Although fear and anxiety, as indicated by this member, dictate, distort, and derail a person’s life, and can course through an adult child’s veins as regularly as does blood, they are fundamental to all belonging to the animal kingdom, restricting actions and activities that the brain perceives as dangerous and detrimental. But when they become excessive, they inhibit meaningful, nurturing, and healthy relationships and erode the quality of life. They are also hardly new.
More than a century ago, Sigmund Freud made a statement that was just as valid then as it is today.
“What we clearly want is to find something that will tell us what anxiety really is,” he said.
“Anxiety,” in response to his plea, is a set of unpleasant, but familiar and sometimes frequently-experienced emotional and Chaturbate Recordings Archive that can include elevatored blood pressure, pulse, heart, and respiration rates. It is a state of lesser or “dis”-ease, an unsettledness, a jitteriness. The person is not fully able to calm down, rest, and be at peace with himself.
It implies that something about his current condition, circumstance, or environment is not entirely safe or is even mildly retriggering and can provide a subtle, anticipatory warning that something amiss is about to occur. Compounding this state of unease is the fact that the person may not be aware of what this doom may be nor when it will take place-in other words, why he or she feels like this and how he or she can shake it off cannot be determined.
Freud erroneously believed that fear was experienced when the person could determine what the detriment was and that anxiety prevailed when he could not. Yet this was not an accurate assessment, because these physiological states are not equal ones. Fear is the diametric opposite of love and is therefore the lowest rung on the emotional ladder, while anxiety is milder and less intense. Although neither is particularly pleasant, fear can release stress hormones and adrenalin, sparking the fight-or-flight response because a person or circumstance poses a threat to safety or survival. Anxiety, on the other hand, is milder and can be considered the prior step to this intense state, preceding the actual threat.
And, while fear is more likely when these counter-survival circumstances are known, anxiety can be experienced whether they are or are not. An adult child, for instance, suffers in silence from this condition without being able to determine why, but someone else, whether belonging to this adult child category or not, may be subjected to the same situation while contemplating a near-future event, such as the need to give a speech in front of a large audience or receive a medical procedure. Anxiety, in this case, can be considered synonymous with anticipation.
Both fear and anxiety can be equated with “rings” of the body’s “alarm system”-that is, warnings that gear it up to endure, tolerate, or even survive a pending event.
“The perception of these bodily changes is what we experience as anxiety,” according to Michael Kahn, Ph.D. in “Basic Freud: Psychoanalytic Thought for the 21st Century” (Basic Books, 2002, p. 108). “Their function, Freud saw, was to serve as a warning of danger in the offing. The purpose of the warning is to signal us to take action against the impending danger.”
But he went a step further. It was not only the danger that proved detrimental, he conjectured, but the powerlessness or helplessness the person would experience in the face of it, leaving him vulnerable to its effects.
“It is important to remember that Freud’s theory describes not just anticipation of danger, but also anticipation of helplessness in the face of that danger,” Kahn continues (ibid, p. 110). “If I feel confident of my ability to deal with the danger, I do not need to be warned and I do not experience anxiety.”
This statement contains the two fundamental realities of an adult child’s upbringing-danger (in the midst of a shaming, blaming, potentially abusive alcoholic or dysfunctional parent) and helplessness (as a defenseless., vulnerable, undeveloped child in the midst of it). But fear and anxiety intensify when they are coupled with this helplessness, serving, to a significant degree, as both the cause and core of the adult child syndrome.