Jump to content

Menu

The rationale of irrational fears


Recommended Posts

A while ago in a thread about irrational fears, I confessed a fear of pharmaceuticals. This morning I was thinking about what I will do when the times comes where I might have to take them to "stay well". I don't know anyone who is 20 years older than me who doesn't take some sort of medication, whether its for heart issues or diabetes or whatever. All medication comes with a big, long list of side effects ranging from constipation to palpitations to liver disease to death. So, given that the pharmaceutical companies themselves warn against taking thier medicine, how is it irrational that I don't want to? It seems absolutely reasonable to me that it would be a bad idea. How, then, can my fear be "irrational"?

 

Considering some of the other fears in that thread, such as dark bodies of water, spiders, snakes, even alcohol, I can see these fears not necessarily being irrational. Take water, for instance. I don't know what's down there. There are tons of bacteria in water than cause terrible skin issues and even internal infections if accidentally ingested. Spiders and snakes have both killed people. Alcohol is dangerous - from potential addiction to liver disease to mental incapacity. All of these fears seem not only reasonable to me, but sensible, too.

 

So when does a fear become irrational? Is it subjective? Who gets to decide?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not without my own irrational fears, but I think when a fear alters the way you would normally live, it is a problem. Of course, what people consider to be normal is subjective.

 

I don't love getting in the ocean. My children absolutely love it and usually want me to get in with them. I do it, but I really don't enjoy myself and I'm constantly looking around for creatures that are going to get us. :lol: I know sounds funny and I recognize that while something COULD present a problem, it is more likely not to be an issue. Also, It isn't obvious that I'm scanning for sharks, sting rays, jellyfish, etc. I certainly do not want to pass along my fears to my children. They of course know to be cautious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, your fear of pharmaceuticals could lead you to more natural products and supplements. It takes more research because most allopathic MD's are not mentioning them. This could be a good thing IMHO as long as you discern when you need actual medication, i.e. in life threatening circumstances.

 

Second, some of our fears date back to some childhood incident or early programming from our parents, etc. I think, to some extent we need to listen to our gut feeling but we also need to discern when fear turns into paranoia or outright terror. You may fear things I don't spend a second thinking about but then I have other issues that cause me discomfort for whatever reason.

 

I would not discount anyone's concerns arbitrarily, however if fear makes it impossible for someone to live in this world, i.e. fear of people, cars, rain, etc. that person would have a better life trying to get to the bottom of these feelings in order to live more freely and joyfully.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, your fear of pharmaceuticals could lead you to more natural products and supplements. It takes more research because most allopathic MD's are not mentioning them. This could be a good thing IMHO as long as you discern when you need actual medication, i.e. in life threatening circumstances.

 

 

 

I'm counting on further studies and acceptance in this area before I actually need them.

 

Because I can't take pharms. I literally, physically can't do it; I go into full blown panic attack mode complete with chest pain and heart palpitations if faced with the prospect. My reaction, I suppose, since its so completely out of my control, is the irrational part, not the fear itself. But, upon trying to convince myself that my reaction is ridiculous, I keep coming up with legitimate justifications for the fear, bringing me back to rationalizing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd guess that most irrational fears have at least a basis in reality, like the cases you listed. I think that a fear becomes irrational when you can't set it aside to realistically weigh the pros and cons, assess the risks of a situation, or take necessary and appropriate action. It's one thing to be afraid of spiders but be able to put it aside to deal with the one crawling up your wall. It's something else entirely if you are paralyzed and can't handle squashing it or catching it and taking it outside.

 

Or take the water example. It's understandable to be afraid of the things you mentioned, but if you can't get past the fear of the water in order to deal with a bigger danger (i.e. a child fell in and you need to get him out), that's when it's irrational.

 

I think the issue might be the fact that it's *fear* and not just a disinclination. I wouldn't really want to jump into that water because of the things you listed, but I wouldn't be *afraid* of it. I'm concerned about different issues regarding pharmaceuticals, but I'm not *afraid* of them and I can assess the risks and benefits of taking them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's an irrational fear if it keeps you from daily life or living at all (in the case of pharmaceuticals). I don't fear drugs, but I am VERY aware of what I take and all the side effects. If the side effects out weigh the benefit, I'm not going to take them. That's not an irrational fear, that's logic. In your case, you're blessed. You don't have a need for pharmaceuticals so, you don't have to worry about it. If, in the future, you NEED them (I mean life or death need), and you refuse to take them, that's an irrational fear. If you have alternatives (surgery, herbs, etc), then that's not irrational.

 

Blessings!

Dorinda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A while ago in a thread about irrational fears, I confessed a fear of pharmaceuticals. This morning I was thinking about what I will do when the times comes where I might have to take them to "stay well". I don't know anyone who is 20 years older than me who doesn't take some sort of medication, whether its for heart issues or diabetes or whatever. All medication comes with a big, long list of side effects ranging from constipation to palpitations to liver disease to death. So, given that the pharmaceutical companies themselves warn against taking thier medicine, how is it irrational that I don't want to? It seems absolutely reasonable to me that it would be a bad idea. How, then, can my fear be "irrational"?

 

Considering some of the other fears in that thread, such as dark bodies of water, spiders, snakes, even alcohol, I can see these fears not necessarily being irrational. Take water, for instance. I don't know what's down there. There are tons of bacteria in water than cause terrible skin issues and even internal infections if accidentally ingested. Spiders and snakes have both killed people. Alcohol is dangerous - from potential addiction to liver disease to mental incapacity. All of these fears seem not only reasonable to me, but sensible, too.

 

So when does a fear become irrational? Is it subjective? Who gets to decide?

 

I think that it becomes irrational when you dwell on it all the time and it incapacitates you in some way. I don't trust drugs either. I think there are alternatives to a lot of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a healthy, rational fear of pharmaceuticals based on the fact that I have had negative reactions to many of them. I am very, very cautious about taking medicine for this reason.

 

However, I am sooooo thankful and grateful for allergy medicine and for iron supplements. There is no question that these pharmaceuticals improved the quality of my life dramatically. I am at peace with the associated risks because the benefit and comfort/quality of life is so clear.

 

For me, understanding the benefit so clearly really, really helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a love/hate relationship with pharmaceuticals. I worked for several years in the alternative health care arena and heard all the propaganda about herbal=good, pharm=bad. And I just don't buy it. The reason we know about all the possible pharm side effects is because the manufacturers are required to communicate them. There may well be numerous side effects for many of the herbs we so casually take, but because no one is required to do extensive testing on them and make the results known, we never find out. Many of the herbs frequently used in the past are now considered to be very dangerous. IMO, each person has to do their own research, pray, and determine what relief they will seek when reaching the point where the pain/discomfort of the illness is more traumatic than the possible side effects of the medication.

 

Regarding irrational fears, it scares me to see how powerful and dangerous they can be. I have personally seen a couple of instances where children with dog phobias have ran out into traffic or into another dangerous area just to avoid a small dog that has absolutely no interest in the child. I suspect that my mother's fear of snakes would cause her to take similar dangerous action in the presence of one.

 

This is merely speculation on my part, but it seems that if a person gives into their irrational fear and they remain safe, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. And if they react in terror and get hurt, then the object of the fear gets all the blame for hurting them and the fear grows even stronger. It seems that the cycle can only stop when the person decides that they want it to, and to seek whatever help they need to conquor the problem. IMO it would be terribly hard to do it alone, but I have read that there are trained mental health professionals that can help at least lessen the intensity of the fear in most cases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or take the water example. It's understandable to be afraid of the things you mentioned, but if you can't get past the fear of the water in order to deal with a bigger danger (i.e. a child fell in and you need to get him out), that's when it's irrational.

 

I think this is a good explanation.

 

My big irrational fear is roaches. I can't swat them, stomp them, or ignore them. I place tons of combat traps all over the house. I might get some poison spray,aim in the general direction from far away, turn my head, and spray [hoping i hit it].

 

If i walked into a dc's room to see them covered with roaches, I'd have to get something to sweep them away,and I'd be oogy-feeling and shivering and screaming the whole dang time. -- i probably could NOT just reach in with my hands and grab dc out of there......

 

snakes,spiders, scorpions, mice.... those are fine. but those roaches.....

 

::shudder::

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I think there is a fine line between rational fears and irrational fears. I have a lot of fears myself. I actually believe that I have OCD tendencies (but not full blown OCD because it does not effect my daily life in most aspects), and OCD is basically an anxiety disorder.

 

As far as pharms, I don't like to take them myself. I had surgery about 8 years ago. It was minor surgery, just a small lump removed from my breast. So it was a small incision. But I refused to take pain meds afterwards. I hear of SO many people becoming addicted to pain meds that I'm afraid to take them. Thankfully, Motrin worked for me and I never felt the need to take the pain meds. But I am VERY hesitant about taking any meds. I had postpartum thyroiditis and the doctor almost put me on thyroid meds, but I convinced them to let me wait it out a bit......and it went away. But the doc said that if I ever decide to get pregnant again, I will need to go on thyroid meds immediately. That freaks me out! HOWEVER, if it were a life or death situation, I would take them, no doubt, because an even bigger fear of mine is my children growing up without a mother for any reason. So that fear would outweigh my fear (I don't see it as a fear though....I see it as logic as far as putting a foreign chemical into my body) of pharms.

 

I :::shudder::: loathe roaches as well. But if for some reason they were crawling all over my child, I would no doubt put my arm in and grab my child out. And then do the heebie jeebie dance afterwards. :tongue_smilie: I just get this icky chill when I think of spiders and roaches. Lizards too. Ick.

 

My big fear would be heights. Therefore, I do not fly on airplanes. If my child were teetering on the top of a tall building, it would take the hands of God to help me get them down and not freeze in fear. I am so afraid of heights. I've never flown, and I've never had a panic attack, but I have no doubt that flying would give me one. I believe that's an irrational fear of mine and I have no idea what shaped it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that there is an element of rationality in all these fears, but it is when the fear has been taken to an extreme that it becomes irrational. I think most people would rather not take pills on a regular basis, but they don't give it much thought until they have to. The fact that you are worried about it before it happens suggests that it is more extreme in you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have learned to make a conscious effort not to give into my fears. Not an easy thing to implement but after you keep at it, it becomes habit. I won't dwell on them and I refuse to let them rule over me. Sometimes that doesn't hold true, like when my oldest ds started to drive. I was freaked out for a week or two, but I'm fine now.

 

I'm VERY against pharmaceuticals. I believe they killed my mother. They gave her steroids to stop the flare up of her ulcerative colitis. The steroids made her diabetic. The dementia meds made her Parkinsons symptoms worse, and the Parkinsons meds made her dementia worse. I could go on and on.

 

I, personally, try to find natural ways to heal just about everything. BUT, when my blood pressure was OUT OF CONTROL last year and I realized I could have killed myself, I promised to take my meds every day. It was NOT worth it.

 

I despise antibiotics. I'd have to give them to my mom when she got Mersa and when she got UTI's, which she had ALL THE TIME. I gave cranberry and apple cider vinegar, which cut back on the UTI's, but the antibiotics, when given, would flare up her colitis. I absolutely HATE antibiotics. But on New Year's Eve when I couldn't stand the pain in my back and I had an obvious severe UTI, I went to the dr. who suspected kidney stones (she was right) and also said I had a kidney infection. I went on the antibiotics. HATE it. When I was done with them - got sicker. Back on them again. HATE it. But as much as I hate them, when you're desperate and in too much pain NOT to get immediate treatment, you take them. Or when your life is in danger because of something untreated (my blood pressure) you take them. But I DO my research. I'll first ask for the oldest and safest med. When they give it to me, I do my research. I know what to look for.

Edited by Denisemomof4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...