If we look back, to when we were little, our fears were no more than fearing the famous bogeyman or the dark, but as we grow older those fears transform and become fear of loneliness, of feeling alone, of being left without a family.
Therefore, the monsters that attack us in adulthood are illnesses, not making ends meet or even losing a job in these years of uncertainty that we are experiencing.
Fears are free, that is, nobody chooses which ones they want to have and which ones they don’t. It could be said that they choose us and we are in charge of defeating them so that they do not condition our lives. In fact, in therapy it is a very common thing to treat .
And since each human being has a different number of fears, we are curious to know which are the most common in consultation; those patients who have placed themselves in the hands of specialists to overcome them.
If you thought that fear of heights or taking a plane were some of the most common, you were right, but there are many more and more common than we think. The fears that adults have today are much more complex…
“Regardless of the reason for consultation, we can see that there are many adults who come affected by multiple fears that make it difficult for them to carry out their daily lives,” warns Paloma Rey , a general health psychologist.
Most Common Fears in Adulthood
Fears are sets of physiological and cognitive reactions that serve as a defense mechanism in the face of possible danger, whether real or imaginary, and Macarena del Cojo, a general health psychologist at Instituto Cláritas, assures that we can consider fear as “necessary to be able to defend ourselves” as well.
How to ensure survival However, this fear can become pathological when it causes discomfort in a significant way at a physical, occupational and social level.
According to this expert, different studies show that the number of fears decreases with age, as does the intensity of fear. However, “it should be noted that in each vital phase fears are different but they are always present” Some of the most common are:
- Fear of Rejection or Abandonment : Young adults will tend to show more fear of rejection by their peers and not being part of a group. On the other hand, once maturity is reached, we can see that fear is more about abandonment.
This translates, at the consultation level, into numerous couples who are not willing to break their relationship for fear of having to start from scratch and, therefore, admit dysfunctional behaviors as long as they do not feel abandoned and have to start over. says Paloma.
- Anxiety Due to Labor/economic Issues : in these times where prices are increasing exponentially, the fear of losing a job or losing purchasing power has established itself in our society.
This has led to anxiety and stress management problems, a higher level of irritability, fear and concern for economic stability and the ability to save, as well as maintaining the job.
- Agoraphobia : If we talk about phobias, this would be one of the most addressed in therapy. Paloma Rey and Macarena del Cojo agree that after the pandemic there has been a significant increase in people who have developed this difficulty.
“In some cases we observe that the fear of contagion has acted as a predisposition to its appearance but also as a maintaining element, so when the person has decided to take the step to face this problem, we observe a higher level of entrenchment,” he says. King.
- Fear of Not Starting A Family : this fear affects women more. Paloma Rey points out that with the incorporation into the labor market and the new opportunities, together with the economic difficulties, the age of reproduction has been delayed over time and with it the difficulties when conceiving have increased:
This has aroused a series of fears and insecurities in women over 30 years of age, who come to the consultation for fear of not being able to start a family according to the preconceived idea they have for not having formed a stable couple up to that moment, or because after several attempts unsuccessful have catastrophic thoughts about the impossibility of being able to get pregnant.
- Fear of Being Wrong And Making Mistakes : apparently, one of the most common at all ages. We observe a general tendency to penalize mistakes, through negative and destructive verbalizations towards ourselves when they are made.
Paradoxically, the more we impose ourselves on being perfect, the more mistakes we make and, for this reason, precisely what we want to avoid sometimes occurs”, says Paloma Rey. Understanding and accepting our limitations, as well as the usefulness of mistakes as a means of acquiring strategies , skills and maturity, will help us free ourselves from the yoke of self- demand.
Each and every one of them is perfectly approachable in consultation. It is necessary to identify both the causes and the maintenance factors that support them in order to establish a personalized action plan, with the tools and strategies that the person needs to be able to face them.