Mastering Fears

Halloween is a “spooky” time, filled with ghosts, goblins, witches and werewolves, but these fearsome phantoms are hardly the only frights creeping around.

“I always see spiders in my apartment,” said 19-year-old LaToya Scott, who has a fear of insects.

“Creepy crawlers are okay but when they start jumping around I get so scared,” said the CIS student from Jacksonville.

Fear is defined as an anxiety caused by real or possible danger.

Business student E. Rob Royster III said he knows about the dangers of being underwater.

Royster said that he is afraid of drowning.

“I’ve almost drowned numerous times as a kid,” said the 24-year-old Detroit native. “I hate the feeling of not being able to breathe,” he said.

“A lot of students have high anxiety and that is what triggers their fears,” said interim director at Sunshine Manor, Harold Ford.

Ford has counseled many students and identifies anxiety as the root of fear for many college students.

Royster said drowning wasn’t the only thing he was afraid of, “I have a fear of letting people I care about down and not being able to keep my word,” he said. “Not being able to live up to my word in my eyes is failure.”

Although Royster’s concern is letting others down, Scott said that letting herself down is even worse.

“Sometimes I am afraid of failing and becoming a bag lady on the side of the street. This has been a serious concern since I have gotten to college,” Scott said.

According to Ford, overcoming fear requires a person getting to the bottom of it.

“We (at the Sunshine Manor) usually will refer students to our psychiatrist or psychologist to help them sort through their problems,” Ford said.

“Fear can be healthy in appropriate situations, but irrational fear is unhealthy because it will freeze you,” he said.

As for Royster and Scott, both have found ways of dealing with their fear.

Scott has grown used to her pesky insects. She has learned to deal with her fear of the jumping spiders.

“I used to just run away from spiders but the longer I stay here the more I realized it is either me or the spider,” Scott said.

Royster said that by letting go of his “superman” complex, he doesn’t have to worry about breaking promises.

However, getting over fear does take time.

“Most fears take about six months to get over,” Ford said. “Fear can be an issue but by not getting to the root of it causes it to become a major problem.