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me04
2003-Jan-23, 02:00 AM
Is living with the fear of catastrophe normal? I mean the possibility of an asteroid hitting at any time, or anything like that. No matter how hard I do try to stay calm and not worry about things it just won't go away. If there is anything that anybody could do to just help me out a little bit than I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

Lexx_Luthor
2003-Jan-23, 02:27 AM
Is living with media mass communications normal? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

daver
2003-Jan-23, 02:33 AM
On 2003-01-22 21:00, me04 wrote:
Is living with the fear of catastrophe normal? I mean the possibility of an asteroid hitting at any time, or anything like that. No matter how hard I do try to stay calm and not worry about things it just won't go away. If there is anything that anybody could do to just help me out a little bit than I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.


Not really. A bit of apprehension is probably normal, constant apprehension probably isn't. I'd think consulting a professional might be in order.

roidspop
2003-Jan-23, 03:08 AM
You might want to consider the situation in light of what you can observe yourself, what history reports, what the geological record and impact record on other bodies has to say.

The Tunguska event seems to be about the biggest encounter that has been recorded in our history. Its yield was on the order of 30 megatons and it devastated a wide area of Siberian forest. But its global effects were nil. So, here's a very large event that went unnoticed by virtually all of mankind. The object that produced this explosion was very rare...such impacts might happen once a century, from what I've read. So, given the size of the earth and the frequency of such encounters, you are almost at no risk at all of ever feeling the effects from such a thing. Larger impacts are even rarer.

Examine the geological record. How many large, young craters are out there? Not many, actually, and "young" would be on the order of thousands or tens of thousands of years. The earth itself says that the risk is low.

The cratering record on the other bodies in the solar system shows that the most intense bombardment ended billions of years ago...the sky has been swept quite clean of really dangerous objects.

The risk from asteroid or comet impact is non-zero, but it is so remote that there is no reason to let fear of such a thing consume you. If it is a real ongoing problem, then you should seek professional help.

[edited for spelling]


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: roidspop on 2003-01-22 22:10 ]</font>

me04
2003-Jan-23, 03:16 AM
Thanks. That sort of cleared things up. I was just in a panic I guess.

Senor Molinero
2003-Jan-23, 03:54 AM
There is an esoteric breed of statisticians called actuaries who actually calculate the risk of these things happening for insurance purposes. An example (grabbed from thin air) is that the chance of dying from a comet or asteroid strike is greater than that of dying in a plane crash.
Plane crashes kill ~400 people per year.
One asteroid impact every 10,000,000 years will kill 6,000,000,000 people .
Therefore 600 people will die ON AVERAGE every year from asteroid impacts.
Lies
Damned lies
Statistics

Sheki
2003-Jan-23, 07:10 PM
This is just an opinion here, but some of the responses above may have gone off in the wrong direction. You seem to be addressing the problem from a perspective of "the probability of the event is miniscule, therefore don't worry". Well, there is another way to look at it: There are some events, that regardless of the amount of worrying you do, you cannot do anything to prevent. Worry is basically mechanism to prompt action eg. "I am worried that I will lose my job, become homeless, and die of frost bite in an alley somewhere. - Therefore I should take the prudent action of not telling my boss I think he is a moron". This is a somewhat legitimate worry, and a rational response to the anxiety.

An asteroid strike, on the other hand, is something that you cannot hope to prevent by any action reasonably available to you. It is therefore entirely illogical to worry about it. Sure, you could start a grass-roots political campaign to build support for a gagillion dollar asteroid defense system that probably won't work. But somehow that does sound too "reasonable" to me. Especially since there is a group of people already working on a strategy. They could probably use some more funding, but I am generally satisfied with their progress.

Sorry to make light of your dilemma, but strangely, a Homer Simpson quote comes to mind:

(in an unworried tone)
"What if, what if, what if...
what if I fall down in the shower??
(change tone)
aaaack!!, Oh my god! I'd be killed!!"

Relax, it's just the world...there's probably a million others just like it! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Sheki

(disclaimer: Sheki is not an anxiety councillor, and does not profess to have any psychological training in this area - or other areas. However, Sheki is in fact one hoopy frood who knows EXACTLY where his towel is.)

(disclaimer: Sheki does not profess to have any expertise, real or imagined, on the feasibility or cost of an effective asteroid defense system.)

(disclaimer: Sheki does not guarantee the existence of other worlds that are similar, in whole or in part, to planet earth)

(disclaimer: Sheki will not provide transporation to other worlds, regardless of their similarity (real or imagined) to earth, in the event of earth's untimely destruction)

(disclaimer: In the unlikely event that "ME04" is an alias for "God", this post should not be interpretted as a vote in support of "stopping to worry about accidentally smacking the earth with a big rock")

(disclaimer: I'm sure there should be a disclaimer about the liabilities associated with quoting the Simpson's. Whatever you feel it should be, well, insert that here.)


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Sheki on 2003-01-23 14:15 ]</font>

cable
2003-Jan-23, 08:03 PM
if this happens one day, then we have to fire our 2 bodyguards: Jupiter and Saturn .... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

zwi
2003-Jan-23, 08:54 PM
Its all very funny, but poor me04 is still scared and your posts, although slightly accurate in places have not been helpful or even intended to be helpful

In brief, this is a variant of obsessive disorder, and responds nicely to drugs of the anti-depressant type

Wellbutrin, anafranil, paxil are some that have been known to help Exactly which druf is not often known in advance, and a little trial and error may be needed

Similar therapy often works for smoking cessation

Some have had success with hypnosis

Good luck

Zwi+

zwi
2003-Jan-23, 08:56 PM
On 2003-01-23 15:54, zwi wrote:
Its all very funny, but poor me04 is still scared and your posts, although slightly accurate in places have not been helpful or even intended to be helpful

In brief, this is a variant of obsessive disorder, and responds nicely to drugs of the anti-depressant type

Wellbutrin, anafranil, paxil are some that have been known to help Exactly which drug is not often known in advance, and a little trial and error may be needed

Similar therapy often works for smoking cessation

Some have had success with hypnosis

Good luck

Zwi+

TriangleMan
2003-Jan-24, 12:30 PM
On 2003-01-23 15:54, zwi wrote:

In brief, this is a variant of obsessive disorder, and responds nicely to drugs of the anti-depressant type

Wellbutrin, anafranil, paxil are some that have been known to help Exactly which druf is not often known in advance, and a little trial and error may be needed

Similar therapy often works for smoking cessation

Some have had success with hypnosis


I'm not a big fan of psychopharmacology but Me04, if this worry does actually interfere with daily life (can't sleep cause you're worrying and so forth), then you should look into visiting a counsellor or doctor. Otherwise look into activities that might help relieve your anxiety (meditation?, yoga?, an exercise regimen?)

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologoical professional, this is just the opinion of an ordinary Joe.

Thumper
2003-Jan-24, 01:54 PM
On 2003-01-23 15:54, zwi wrote:
Its all very funny, but poor me04 is still scared and your posts, although slightly accurate in places have not been helpful or even intended to be helpful

In brief, this is a variant of obsessive disorder, and responds nicely to drugs of the anti-depressant type


I don't really think anyone was purposely trying to make fun of ME04's anguish. Some were offering some logical help in terms of the probabilities and such. I agree that if this is an ongoing problem that affects ME04's daily life, then they should probably seek some professional help. There is no use living in fear, not being able to sleep etc. when there are all manners of help available.

Medication may not be necessary but is certainly an option. Some people can work through things themselves, some can work things through with a little help from family or friends. There was some decent information given here that could help alleviate rational fears. When the fears continue and are irrational, that's probably when more help is needed.

I believe many of us at one time or another have suffered from certain fears or anxieties. I went throug a period when every time I heard an ambulance siren I feared the next time it was coming for me. I was walking around in fear wondering when that was going to happen and if I could hide from it. One day it did come for me and guess what? The folks on that squad helped save my life and I'm here today. I can't even really remember or explain why I had that fear. Maybe it was a fear of doing something where I was at risk for injury or death.

If we stopped doing everything that might be the slightest bit risky (exposure to germs, athletics, flying, driving you name it) we've stopped living. Life is risky. That's what makes it so precious but also so wonderful. We shouldn't worry about that with which we have little or no control. Also, we shouldn't worry about those things whose occurance is statistically insignificant.

But ME04, when that logic and reason fail you, seek out the help you need from others. Life is too short to spend it hiding under a rock waiting for the sky to fall.

Good luck.
(sorry this got so dinged long)

Anonymous
2003-Jan-24, 03:22 PM
zwi.


“Its all very funny, but poor me04 is still scared”


Maybe so, maybe no. There’s insufficient evidence to make such a determination.


“In brief, this is a variant of obsessive disorder, and responds nicely to drugs of the anti-depressant type”


On the basis of a self report consisting of four sentences, you hand down a diagnosis and recommend dangerous drugs? That’s just plain spooky.


“Exactly which druf is not often known in advance, and a little trial and error may be needed”


Any one of these substances alters a very complex soup of neuro-chemicals with a high risk of harmful side effects. And that’s for the subjects for whom nothing else works. To give these drugs to someone who doesn’t need them increases the risk immensely. In other words, the “treatment” can be far worse than the “problem”.


http://www.zoloft-side-effects-lawyer.com/


quote from the above link;

“The next time you see a Zoloft, Prozac, or Paxil commercial, watch carefully. You will see that, when the drug company explains that depression is a “serious medical illness” caused by a “chemical imbalance in the brain,” it will be prefaced with the word may, i.e., “depression may be caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain.” They must preface this statement with may because this theory has not been scientifically established. Some argue that this unproven theory has been propagated by the pharmaceutical industry in order to sell psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs.”


me04.


There is a tool at your disposal which costs nothing and has zero side effects. S.U.D.S. (subjective units of discomfort scale)
It’s a behaviorist technique for evaluating and countering phobias.


You rate the impact your fear has on your life on a scale of 1-10. What percentage of your waking hours is taken up by dwelling on the target of your fear? Rate it. What effect is your fear having on your personal relationships? Rate it. Interfering with your ability to perform your job? Rate it. How many months or years have you felt this way? Actual obsessive-compulsive behavior takes time to become habit and takes time to reach the point where it interferes with your life. Think of all of the ways your fear impacts your day to day life and rate it. Should you score high across the categories (over 5), then you might consider visiting a specialist of some sort. Of course, I recommend a behaviorist rather than a pysch. But it is your life, after all. You decide. The odds are that you are quite normal and require no “treatment” at all.

darkhunter
2003-Jan-27, 10:17 AM
Another thing that should help is to learn as much about what you fear as you can. Main thing is to use trusted, expert sources for your information, such as this website, http://www.astronomy.com, etc.

In the words of the old GI Joe Cartoon "...knowing is half the battle."

Russ
2003-Jan-27, 04:30 PM
On 2003-01-22 21:00, me04 wrote:
Is living with the fear of catastrophe normal? I mean the possibility of an asteroid hitting at any time, or anything like that. No matter how hard I do try to stay calm and not worry about things it just won't go away. If there is anything that anybody could do to just help me out a little bit than I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.


"We are born into this world condemed to die." - Unknown

I can't remeber who coined the phrase above but whoever it was, was right. Another tidbit of philosophy that I harken to is by Robert Heinlein: "The stakes in life are much to high to be taken seriously."

One thing nobody seems to have addressed is the topic of death itself. While I'm no psychological expert on the subject I have been there and can speek from personal experience. It is actually a pleasant experience. The relief from worldly pain and worry is..... as total as it is indescribable.
If the increadably improbable happens, I hope that I am at ground zero for that event. The thing I fear most is the possibility of being sick or injured for months, waiting to die.

A friend of mine espouses the following philosophy:

Why worry? There are only two things that can happen: 1) Things go the way you want, so you've got nothing to worry about. 2) Things don't go the way you want. There's nothing you can do about that so why worry?

Best wishes. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

_________________
Lighten up! I'm here for the fun of it.

(edit to correct typo)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Russ on 2003-01-27 11:32 ]</font>

ToSeek
2003-Jan-27, 04:58 PM
On 2003-01-27 11:30, Russ wrote:

A friend of mine espouses the following philosophy:

Why worry? There are only two things that can happen: 1) Things go the way you want, so you've got nothing to worry about. 2) Things don't go the way you want. There's nothing you can do about that so why worry?



But what if you have some control over the way things will go? I figure it's good to be pessimistic about things out of your control (so you're prepared if they do happen and are pleasantly surprised if they don't) and optimistic about things within your control (so you're inspired to try to do something about them).

Russ
2003-Jan-27, 06:32 PM
On 2003-01-27 11:58, ToSeek wrote:

But what if you have some control over the way things will go? I figure it's good to be pessimistic about things out of your control (so you're prepared if they do happen and are pleasantly surprised if they don't) and optimistic about things within your control (so you're inspired to try to do something about them).




What you say may be true enough but....it adds complexity to your decision gates. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Rue
2003-Jan-27, 06:51 PM
On 2003-01-22 21:00, me04 wrote:
I mean the possibility of an asteroid hitting at any time, or anything like that.

Are you afraid of an asteroid hitting you personally /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Seriously sometimes we see things that the media has hyped up. There has been alot about asteroids recently but much of it is bull. Media likes stories of a "near pass" of a large asteroid. They will then ask an astronomer "what would happen if that had hit the earth?" as if they would'nt already know the answer-its all for sensationalism.

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