Fear, a friend for life - The360 Lifestyle

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  • Saturday, November 30, 2019

    Fear, a friend for life

    Fear, a friend for life

    It is with great pride that Emilien, 5, declares loudly that he is not afraid. You're welcome. Not even black, not even monsters hidden under his bed, nothing. 


    "My little brother, he, yes, he's scared when I do" Boo! "On his back. But he is small. And I am tall."

    His mother has a hard time holding back a laugh. "Do not you remember, the monster that scared you in the movie? She asks.

    Emilien's embarrassed smile. Yes but no. "It is true that he is not very fearful," remarks his mother.

    This probably explains this: not all children are born equal in this area. "Some people are predisposed to feel a lot of fear, while others will seem to manage easier novelty or situations perceived as potentially threatening," says Jean-Pascal Lemelin, professor at the University of Sherbrooke, specialist in child development.

    These are children who are often a little more withdrawn, who will be afraid to go to see Santa, for example, or who will stand on the sidelines of groups of friends. Who cry more, too, from 6-7 months.

    This state is not cast in concrete.

    A child who is born very fearful can remain so all his life or become less and less, and it is this transformation that particularly interests researchers, because a child more fearful of birth may also, after the event, suffer from anxiety disorders . "All is not negative, tempers nevertheless Jean-Pascal Lemelin. These children are also more apt to demonstrate empathy and they are less likely to develop oppositional or aggressive disorders. "

    Adolescence and anxiety

    As a teenager, there is currently a marked increase in anxiety, especially for the generation that has grown up with the internet, social networks, from a very young age. "There is a break in 1994, says Samuel Veissière, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. The generation born after 1994 is by far the most anxious we have ever known, "he says. The fear of black or monsters under the bed has given way to fear of failure, to miss something ("fear of missing out" - FOMO), not to be popular enough, lark. "Children in higher socioeconomic groups are at higher risk because they have been overprotected, are less able to develop resilience strategies, but also because the expectations of success are very high," said Samuel Veissière.

    Taming fear

    In the case of Émilien, everything suggests that his (rare) fears of children will fade as they get older. To give way to new ones when it is bigger. "I have fears that I did not have before, remarks his mother, Ameline Couture. Especially since I'm a mom. I'm afraid by car, sometimes, now. Afraid when the boys cross the street. It's not rational, but it's like that."

    Whatever the title of his book, Jonathan Alpert does not think that living without fear is an option.

    "We need to be alert, to detect dangerous situations. The problem is when fear prevents us from acting, "observes the therapist. He does not promise his patients that the experience will be pleasant - a terrified patient with the idea of ​​inviting a girl out will not necessarily get a "Yes! "Enthusiastic - but at least he'll be happy to have taken a first step and tried his luck," said Jonathan Alpert.

    As you get older, certain anxiety disorders tend to subside, remarks Samuel Veissière. "We do not know why, but we know that the phenomenon exists. It could be that as we age, we become a little wiser. Very well. But with time and years passing, few will escape this universal fear of death, says Gerard Guerrier, author of the book Praise of Fear.

    "Before age 30, we still have only a bookish knowledge of death. We lost our grandparents, but not our parents, not our friends. After 50-60 years, fear catches up with us, often because we have rubbed shoulders with death, "he observes.

    But again, it's not necessarily a bad thing. "Between 15 and 30 years, we take a lot of risks, we are quite reckless," says the author. After, we become more sensitive to the signals of fear, to our limits to us."

    At each age his fear

    Concerns change with age. Here are the risks that are most worrying to Quebecers over the age of 18, by age group, according to the CIRANO survey on risk perception in Quebec conducted in 2018.
    • The environment is the biggest concern for Quebeckers aged 18 to 34 (37% of respondents).
    • The economy is the biggest concern for Quebecers aged 35 to 54 (48%)
    • Health is the biggest concern for Quebeckers aged 55 to 74 (53%) and 75 and over (71%).


    The 5 most wanted fears in Quebec in 2018 on the internet

    1. Fear of holes
    2. Afraid of darkness / darkness
    3. Fear of long words
    4. Fear of heights
    5. Fear of missing something (fear of missing out)

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