Fear – What does it have to do with health?

November 24, 2022

Fear is described as an unpleasant feeling or emotion. It is usually accompanied by an increase in the activity of your autonomous system. What does fear have to do with your health? The avoidance of fear dictates to a great extent the way we act. Human beings lean towards the avoidance of fear at all cost.

Let’s take someone who found out that the cholesterol levels were high. Or let’s take someone who found out that their thyroid levels were off the charts. It was a great shock. But in a couple of weeks or less the shock wore off. We either decided to take some action or decided to ignore the problem. Our mind had reached a state of equilibrium about the knowledge that something was amiss. We had normalised our fear. Now is when things get difficult.

Having normalised your fear, you do not want to be taken back to that emotion. You have in some sense put it “behind you.” Unless there was something to remind you of the issue, it does not need your attention. In such a situation, if someone were to ask or suggest you do something, you might react with anger. The anger is not really directed at the person asking. Instead, the anger is directed internally. You are angry at being reminded about something that you normalised for yourself.

The anger is about having to deal with it all over again. Without the clarity of what to do, if anything. Waves of fear sweep all over you. It is the fear that is making you angry. The first time when you found out, you may have gotten emotional. Having dealt with it, in any way you knew, now having to relive it all over again makes you angry. You could hit out at the person asking or suggesting. But all you are doing is preventing yourself from solving the problem. Problems, especially medical ones do not disappear, they get worse. If you know someone who has buried their hand in the sand, ask them to address the problem. Fear or anger are not a solutions.

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