Domestic terrorism is increasing. Why

Fear of terror between real danger and sensation

Barcelona, ​​Manchester, Berlin, Nice, Brussels, Ankara, Istanbul, Paris, London, Stockholm: alarming news about terrorist attacks and violent extremists in Europe have driven Germans' concerns to peak levels. According to a representative survey by R + V insurance on the "Fears of Germans 2017", over 70 percent fear terrorism. It ranks first among the perceived threats, followed by political extremism (62 percent). Above all, the arbitrariness and unpredictability of the attacks worries many people: Anyone can be affected. Nowhere does one seem safe anymore. It is no less bad when many people die in Syria, Iraq or Nigeria. Nevertheless, at least the geographical distance offers a certain emotional protection. Terror has long since arrived in Europe and in our own country. How can we deal with this uncertainty and continue to live normally? What to do when fear becomes dominant?

"In principle, the feeling of fear is necessary for survival: It signals dangers to us, warns us and enables us to react sensibly," explains Dr. Jewgenij Wolfowski, chief physician at the Uchtspringen Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. On the one hand, this concerns the immediate reaction to acute threats, such as reflexively avoiding an approaching car. On the other hand, the perception of fear is also an important navigator to be careful with real existing risks and to weigh up: How far do I venture out? “Everyone has to find this limit for themselves - some are more anxious, others more willing to take risks. It is never wrong to exercise common sense and caution: When security services warn of terrorist attacks in a country or in certain tourist centers, it is very sensible not to go there. "

From the point of view of Dr. Wolfowski is generally a good way to deal with fearful feelings: "A clear analysis is better than constant brooding about what could happen in the here and now." This is exactly where the terrorist attacks lie, which people seem out of the blue and arbitrarily were met, but also the problem: “There is no way to recognize the danger in advance and to weigh up the risks.” The uneasiness and vague fear of many people of public places and gatherings is therefore understandable. “But we mustn't let that dominate us. It would be wrong to hide away, ”says the specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy. "Instead, it is important to find the fine balance between real danger, personal feelings and caution - not as a restriction on our lives, but as a supplement." can be individually different. “You can tell what you can cope with better. It is important to keep in mind that the likelihood of being affected by such an attack is extremely low, much less than that of a traffic accident. "

According to Dr. Wolfowski when fear becomes independent and inappropriately comes to the fore in such a way that the quality of life is severely threatened in many areas. “Then there may be an anxiety disorder. For example, those affected withdraw completely from everyday life, from certain situations or from certain places, ”says the specialist, referring to typical behavioral patterns. Many patients also suffer from poor sleep and physical complaints such as palpitations, headaches or sweating. "If the duration and frequency of anxiety states increase, you can hardly overcome them on your own and the living conditions actually do not offer any reason for it, you should seek help," explains Dr. Wolfowski. The first point of contact in such cases is always the general practitioner or specialist treating the patient, who can advise on therapeutic options. Experience shows that in many cases behavior therapy is particularly helpful, in which the ability to cope with fear-inducing situations is specifically trained. Affected people in the Altmark can fall back on the offers in the Salus specialist clinic Uchtspringe as well as in the associated institute outpatient clinics and day clinics in Salzwedel, Seehausen and Stendal.

Anxiety disorders include agoraphobia (claustrophobia), social phobia (extreme shyness with fear of dealing with other people) or panic fears that appear suddenly and episodically out of the blue without real danger. Also common is generalized anxiety disorder, in which normal insecurities in life are perceived as a formidable threat.
In addition to depression, anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses in Germany. Around 15 percent of the adult population suffer from it. If left untreated, the disorder often becomes chronic and significantly reduces the quality of life of those affected. There is also an increased risk of other mental illnesses such as depression or addiction.