Fear is more than just a word. It is an emotion and a mindset. It is a motivator of negativi-ty and distrust. The word in and of itself can breed discourse and hate, tearing people apart. We have given fear a name and suddenly it becomes flesh. It begins to walk around inside us, slowly working its way out into the world around us. When fear has become so close that it no longer can be ignored, it demands to be addressed. No longer is fear impersonal and cast aside. It be-comes one with its host, a tangible source and a thing no more. It no longer tolerates being sup-pressed and ignored. Fear is more than just a word because he has been personified and given life. Its origin, its definition, and its effect on people make fear a force to be reckoned with.
Fear first made his debut upon the English civilization in the late 12th century. At the time he referred to himself as f?er and had been responsible for our basic response to danger. Within two centuries f?er was ravishing more than just the secular world. His influence on reli-gion and the church helped to set his existence in stone. The word was associated with more than just danger, but was used as, and is still used today, to portray a feeling of reverence and honor to God. His impact on society broadened the spectrum and extended his far-reaching horizons. By the 19th century his bipolar tendencies had increased to accommodate an all new category of revolutionary change: Phobias.
The oxford dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of dan-ger, pain, or harm”. This supports the research conducted by Sigmund Freud, a neurologist, who began to study the effects fear had on people. He came to the conclusion that fear was estab-lished through the accumulation of conflicts within the mind. His psychoanalysis led to the be-liefs that fear was established in the mind, a place where judgements are pronounced and acted upon.
Fear is similar to the debate of whether or not failure is a good thing. Both ‘words’ have similar results: a feeling of certainty that something is wrong. This can be supported by society's view of failure as something that is reproachable and influenced by doubt, just as fear is seen in the eyes of trepidation and dread. However, fear is a response that is used to forewarn and pro-tect something or someone in the face of danger. Similarly, failure is necessary to experience in order for learning to occur and resilience to be exercised and executed. Although fear is used to protect, it also leads to very devastating effects on the mind and body.
A man cowers behind a boulder in the midst of a raging sandstorm. With the wind rush-ing past his aging face and the soft shuffle of movement to his left and right, he waits. The anxie-ty and fear coursing through his body gives him both a boost of adrenaline in order to get the job done, but also a constant reminder of what he may never see again. A glimpse of what he may never touch again. A moment of what he may never hear again. The work of fear is not to pro-vide comfort and peace, but a sense of safety in hopes that real protection may be obtained. He tries tactics that were taught to him from the beginning of time: the familiarity of a song, the mo-notony of counting, the constant pattern of breathing, but fear grips his heart and continues to whisper insecurities in his ear in hopes that he will turn back. The signal is released and reality comes crashing down. As he twirls with his weapon gripped firmly in his hand, fear trails behind him as a constant reminder that he (fear) is an ally. In the event that this man receives an honora-ble leave, returning to a society who has made fear the enemy, a conflict of the mind arises. Eve-ry sound reminds him of his days fighting alongside Fear, but now it does not want to leave. No longer is fear needed in an environment where he is viewed as the enemy, but the mind does not wish to lose its ally. The man struggles with Fear and in return has conjured up a reality in which he and fear can exist as allies. Fear, once again, has taken what he wants and has consumed the man in his latest category: PTSD.
The word fear is not just a word. It has been personified and brought to life. Fear is like a parasite. It attaches its self to the host and then sucks the hope, life, love, and freedom from its victim and in return gives up a solution worse than death itself: a never-ending ordeal.