Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: "Parents who want to legitimize their leadership can use fear"

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Pointing out that fear is a natural emotion that occurs when a person feels in danger, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan reminds that it is necessary to first recognize the fear and then develop solution-oriented or emotional relief-oriented approaches to cope with the fear. Emphasizing that fear is a tool frequently used by dictators, Prof. Tarhan stated that parents can also use fear to legitimize their own leadership.

President of Üsküdar University, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan evaluated the issue of fears that we cannot eliminate.

There are those who call fear 'psychic pain'...

Stating that emotions such as fear, anxiety and distress also occur when a person's psychological integrity is impaired, such as feeling pain or experiencing muscle and joint tension when one’s physical integrity is impaired, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that "Thus, there are those who call fear 'psychic pain'. Fear is a natural emotion that arises when a person feels in danger. The first feeling of fear is the first emotion that a child experiences as soon as they are born."

Stating that the feeling of fear in animals is genetically coded, Prof. Tarhan expressed that "For instance, a lion is fearless in its field. However, when it feels danger, or if it is surrounded by coyotes, that lion will run away if it is left alone, so that it will not be injured. It is a feeling of fear.”

Human beings have four basic fears

Noting that people have concerns such as self-development, progress, analyzing events, being interested in the future and facing the past, going beyond eating, drinking, reproducing and sheltering with their free will, Prof. Tarhan stated that "These concerns reveal the feeling of fear. As the famous psychiatrist Yalom noted, the human being has four basic fears which are fear of meaninglessness, fear of uncertainty, fear of loneliness, and fear of death. These fears are common to all humans and are not found in other living things."

Stating that the fear is caused by the meaning that people give to this object or event rather than the object or event, Prof. Tarhan explained that people who chew a plant known as "suicide plant" in Sri Lanka are not afraid of death, and these people can exhibit dangerous behaviors without fear.

Parents can use fear to justify their own leadership

Emphasizing that the emotion of fear is a tool frequently used by dictators, as stated by the philosopher Spinoza, Prof. Tarhan stated that "A political power uses fear as a means of legitimizing and that dictators politicize fear in order to intimidate and control people, and that the same situation can be seen in the family. Parents can use fear to justify their own leadership, which is an abuse of fear.

Noting that fear is one of the biggest obstacles to innovation, entrepreneurship and discovery, Prof. Tarhan stated that "The biggest obstacle to the liberation of people is the fear of freedom. Man is afraid of being free, and this fear surrenders man to slavery. The real slavery is giving up the struggle when one is afraid. Fear pacifies a person and prevents them from moving forward."

The feeling of fear should not be seen as a threat

Pointing out that some fears, such as the fear of snakes or scorpions, have genetic origin, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that such fears are present even in those who have never seen these creatures.

Pointing out that the fear of heights is also a fear with a genetic tendency, Prof. Tarhan said that "Although this fear does not appear immediately in children, it may develop over time. Although no exact gene has been identified for its genetic origin, it is thought that such fears must be genetic."

Stating that the person experiencing fear can manage their fear with the thoughts they create about it, Prof. Tarhan expressed that "The feeling of fear should not be seen as a threat."

Fear is an important emotion for both humans and animals

Emphasizing that fear is experienced with fear, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan stated that fear is felt by animals and said that "Fear is transmitted to other living things through mirror neurons. When people are afraid, the person or animal in front of them 'reads' this fear and reacts accordingly. Animals are also sensitive to perceiving fear, and therefore fear is an important emotion for both humans and animals."

Fear in children is shaped according to the reactions of the parents

Stating that children may be afraid of their shadow, but they will learn not to be afraid thanks to the calm attitudes of their parents, Prof. Tarhan said that "Children learn by taking their environment and elders as a reference; therefore, they learn fear in this way. The attitudes of parents are very important in this regard. For example, if the child watches a scary video with their parents, they may think that when they are alone, the things in the video will come off the screen and attack them. However, the child will also remain calm there are parents with them and they remain calm. For this reason, fear in children is shaped according to the reactions of the parents."

The "fight or flight" response...

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan stated that "When people are faced with fear or danger, they have a 'fight or flight' response. This response determines how the body behaves under stress. If a person can manage danger and has the ability to stay calm under stress, they can manage this fear in a cold-blooded way." Tarhan also explained that the Islamic scholar Imam al-Azam encountered an ox with long horns while walking with their students and changed their path, and when the teacher was asked if he was afraid, he said, ‘If it has horns, I have a mind’ He said this is to expressing managing fear by using reason.”
Stating that controllable fears do not cause serious reactions in the body, Prof. Tarhan said that "In uncontrollable fears, pupils dilate, vascular resistance increases, and blood pressure rises. A person breathes frequently, oxygen rises, glucose enters the blood, blood fats mix, muscles get tense, and the person enters into a state of war. If one’s blood pressure drops, they faint. Anxiety and panic disorder are the disease of fear."

Noting that the ideas developed to cope with fears are very important, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan stated that "Managing fear requires addressing the problem with two different approaches. problem-oriented coping method and coping method for emotional relief. In the problem-oriented coping method, the person tries to solve the problem and develops behaviors that will eliminate fear. This is usually the most recommended method. However, some situations can be of an uncontrollable and unsolvable nature, for example, fear of death. In the face of such big problems, the coping method for emotional relief comes into play."

Coping with the fear of death...

Explaining that the idea of "If there is life, there is hope" is important to cope with the fear of death, Prof. Tarhan noted that people can accept that death is not an end, but a change of place, and that the thought of ‘If I lived my life in an accountable way, why should I be afraid of death?’ can help manage this fear.

Stating that people who know how to live and evaluate every day as the last day of their lives are not afraid of death, Prof. Tarhan concluded his remarks as follows: "Some people are afraid of being forgotten in this world. However, a person who has contributed good things to the world should not be afraid of being forgotten. Fear of getting old is a similar situation. A person who lives by appreciating every period of their life and deserves every age can manage not to be afraid of aging. In summary, it is necessary to first recognize the fear and then develop solution-oriented or emotional relief-oriented approaches to cope with the fear. In this way, fear can be managed without negatively affecting life."


Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)