2975 Westchester Avenue, Suite G02, Purchase, NY 10577
How We Deal With Fear WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
It’s October, and the month of Halloween is all about fear. Plenty of people will line up for a haunted house or break out some classic horror movies with the goal of scaring themselves silly. This can seem counterintuitive, considering that most of the time we want to avoid things that scare us, but there are times when fear has its benefits.
Fear and anxiety can be a healthy motivator. Our fears help us avoid or navigate dangerous situations and drive us to succeed. But fear is only useful if kept in check. Paralyzing fear does no good. Learning to manage and cope with it is not easy and is a constant process.
EVERYBODY HAS FEARS. FROM AN EARLY AGE, ONE
OF MINE HAS BEEN PUBLIC SPEAKING.
common in any medical field. Also common in any medical field are patients who fear the cost of procedures. In both cases, I’ve found the best way to help patients alleviate these fears is by giving them the information they need to understand the necessity of the procedures, what goes into the surgery, and what to expect during the recovery process. Everything is discussed and reviewed with our patients at their consultation appointment, and any insurance or financial arrangements are made prior to their procedure. When patients feel knowledgeable and prepared for their procedure, they tend to experience less fear in the process. It’s worth noting that hours of research and information gathering does not guarantee your fears will vanish. Sometimes you’re faced with a looming fear and all you can do is deal with it to the best of your ability. When I encounter fears today, I try to rationalize the fear, figure out precisely what is bothering me, and then cope with it. In the end, though, my anticipation of the event is often far worse than the actual event, something our surgical patients can certainly attest to. –Dr. Harrison Linsky Westchester Office • 914-251-0313
Everybody has fears. From an early age, one of mine has been public speaking. I still do not relish the thought of speaking in front of a large crowd, and I suspect this fear is rooted in my struggles in school. As a child, I was not the best reader and consequently not the best student. I was never diagnosed with a learning disability as a child, but now that I have a son who has been diagnosed with dyslexia, I can see I have the same tendencies. I can’t help but imagine how different my school experience would have been had I known there was a reason behind my struggles. When we’re afraid of something, it’s not uncommon to seek out information about the things we fear. Someone who is dreading a plane trip may look up safety stats about flying, or an adult getting their wisdom teeth out later in life might frantically research their risk of suffering a worst-case scenario. This isn’t a sign that someone is obsessing over their fears. In my experience, educating yourself on your fears is one of the best ways to overcome them.
Fear often comes into play at our office. Patients come in who are seriously afraid of the pain that may come with surgery, which is
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