl Albrecht, Ph.D., in Psychology Today[1], says there are only five basic fears common to all humans. And, everything else categorized as fear branches off these five.

5 Basic Fears

Extinction— the fear of annihilation, of ceasing to exist. This is a more fundamental way to express it than just calling it “fear of death.” The idea of no longer being arouses a primary existential anxiety in all normal humans. Consider that panicky feeling you get when you look over the edge of a high building.

Mutilation—the fear of losing any part of our precious bodily structure; the thought of having our body’s boundaries invaded, or of losing the integrity of any organ, body part, or natural function.  about animals, such as bugs, spiders, snakes, birds, sharks and other creepy things arises from fear of mutilation.

Loss of Autonomy—the fear of being immobilized, paralyzed, restricted, enveloped, overwhelmed, entrapped, imprisoned, smothered, or otherwise controlled by circumstances beyond our control. In physical form, it’s commonly known as claustrophobia, but it also extends to our social interactions and relationships.

Separation—the fear of abandonment, rejection, and loss of connectedness; of becoming a non-person—not wanted, respected, or valued by anyone else. The “silent treatment,” when imposed by a group, can have a devastating psychological effect on its target.

Ego-death—the fear of humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of the Self; the fear of the shattering or disintegration of one’s constructed sense of lovability, capability, and worthiness.

Psychologists and therapists routinely write about fear due to the pandemic influence in our world. There is also the fear of Fear! However, there is no known cure.

[1] Entire Article by Dr. Albrecht


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