Friday, 5 April 2013

Coping with Fear and Anxiety

How do we cope with fear and anxiety of Parkinson’s? Fear causes a narrowing of perspective and a shortsighted focus on the thing we are fearful of. We can become addicted to our fear of Parkinson’s and the subsequent wish that we were different. However, this misses our thrownness and the multitude of possibilities thrownness gives us; for example, we don’t have to be led by the nose by fear. We have the ability to think a different emotion and replace our fear; states of mind are changeable. We can’t change the fact of Parkinson’s but remaining open to alternatives gives us the opportunity to choose to think, feel and react differently to the disease.

Anxiety is anxious about possibilities and therefore it is anxious about “nothing”. Possibilities need us to act upon them to make them “something” more; they need free will (within the limits of thrownness) to actualise them. Since anxiety concerns only possibilities we are less anxious when we do something. We may become anxious about the consequences of our actions but we are again concerned only with possibilities.

Therefore, remaining open to alternatives (e.g. “I’m scared I might fall but maybe I can go to the shops today”) reduces fear and doing something (e.g. “I went to the shops today”) makes us less anxious.

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