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Fear and fearlessness

The journey of knowing fear, of moving closer to fear, is the journey of courage, the journey of bravery. Face toward your fear. Leap into your fear. Smile at fear. Fear is the vanguard of wisdom and courage.

Interested in hearing Pema Chodron discuss these ideas? Check out this talk.

Did panic lead to JetBlue pilot's mid-air meltdown?

In a word, no. According to a CBS News story:
Initial reports indicated the pilot may have experienced a panic attack, but it was not, according to Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chief of psychiatry at latest York Presbyterian Hospital - Columbia University Medical Center.

"Panic attacks are a known diagnostic entity," he said. "It's called panic disorder in addition to is associated with anxiety with a lot of physical signs and symptoms associated. What the pilot suffered from was not a panic attack. That's the first word put out, but the description of his behavior, background plus history are not reliable with that."

Great. An additional example of panic being misdiagnosed as madness. Panic disorder can be disabling, in addition to while you're in the midst of a panic attack you can certainly misinterpret reality, but panic doesn't result in a break with reality. You might experience the sights and sounds of a traffic jam as an existential threat, but you still see and hear the traffic jam. You're misinterpreting it as being somehow fearsome, but you're not hallucinating or being told what to do by voices in your head. There's a difference.

We might encompass come a long way, but apparently we still encompass a way to go. At least nowadays, we get to see this kind of clarifying story to add to the initial reckless diagnosis.

For more information about mental illness