Newspapers, television and radio bombard us daily with tales of disaster, destruction and disease…the three D’s. I’m not the suspicious type but I sometimes wonder if terror, the goal, is being created by the day after day bombardment of the media. Terrorists, yes that’s the word. It’s as if they believe we need detailed instruction in how to create first-class anxiety because the normal, basic worries we all experience are just not promising enough to produce the sensible panic-making state of mind we are being taught to live in. Let’s face it; worrying about noises in the night, buying the right gift for someone, getting a speeding ticket, making a first impression or whether your breath is bad just doesn’t create the optimum trepidation necessary to survive in the twenty-first century.
The secret of being truly fearful is tackling the front page, the top of the hour or the CNN morning news. The Feds are trying to prepare for the imminent bird flu disaster, millions will die, NYC officials prepare for subway attack, thousands will die, countless illegal immigrants continue pouring over the borders leaving us more vulnerable than ever to terrorists entering the country, hundreds will die. On a personal note, if you haven’t arranged to have a full-body medical scan you are most likely suffering from an undetected terminal illness, and you will die. And in case you’ve relaxed a little more than you should have during the day, there’s always the eleven o’clock news edition to reestablish the imperative massive flood of adrenalin that your vital organs marinade in.
Can we safely assume that we are receiving the proper doses of apprehension to maintain the phobic qualities that are so prevalent today? Let’s turn to a publication of The Journal of The American Medical Association to find out. About fourteen million Americans had a serious depressive episode in the last year. Thirty five million have experienced such depression over their lifetimes. Many people worry about the rapid growth in psychiatric medication of Americans, especially the young. The increase in Americans receiving treatment for depression is striking.
In my opinion, as we age, our bodies show the classic effects of long-term exposure to Adrenaline. The older person has developed a feeling of detachment from reality, as if observing but not participating in life and it’s as if everything is happening in slow motion. The trouble is, young people do not understand what is happening to them. They start thinking something is psychologically wrong with them. The adrenaline cycle makes them think they are going crazy. Adrenaline can produce some very unusual effects, and they are natural. The mechanisms are there to help you survive in dangerous situations. Could having a constant supply of Adrenaline be a stumbling block to our biological defenses?
I’ve decided to provide a service for those who find it necessary to remain in a continuous state of angst and supply a Fear of the Day; which will supersede the need for turning to the media terrorists to provide fodder for daily doses. Of course, the Fear of the Day will lower the amount of Adrenaline the normal person is accustomed to in the hopes of offering a small, but constant amount of rehabilitation. Expect the typical symptoms of withdrawal from dread. Don’t let this deter you. Just look at the list provided and pick your favorite….
Fear of the Day:
1. Someone at the office has come across your personal ad on an Internet Dating Service and tacked it up on the lunchroom bulletin board.
2. The laughter you hear behind you is definitely directed toward you.
3. Your company is advertising in the help wanted section of a trade paper for your position.
4. Your phone line is tapped and everything you’re saying is being recorded, and will be used in court against you.
5. Hardly anyone is going to be foolish enough to like you.
6. The bland smile offered by the grocery checker is masking their craving to wrench a plastic bag over your head.
7. Your therapist shares your secrets with other patients. They laugh.
8. Your Accountant is planning on retiring and moving to South America with your money.
9. Remember…you’re always the one who gets hurt.
10. The waiter at your favorite restaurant secretly despises you and spits in your salad at every opportunity.
11. Microwaves emitted from ovens produced prior to August, 2005 are destroying thousands of your brain cells each second.
12. Think of all the things you could buy with what you pay in taxes each year. Your taxes will be more this year due to the audit.
13. You know who you are. Everybody knows. They’re all looking at you.
14. The office bathroom has a two-way mirror.
15. Why on earth would anyone want to talk to you?
16. That red car you see each morning on your way to work is driven by the murderous stalker that has evaded the police for the past six months and now has his sights set on you.
17. The poorly sealed windshield on your car may implode, enveloping you in shards of glass.
18. Every minor infraction of the law that you have ever committed has been posted on the Internet.
19. Soon, everyone you know will be younger and more successful than you.
20. Your spouse thinks sex with you is totally unsatisfying.
21. The few acquaintances you know are determined to brainwash you.
22. Your best friend thinks you are evil.
23. That creaking noise you hear in your bedroom at night is an escapee from an insane asylum hiding in your closet.
24. The possibility of being sexually assaulted increases in the late evening while watering your lawn.
25. You bore people to death with all your problems.
26. You were mixed up with another baby at the hospital. That is not your family.
27. You didn’t forward that chain letter. A hideous-looking zombie is going to rape and kill you.
28. You forgot to turn off a drippy faucet and now the water is running over the sides of the sink and drowning your carpets and furniture.
29. The airbag in your car is defective and will deploy, breaking your nose.
30. It’s not who you are, it’s who you don’t know.
31. That’s not really whipped cream the kid at Starbucks puts on your Frappuccino.
There. That’s enough to keep you busy for a whole month. Enjoy!