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Unformatted text preview: there is enough good in too minute a popular education on disease
and health preservation. Morbid attention to health often results, an evil worse than sickness.
Sometimes, instead of the indiscriminate fear of worry, there are localized fears, called phobias, which creep
or spring into a man's thoughts and render him miserable. Thus there is fear of high places, of low places, of
darkness, of open places, of closed places,--fear of dirt, fear of poison and of almost everything else. A bright
young man was locked, at the age of fourteen, in a closed dark shanty; when released he rushed home in the
greatest terror. Since then he has been afflicted with a fear of leaving home. He dares venture only about fifty
feet and then is impelled to run back. If anybody hinders his return he attacks them; if the door is locked he
breaks through a window. He is in a veritable panic, and yet presents no other fears; is a reader and thinker,
clever at his work (he is a painter), but his fear remains inaccessible and uncontrollable. Often one experience
of this kind builds up an obsessive fear; the associations left by the experience give the fear an open pathway
to consciousness, without any inhibiting power. As in this case, the whole life of the individual becomes
Throughout history the man without fear has been idolized. The hero is courageous, that he must be; the
coward is despised, whatever good may be in him. Consequently, there is in most men a fear of showing fear;
and pride, self-respect, often urge men on when they really fear. This pride is greater in some races than
others--in the Indian and the Anglo-Saxon--but the Oriental does not think it wrong to be afraid. In the Great
War this fear of showing fear played a great role in producing shell shock, in that men shrank from actual
cowardice but easily developed neuroses which carried them from the fighting line.
There is this to add to this little sketch of fear: it turns easily to anger for both are responses to a threat. I
remember in my boyhood being mortally afraid of a larger boy who one day chased me, caught me and started
to "beat m...
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- Spring '11