Allan Takes Aim Blog

Fear can lead to death

Posted on: 10 August 2011


A brief note  to respondents of Allan Takes Aim.  Even if your comments are critical please feel free to pass the blog to whoever you think might be interested.

And now here is the original unedited version of the blog published in The Chronicle, Canberra, Tuesday 9 August 2011. Happy reading     

It saddens me to say that fear is becoming the driving force for many in society, not fear created by that dark sense of despair that often leads people to leap from the cliff of death into that abyss from which no one can ever re-emerge, but minor fears. Unfortunately many minor fears (too many) end up donning that dark mantle of despair so that leaps from the cliff of death are now assuming epidemic proportions. 

But why do minor fear escalate to that dark area. One would think that with the benefits of civilisation and the help of expert psychiatrists and psychologists the possibility of fear would be reduced so much that few people would end up making that leap. That the reverse is happening with more people now making that leap, raises the question: why? I wish I knew and so, I suspect, do psychiatrists and psychologists, not to mention family members.

It seems ludicrous that many minor fears grow and become life threatening, because of TV. This happens because many TV programmes promote the image of the body beautiful while many TV adverts suggest to people it is a poor physical image that causes the social and work problems they might be experiencing.

Take obesity as an example. Many TV ads promote diets that are guaranteed to reduce weight provided you join a dieting program that usually is anything but cheap. Unfortunately the problem for many men and women who fall for the sales pitch is not that they are obese but that they lack of self-confidence and are fearful of peer group ostracism.

On the other hand some men and women who think themselves obese take a different course. They buy exercise equipment advertised on TV in the hope that not only will it get the fat off and the weight down, but that it will make them so taut, trim and terrific that the opposite sex (If this shows my preferences I make no apologies) will swoon at the mere sight of them.

The rate of failure in both cases is high. They never acquire the body beautiful and so the image problem never disappears apart from which the cost of the diet program and/or the exercise equipment could bankrupt them and so add to their despair that they cure themselves by leaping from the cliff of death.

At times, too, I, along with many others, have been guilty of treating such fears as a joke.  Along with growing older, I have come to realise that these fears are not a joke but serious issues for the people affected and their families particularly as often they lead to death. 

But fear generated by a problem of image is only one of the myriad fears that affect the life of many people in society today. A major fear is that of becoming unemployed. For many people currently unemployed, this fear looms larger every day.

For example as the economic news grows even more dismal for parents with a family the fear of unemployment sets off a chain reaction of fears: not being able to pay the mortgage, the rent or indeed of being able to feed or clothe the family. Sadly, such fears can foster a sense of inadequacy that some cure by making a leap of no return.

Of particular interest to me is fear among the aged. As people age and their bodies deteriorate, they see TV ads showing physically fit, aged people frolicking like children. Such pictures can exacerbate the fear some older people have that they have no value in society and so have nothing to live for.                                                                                                                     

Then, unfortunately there are fears that cannot be treated by psychiatrists. These are fears created by political fear mongers with an agenda that says society is doomed if it does not lend support to the action they support about issues about which most of society has little knowledge.

These fear mongers are fear personified. But worse, they know that of the many older people they had persuaded to support their agenda, few if any, are unlikely to live long enough to see if the actions they had been persuaded to support, will ever result.

 The Chronicle for Canberra’s best community news. Published every Tuesday

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14 Responses to "Fear can lead to death"

Fear is one of the biggest causes of suffering, and overcoming fears is one of the most difficult things that anyone can do. Fear is given to us to help us to survive. By fleeing whatever causes us fear, we are supposed to live longer. Unfortunately, fear can become a handicap in societies where too many people are crowded together and fear is being caused by the actions of some of them. Television just exploits what is already there.

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