Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fear and it's Disguises

I am reading a novel (Momento Mori by Muriel Spark)Search for Momento Mori   and came across a passage about a new head nurse at a nursing home.  All the nursing home residents felt was this new nurse mean.  They were afraid of her.  One morning this dialogue took place between two residents about the nurse:

 "'But what's wrong with her?'
'Nothing,' said Miss Taylor, 'except that she is afraid of those old people.'
'She is afraid?  I thought you said the patients were afraid of her.
'It comes to the same thing,' said Miss Taylor.'"

It got me to thinking about how fear comes disguised.  In this instance it is disguised as meanness.  It can be disguised as anger, arrogance, or aloofness.  Sometimes, fear is disguised as withdrawal--withdrawal from another person or group of people.  These are but a few of fear's many faces. There are others.   All these behaviors are defensive reactions---they defend (protect) the individual from either showing his/her fear or most often of even experiencing his/her own fear  So, the next time you see one of these behaviors in people, ask yourself if fear could be what is behind it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When Anger is an Illness

Below is an interesting article exploring the idea of anger management and whether or not it is a stand alone issue or is, rather, an indicator of some other underlying issue or diagnosis.  The article covers both areas but the main idea here is that difficulty managing anger is not usually a stand alone issue but rather an indicator of other problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety.  Anger can also be a defense against other feelings meaning that the person is more comfortable and finds it easier to express anger than, perhaps, sadness or fear.  The bottom line is that while there is such a thing as Intermittent Explosive Disorder, don't assume that it is just a problem controlling anger.  It could be an indicator of something else.