Fear can conjure up images closely associated with, for example, terror. However, clinically, the symptom I describe as ‘fear’ can be all consuming, in the same way as ‘terror’ can be in the moment, such that life may be experienced generally as full of fear, constantly threatening.
This degree and depth of suffering is often associated with experiences, especially in early life, which became, in effect, traumatic. Sufferers may not be aware of the depth of the pain they have endured having, of necessity, protected themselves with what may have become unconscious coping strategies. These strategies are often so effective at ‘making life work’ that realising the very significant impact of the underlying causes may be difficult. Fear can therefore be such a deceiving condition.
Sufferers may be aware of having an underlying belief that no-one really likes them; that they are no good at anything; that life is constantly threatening. Life may be experienced as intensely untrustworthy and therefore fear-full.
Physically sufferers from this pervasive fear may be prone to addictions. They may find relaxing very difficult. This can be caused by being constantly on high alert, waiting to defend against the next perceived threat as adrenalin constantly courses around the body, which finds it difficult to turn off that neurological switch.
In working with you I would hope to create together a therapeutic relationship that would provide the safe, secure environment from which to explore the depth of your feelings, the source of the pain and fear and to provide an environment of comfort that may not have been there when the background of threat and fear were first created. Together we will work through what may have been the painful and challenging circumstances that have created these feelings and help you to establish a way of being that feels less threatening and more comfortable.