Fear

Why is it that when people hear about troubles others are having they’re determined to make it worse? Okay, okay, maybe they don’t actually do it on purpose but surely anyone with a modicum of common sense wouldn’t do what the majority of people do. Am I losing you here? Let me explain.

Okay, a while ago I was visiting someone who’d just been in hospital. She’s an elderly woman and had been in to get a pacemaker. As she’d come close to dying and been rushed into hospital she had developed some minor problems – having small panic attacks and the like. Now while we were visiting some other people came over with some flowers to cheer her up. When the woman mentioned the panic attacks she’d been having, these people started talking about heart attacks and brain tumors they’d heard of with similar symptoms, terrifying her. They didn’t even think about what they were saying and just kept flapping their lips and scaring this poor woman. Have you ever heard of anything so inconsiderate?

It happens all over the world as well, in almost any situation. You book a flight and people start telling you about plane crashes, change medication and people start listing harmful side effects they’ve experienced or heard of or seen in a movie, eat a hot dog and someone is bound to list the things on the factory floor (insects, human faecal matter, the cast of Neighbours) that every worker is obviously instructed to pick up and put into the mix. Why? What is the point? Are these people so eager to make a contribution to a conversation that they’re willing to destroy someone’s sense of well being in order to do it? Are they so stupid that they actually think horror stories are the thing to tell someone who’s already worried about something?

So is there a point to all this? Yeah, I like to think there’s a point.

As many of you know I’ve had quite a bit of psychiatric training and have been exposed to people with various mental health problems and personality disorders for a lot of my life. The thing that really gets to me about this subject is how these people would react if they were confronted with such horror stories. When a person has these sort of problems they go on medication in order to help them deal with their problems and lead a normal life. Sometimes it can take years to find the correct combination of medications and doses in order to help the individual involved. In most cases it’s best if someone the person trusts knows the possible side effects and monitors the person themselves without them knowing any of them. It lets the patient get a feel for the new medication without their mind being given a list of the side effects to physically manifest on the body. As many forms of mental illness or personality disorder will do just that if given a list of side effects I find it to be the safer route to follow until the person is used to the new medication.

Now if each time they change their medication some idiot decides to give them a horror story about worst case scenarios that can possibly happen to them, that ruins that and just gives the mind more ammunition to use against the person. Side effects that may not even be caused by that medication may manifest physically simply because the person is fearful enough of them.

Think about how you feel when you’re afraid of something. Do you want someone telling you how much worse it could get? Does it matter that it’s a million to one shot that it could get that bad when you’re too scared to figure out those odds?

We already live in a society of fear. If you listen to the news you’d think you can’t get out your front door without being attacked by a gang of heroin addicted, AIDS infected rottweilers who’ll video your suffering and put it on Youtube. So you don’t leave the house. But you can’t eat while indoors because everything in the world causes Cancer or heart disease or is fatal in some other way. Oh, but don’t worry about any of this fearmongering that is forced in our faces twenty-four hours a day, every day of our lives, because worrying is bad for you. Do you really want to contribute to the fear?

This is my suggestion to the entire world – Think before you speak. Simple isn’t it? If you think about the story you’re about to tell and you realise that it may scare people unnecessarily, then just don’t tell it. There’s no reason to, and many reasons not to. If someone you know is fearful of something and you actually care about them then try setting their mind at ease. Now I’m not talking about going all Disney, and talking to them like they’re kids, but there is a happy medium. Let them know that you believe they’ve got nothing to be afraid of. Let them know it’s perfectly natural to feel that way and you’ll support them through it and be there when they’re over it. But, for the sake of the person you’re talking to, don’t try to make them more afraid and remember to think before you say anything that may make them that way. After all, you wouldn’t like it if it happened to you.

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30 thoughts on “Fear

  1. It is especially annoying when saying such rubbish to ill person. Like it will cheer him/her up :irked:If people would talk only about things they know or understand, there will be a strange silence in this World. I can't remember who said that :left:

  2. When I finnished school, I went into the army for a year. Not because I wanted to, but because we still had conscription back then. :left:.Everyone kept telling me how I'd never make it and that I'd crack under the pressure. :insane:.Naturally, this caused major angst. :awww:.When I got there however, it was nowhere near as bad as I'd imagined it would be. :up:.In fact, I'd recommend a year or two of army training to any individual leaving high school. Especially if they don't have any other plans. :happy:.It seems to be the nature of most people to torture others needlessly. Hell, I'm probably guilty of it myself. :awww:.But why should we? Let's not assume things will in bad when we have absolutely no way to know the future. :irked:. As the old saying goes, don't rub salt in the wound.

  3. It happens more often as you get older. :irked: You're safe for now, youngster. :p.Hey, that kid you sent to me didn't just want to know how to manage her page, she wanted to know everything about CSS that there is to know. 😆 I gave her some links to start off with in the end.

  4. Crap.. I happen to be one of the people who give worst case scenarios to some. But in a good cheery way? Hard to explain… it's like:"OMG! Jeicelle! Next thing you'll know you're not going to get pregnant and you long time crush, Marc, will not marry you!"She's one of my close friends she has irregular menstruation problems. Probably abnormal uterine bleeding… like me.

  5. Army training is something for people with discipline. For someone like me it's just a way to learn better ways of killing people. A lot of people go for the army just because they've seen too many action movies and want to be heroes. 🙄 It's like that here anyway. The amount of squaddies I've hurled out of my bars for starting fights is ridiculous and turned me against military organisations as a whole, unless the individual doesn't drink.

  6. But I don't think I'll say something too harsh that might make the situation worse like the one in your story.

  7. People who come up with worst case scenarios all the time can be so tiresome to listen to. Like if you have a cough, they know someone who died and it started just with a cough like that! :faint:It's ridiculous really!

  8. 😦 I know I've been guilty. *hangs head and feels rightfully ashamed* In fact this post is likely inspired by me… All I can say, is learning from your mistakes is my best way to show you're sorry…. At least I surely hope so… People who say "the wrong things" may not mean any harm, like I never did. But it never makes it alright. Sincerely,Reformed in Wisconsin

  9. I can sometimes be something similar, except for the fear and stuff :left:.If somebody tells a story that happened to them, I sometimes find myself replying with a similar story that happened to me :awww:. I try not to do that much, though.

  10. The reason people do this is directly because of the way the human memory works (apparently) and the way that (most) people hates silence.Association is largely the way memory works. How many times can someone say "so whats up?" and even though you haven't spoke to this person for maybe a year you reply "I dunno" or "same old, same old". The reason is that this person hasn't triggered any recent memories and unless you've just done something quite large, you'll even forget that fact that you've got a kid (if yours was born since you last saw this person).Hmm, that wasn't well told but the point is: The reason you forgot your kid is because it's "normal" to you. You are used to the idea therefore its not big news. If however your kid was with you (or they had a kid) you would start talking about kids!Have you ever seen "mum clubs" where all the women with children will talk about kids, schools and the like because thats what each of them are reminding each other of.Back to the point of the blog 😛 : When people are trying to make someone feel better, what they are really doing is "filling the air" and the conversation snowballs with the avg-joe and it's about the topic at hand.It does take just one person to realise they are doing this quite instinctual act, and to say something like "Guys…" to break it.Of course some people are less likely than others to do this (quiet types) and knowledge is a factor (the more you know, the more things will trigger different memories) + common sense / good manners will make you understand you shouldn't be doing it etc.Wait, this is a comment… err, good blog and I agree people are idiots and thoughtless, sorry for ranting!^,^

  11. True Mik, horror stories are far worse. With some more time on my hands, I re-read your post, and it's got me wondering why people do that. Wanting to appear as knowledgeable? Attention? Putting the other person down – perhaps unknowingly? Oh no, Zap! 😦 I've heard of another kitty who got that once…

  12. "Think before you speak"Cheers mate. That sentence is beautiful, and I love it in bold :heart:It reminded me I sometimes forget to think b4 I speak too. Not very often but I do.Thanks, I honestly love that sentence. 🙂

  13. Rants are much more welcome here than mindless agreeing Dorjan. You raised some interesting points that I was too angry to consider.This page breaks the blogging rules. I don't want everyone to agree with me, I don't want to be friends with everyone, and I don't have an unhealthy obsession with cats (no offence Big Z).

  14. Don't say that. You'll scare the children.:sst: My clones have finished putting together motorbikes for the entire Catfianian nation. We're willing to do the trade for all the Danish bacon you can find whenever you want.

  15. Sounds like a fair deal, since we are so silly here that we export all the best bacon, and eat the rest ourselves. :doh: 😛

  16. I always manage to suppress the horror stories. I'm one of those people who's apparently calming to be around, for various reasons. No panic near me, and i hide any panic of my own very well.

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