Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

1. Reassure people they shouldn’t be afraid of anything, no matter what their fear is, except fear itself. 2. Having fear is what keeps you from doing what you want to do and achieving your goals, so it is the only thing to fear.

Fear, no matter what it may be of, withholds a person from surpassing that limit. Fear becomes so bad for some that it consumes their everyday life and prevents them from doing everyday tasks that many take for granted.

For Carol, an ACHS student whose name has been changed for anonymity, deals with anxiety in her everyday life. There are many different forms of anxiety, but for Carol it is general anxiety that prohibits her throughout her day. Anxiety is often a term that is tossed around in today’s society. People use it as a term to coin themselves or others without knowing the true meaning of anxiety.

“People definitely do throw the word around a lot and say they have anxiety when in reality it’s just stress,” Carol said. “Stress goes away over time but anxiety is always there.”

According to Medical News Today, anxiety is a term used for a multitude of disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension and worrying.

“Having general anxiety is almost like having a cloud over your head at all times,” Carol said. “Sometimes it’s raining, and sometimes [the cloud] just dwells there.”

With having anxiety, Carol is constantly left questioning everything, even the most miniscule things that many others will not even give a second thought. Someone could say something as typical as “you look nice today,” and Carol will overanalyze this wondering if there is more meaning behind the phrase.

Oftentimes, anxiety can cause panic attacks which, according to Carol, makes any situation much worse. Carol has found a way to cope when she finds herself overthinking.

“I use humor the most to cover up my overthinking, and I haven’t found a way that works 100% of the time and I am still searching for [one that does],” Carol said. “I try to press down my anxiety [by using humor] but eventually it bottles up and I’ll have a really bad panic attack.”

Since panic attacks are oftentimes inevitable, something that triggers a person with anxiety will invoke an anxiety attack either after tension has built up over time or in the spur of the moment. Carol described a panic attack as your entire body physically hurting all over. There is heaviness in a person’s chest and they find it hard to talk. Things occur in a rapid motion and a person’s brain is all over the place.

“Some panic attacks last minutes and some seem [to last] forever,” Carol said. “When I feel a panic attack coming on, I try to go outside to walk, but with our cold weather it hasn’t been the best. I just try to stay out of my room when I feel in a state of panic because my room has become almost like a jail cell.”

For Carol, she is so afraid of having panic attacks that it causes her to revert to her overthinking and she realizes that her overthinking causes her anxiety to snowball out of control.

While anxiety is a common medical condition that affects many and instills fear in those affected, there are also other medical conditions that induce fear in people. For junior Nathaniel Baldwin,  ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder (OCD) is something he deals with in his everyday life.

Baldwin finds his time being rapidly consumed by the antics he finds necessary to get through the day.

“Ever since about the fifth grade I have been checking my homework over again seven times,” Baldwin said. “I do laundry every day due to the fact that I love certain clothes and I feel that if I don’t do it, I will just have too many stresses. Since I started working, [I have less time to] do my chores and this causes a lot of stress.”

Baldwin feels the need to have everything done as best as possible. It causes him a great deal of stress since it is not possible for him to always do tasks to that high of a caliber.

“I am into religion, so if the stuff is unable to be complete, I do my ritual prayer and hope that it will all be okay,” Baldwin said. “It gives me a sense of hope.”

For Baldwin, having OCD makes him really impatient and it can lead to him getting overly frustrated when he cannot seem to fit everything all into one day. He feels this way due to the fact that he needs to check, recheck and check his homework again, do his chores over and over and attend work each day. When he finds himself in this predicament, which he often does, Baldwin turns to comfort food.

While medical conditions can give many a great deal of fear, there are also non-medical fear inducers. These can often be due to the standards set by today’s society. Many feel as if they are not good enough in certain circumstances and therefore just throw in the towel altogether.

This holds true for senior Sydney Morrow, who fears that not doing well leads her to being unproductive. Morrow is fearful of not achieving the high standards set by society, so when she feels as if she is the underdog in a situation, she will give up.

“If I know I won’t do well on an assignment or test then I just won’t try,” Morrow said. “That way when I get a bad grade, I can attest to it being because I didn’t try and not because I am a failure at whatever it may be.”

Morrow feels that instead of letting society tell her she is not good at something, she would rather have her actions say that about her.

Whether a fear is medically induced or a pressure set by society, many people are held back in their day-to-day life by these implications and are unable to go through the course of their day without getting stuck up on their fear. Some of these fears are minuscule things that most people usually look over, but for some, these ‘minuscule’ fears are their biggest enemy.