abnormal psychology, addictive personality, anxiety, health, mental health, mental illness, neurology, ocd, psychology, ptsd, science of the brain

Anxiety and Fear of Authority

It is 2am and I know I need to sleep. I have appointments tomorrow with authority type bureaucracy type people and that always causes severe anxiety and a feeling of threat.

Past traumas have caused my brain to send of alarms of dealing with these types of people and organizations.

I am sure that some of you have the same feeling of threat of authorities. I think that some of us just were not meant to survive in a world of bureaucracy and power people.

There could be a couple of explanations for this for people who have this same fear cycle. I want to validate the people that feel this way and to think through it with you so we can find healing.

I feel that the first step to healing is validation. The next step to healing is understanding the triggers, cycles and reactions of these brain patterns. Then we can find ways to interfere with the automatic patterns.

There is most likely some past trauma with authority that makes people feel threatened. It may be government or civil authority or it may be household authorities.

It is the feeling that someone is in control of our situations and we have no say in the outcome. It is also the feeling that the outcome will be bad.

Some people may have a fear of a lack of control. It is a feeling that our lives, our comfort and our safety are in the hands of other people.

There are ways to feel more empowered but it is easier said than done to simply turn off that fear center of the brain. Some triggers are very imbedded into our brains.

The thing that has helped me lately is the idea that forks in the road are an illusion. When we look back at life there are less true ” forks” in the road than we perceived at the time.

We are all walking on our path. It has turns and curves. It goes this way and that way. The number of life or death “forks” in the road are less than we think.

We fall into this perception that a given situation is going to have tremendous impact on the rest of our lives. Some of the time it is more of a major inconvenience that causes severe anxiety. But whichever way it turns out, there will not be a dramatic impact on the rest of our lives.

The other thing we do is that we run the scenario of the upcoming situation in our minds.

We run through the conversations, the questions, the answers and the doom at the end. Often times when we get there, the entire scenario is different than we expected it to be.

It does not mean that it will go well but it may not go as badly as we expect it to.

Still, there is a fear of the unknown. There is a fear of the anxiety itself. We imagine how we will feel in the situation

. We imagine going into a severe anxiety attack right in the middle of the office. We will appear as someone they will not want to deal with.

The fear of the pain of the anxiety is a big part of the mental torment.

We also feel frustrated and angry that people do not seem to care about us. They will not be understanding or compassionate.

I have mentioned in previous posts that people with social anxiety have a fear of other people that have a lack of compassion and understanding.

Other people seem to have no problem separating the people who have compassion from the people who do not. There are roles that people play in our lives.

Our friends and family are supposed to care about us. People providing professional services that we pay for , are not obligated to have compassion for us.

It would be nice if all people had understanding and compassion for each other. But the reality is that there are few people who act with compassion during  most of their daily interactions.

The thought that everyone “should” have compassion for us is unrealistic. It is a nice idea but it will never happen.

Maybe this is the confusion for us. We want people to listen to us and to treat us like individuals.

We want to be more than just a number.

But the world is made up of people that do their job with no regard for other people’s individual situation, condition, or their lives. It seems like a frightening thing when people can make decisions for our families and our lives without really getting to know us.

The insurance company approves or disapproves a treatment for a person who really needs it without knowing anything about them. The government assesses taxes on a person who it could destroy without having any compassion.

A teacher calls social services on a mother based on a conversation she overheard between two children that was taken out of context. A landlord adds on an enormous late fee to a late rent payment without finding out the situation.

It goes on and on. People do not have compassion and do not take time to hear us. It can be frightening and hurtful.

So here we are. we have to deal with authorities in order to live. For people that are triggered by authority confrontations this can be devastating. Any interaction feels like imminent doom. Often it does not tuen out badly but sometimes it does.

We end up working against ourselves because we go into the office in severe anxiety. The anxiety diminishes our capacity to handle the situation as well as other people would.

Our rational side of the brain is overridden by the fear side.

We dream of a world of peace and love. A world were everyone cares about other people. A world where the individual situation is taken into account.

I am going to sleep now , hopefully to dream of the flowers and rainbows world. So silly.

Together maybe we can think of some tools to cope. I will post anything I find that works. I have compassion for all of you.


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