Fear Versus Anxiety

9 Nov 2021
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I have heard fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Another acronym is F@$!# Everything And Run, or a better alternative; Face Everything And Recover.

Fear and anxiety are not always the same thing to me, which might sound strange to some. I have anxiety about the what ifs and possible boogeymen lurking in the shadows sometimes, anxiety over anything unknown or unseen. Yet as soon as an object appears in front of me I barge ahead and face it head on. People have praised me: “You don't seem to be afraid of anything." Yet there are times when absolute terror would save me, like my phobia of poisonous reptiles. I would flee before I was fatally bitten. 

Anxiety is the circular what ifs that rotate endlessly in my head. Nothing negative has ever happened because my anxious thoughts predicted or concocted the event, so what benefit is there to ruminating and worrying? It feels productive in some ways, but that reward is like the false evidence that fear represents. 

I have learned irritability is my ill coping mechanism for anxiety, and take it as a signal that it is time to take the prescribed medication. The other thing is feeling rushed without there actually being any need for it; that is my other big cue that I am getting anxious. 

Our Moodscope cards have both afraid and scared as emotions, which at one time I thought were one and the same, and I usually score them the same. 

Sometimes I think of emotions as paint colors, like the character Blanche Devereux on the Golden Girls once described her mood; "I'm feeling Magenta today." Two paint shades sitting side by side may almost look alike but be slightly different. 

It helps to pinpoint them as closely as possible to make them manageable. After all, to quote Dr. Phil:"You cannot change what you do not acknowledge." And maybe it is easier to change what you recognize once you recognize it specifically. 

Someone once told me:"Courage is not the absence of fear but feeling the fear and doing it anyway." Only I think they said it more poetically, but in other words "face your fears and they will flee."

Bailey

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Comments

Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 9, 2021, 6:01 a.m.

Morning Bailey, This is a well-written blog, thank you. Made I larf reading your first sentence!! Loliloltrollol!! Whenever I have been afraid and fearful, Mr. Bear has often quoted: ‘There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself.’ When I am rational, I can see that is exactly true…..on the other paw, the anxiety and/or fear is so deep, I can hardly see the wood for the trees. I mentioned courage in a blog reply, the other day: we need courage (which feels awful) to take the step forward and commit. It sounds to me Bailey, that you are full of courage and jump right in! I often do - especially when no one else will step up to the plate! I also think that for me, the anxiety is driven by the what-ifs and causes the fear. In the past I have been quite capable of blowing things out of all proportion - and when things are back to ‘normal’ I can’t believe I had got myself so worked up! May all Moodscopers dig deep and find some courage today - even if it’s just taking a first step. I’m currently feeling hot pink even though it’s early - I might be a tired old beige Bear in a few hours though! Love and Bear hugs x x x

Reply

Oli

Nov. 9, 2021, 6:55 a.m.

Thanks Bailey. From a scoring perspective I believe “afraid, scared, nervous, and jittery” could be interpreted in a way that seems to make personal sense and averaged to give you a sub-score for “fear” — if you thought that sub-score was a useful thing to know. (For me, I often score low on fear, but if I scored higher I’d consider assessing “shaky” and “frightened” too.) It’s not really possible to generate a sub-score for “serenity” from the data but you could see how assessing how relaxed, calm, and at ease you felt could produce that assessment. What I like about the test is the assessment of different emotions. But I think it’s interesting that the test doesn’t ask directly for an assessment of either anxiety or depression. My personal take on it is that anxiety and depression are more like verbs than emotions — they’re more behavioural — and, (again, my personal take on it) is that (my) behaviour is linked to the feelings, and feelings to thoughts. Thanks for the blog.

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Jul

Nov. 9, 2021, 8:54 a.m.

Nice to see you back Oli. I was just thinking of you and hoping you were enjoying your break away. Jul xx

Orangeblossom

Nov. 9, 2021, 7:03 a.m.

Thanks for the blog Bailey. It is helpful & reminded me of a phrase that I heard which is ‘Face the fear and do it anyway’. It was a summer holiday course that I did a few years ago.

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S

Nov. 9, 2021, 7:57 a.m.

I have learned irritability is my ill coping mechanism for anxiety - thank you for sharing Bailey. I really relate to this!! Great blog S

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Sally

Nov. 9, 2021, 8:19 a.m.

Very well written and interesting blog, Bailey. Lots to think about on a day I’m busy on an all day conference on Autism, but hope to get back onhere later. Thank you.

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Jul

Nov. 9, 2021, 8:57 a.m.

When I'm anxious and sleep deprived I am irritable too Bailey. I think fear is brought on or intensified by anxiety which in turn can be made worse by a vivid imagination. Thank you Bailey. I will re read your blog and think about it a bit more. Have a good day. Jul. xx

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Ach UK

Nov. 9, 2021, 9:27 a.m.

Thanks Bailey, very well timed blog. I feel you understand exactly the thoughts and feelings rocking my boat at the moment. I'm awaiting appointments which I know when I get them will clarify what's up and will be a very welcome hand hold. At the moment I feel like I'm waiting for A Level exam results. Which won't arrive for another 4/5 weeks. I have a word wheel somewhere which graduates outward from highly emotive to gentler words which helps me put better perspective on my ". Catastrophising/Agitating/ruminating/gentle examining" etc . . . I can think I am lucky to have appointments booked at all at the moment. :--)) Very good to read your blog today. XX Ach.

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Valerie

Nov. 9, 2021, 11:06 a.m.

Waiting for results,especially medical,is pure torture.Really hope you get peace of mind soon Ach.Big hug ***

Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 9, 2021, 11:15 a.m.

Lovely to see your name here Ach, but sad you are anxious whilst waiting for appointments….it’s like a watched kettle….and as Val says - can be pure torture. Bear hugs x x x

Lexi

Nov. 9, 2021, 1:20 p.m.

Hoping all your results come back as you hope Ach xoxo

Colette

Nov. 9, 2021, 9:40 a.m.

Bailey, thank you for your posting today, it was exactly what I needed to read right now! I’m in a new job and feeling fearful all the time, not of anything tangible but of what ifs that are running rife in my head! I’m trying to dig up my courage and have been stuck in that wavering position for weeks. What you wrote today is so relevant to me it’s spooky! I will persevere and be more courageous! Thanks again, Colette

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Valerie

Nov. 9, 2021, 11:10 a.m.

Irritability is becoming an increasing problem for me.It scares me because my mother could have the most violent and destructive meltdowns. I am using a lot of self-control to keep things steady.It certainly is linked to the level of anxiety and overthinking I am doing.***

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The Gardener

Nov. 9, 2021, 11:34 a.m.

I have always been a 'clock-watcher' in that I would be anxious when I had any sort of appointment, even if I knew I had loads of time. Now, I am sure it is after 18 months of having no pressure to go anywhere I am getting very anxious at the thought of any 'deadline'. My lawn needs mowing, scan forecast anxiously to see if I dare wait another day to let it get a bit drier. Have a social 'do' this afternoon, 20 minute drive, already anxious. And, SERIOUSLY anxious about the anxiety, in that if I don't control it I will be scared of going out, and get too het up to accept invitations. Thank you Bailey - a real dichotomy

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Bailey

Nov. 9, 2021, 2:27 p.m.

Thank you all for your feedback. I am grateful I am not alone on the fear/anxiety ferris wheel. Fear-is-wheel? Lol. l too am learning about the many faces of anxiety and irritability being one of them. Joke: what did one psychologist say to the other? Answer: You're fine how am I?

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Valerie

Nov. 9, 2021, 2:33 p.m.

Bailey,I hope I know you well enough to butt in with something funny recounted to me this morning.Following surgery, a woman friend went for a follow-up gynae procedure yesterday.It was a young male doctor,so maybe he was trying to make small talk.His head ensconced "down there", he looked up and said "You know you really remind me of my gran". Let's not judge! x

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Bailey

Nov. 9, 2021, 2:42 p.m.

Haha yes you must know me. Lol! Guess there is something to be said for timing! Hee hee!

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Patty

Nov. 9, 2021, 4:17 p.m.

I could use this today as it seems I have been dealing with both fear and anxiety. I have heard it before and like False Evidence Appearing Real. Thank you forvthe reminder. I will try to remember that today.

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