chapter  29
10 Pages

Fear of compassion

When people are depressed they often feel unmotivated to do positive things, even though (they know) those things might help them. Anxious people might love to do certain things such as ¯y away on holiday, go on a new date, take exciting jobs but are too fearful to try. Arousal and the threat±self-protection system blocks activities that could lead to positive feelings and self-enhancement. There can be a fear of doing things even though people anticipate that they would have positive feelings and grow from doing them. In these contexts encouraging engagement and activity in depressed people, or helping the anxious person tolerate and work with anxious feelings, is helpful.