Tuesday, September 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Coping with fear

Fear is a basic human emotion that occurs in the face of real or imagined danger. It prepares us to take action in a crisis, and it is adaptive because it makes us feel like avoiding or running from things that can harm us. But sometimes we attempt to overcome fear. For example, when we judge it better to stand up to a threat than to evade it. We may especially want to overcome fear when it is irrational — when it does not warn us of any real danger at all but unproductivity interferes with our lives.

Rational fears: Fear consists of physical, mental and behavioural components. Physical changes include increased heart rate, trembling, sweating and dry mouth, pallor and faintness. The mental aspect includes feeling of fear when you identify something as an object of fear. Recognising the object of your emotion as an object of fear is just one part of a complex process of identifying the emotion that you feel. Fear behaviour includes the outward display of your reactions, as avoiding or fleeing from the object of fear. One way of dealing with this emotion is to suppress fear behaviour or confronting the object of fear, instead of avoiding it. This can be very adaptive.

Unfriendly dogs are less likely to attack if you look assertive and confident. More likely if you look frightened. People form a more positive impression of you if seem in control of yourself. In many circumstances, however, it can be very helpful to express what you feel. Letting others know of what your fears are makes it possible for them to reassure you that your fears are not unreasonable and to help you find ways of dealing with them. Both these forms of social support help to settle the level of arousal, and they may improve your performance in dealing with the object of fear, as well as with all of the other problems of life that need attention. Social custom makes it more acceptable for women to seek help for almost any kind of problem than for men, and this may help to explain why women are more expressive of fear.

It is especially useful to seek special support during long-term fear situations, where you can do little. For example, if someone you love is in a war zone, talking about it helps you bear the anxiety.

Irrational fears: Although fear is a normal and universal experience, people sometimes develop the non-adaptive fears known as phobias. These can seriously affect their lives. It has been estimated that nearly 10 per cent of all adults have a serious phobia of one sort or another. Uncounted numbers have mild phobias that may be no more than a source of annoyance or occasional embarrassment. In large-scale studies, women have reported more phobias than men. Psychiatrists and clinical psychologist consider phobias to be neurotic disorders, and refer to them as “phobic anxiety”. Despite these levels, a phobia is not a serious mental disorder. In mild phobia, take help of your friend or family member. If the phobia is severe, however, the best course is to seek professional help; proper therapy can be very effective.

Dr Anil Dheer



Basketball academy team for youth meet

Ludhiana, September 1
The Baba Ludhiana Punjab Basketball Academy, set up recently and got affiliation with Punjab Basketball Association will field its team (boys) in the 4th Punjab State Youth Basketball Championship to be held at Jalalabad (Ferozepore) from September 2 to 6.

According to Dr S. Subramanian, former Director, NIS, Patiala, and in charge of the academy, the academy team has been given direct entry into the final league matches that will start on September 3.

The names of the players are: Gurbaj Singh, Sukhbir Singh Dhillon, Yadwinder Singh, Paramveer, Gurtejpal Singh, Rupinder Singh, Kiranjeet, Hatinderpal Singh, Baldish, Sumeet Singh, Rahul Chowdhary and Puneet Madaan. Dr Subramanian and Mr B.S. Brar will accompany the team as coach and manager, respectively. OC



Octroi collection goes private

Jagraon, September 1
The octroi collection here has gone into private hands since midnight. Employees of Satnam Singh and Company were seen checking vehicles entering the limits of the Municipal Council, Jagraon. The company had offered the highest bid of Rs 2.6 crore for getting the contract for octroi collection in the area. OC


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