Abnormal fears

But it must be borne in mind that there are abnormal fears which are emotionally ruinous and psychologcally destructive. The best illustration of the difference between normal and abnormal fear was gven by Sigmund Freud himself. A person tramping through the heart of an Afncan jungle, he said, should quite properly be afraid of snakes That is normal and self-protectwe But if a person suddenly begins to fear that snakes are under the carpet of his city apartment, then his fear is abnormal, neurotic. Are not most of our fears so based? Psychologsts tell us that a normal child is born wth only two fears-the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises-and all others are environmentally acquired. Most of these acquired fears
turn out to be snakes under the carpet. — MLK, The Mastery of Fear


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