The roles and goals of fear & intuition. How problems with fear and intuition affect bipolar disorder.


On team THRIVE, we began a conversation to explore the differences between fear and intuition.


Here are some of my ideas.  They are simply ideas.  They are NOT “the truth” or right or wrong. They are simply ideas to try on and see if they fit and make sense.




The role and goals of FEAR



Survival. Fear exists to ensure our survival.



The challenge is that with intelligence as human beings we make so much meaning of the fear that it may cause things like anxiety, depression, mania, panic etc.



Warning Sign. A red flag that says, “This is dangerous to me. It could hurt me.”



Role in Memory. We remember things that we have a strong emotional response to (good and bad emotional responses).


When we have an experience with a strong negative emotional response the fear centers in our brain create a strong memory. Therefore, when a similar experience happens in our lives we know to be cautious or to avoid or escape from the experience that may be dangerous to us.




The Big Problem With Fear



Our fear remembers things from our imagination that cause us to have a strong emotional response.


Therefore, fear will respond to our imagination as though an experience is real…even though it is not something that we have experienced. This causes multiple forms of anxiety disorders and causes us to become fearful in ways that have a strong negative impact in our lives.

The role and goals of INTUITION



Determine our next best response or action.

The role of intuition is to take our beliefs about life — our hope, faith, spirituality and natural instincts — and everything we have learned through experience and knowledge throughout life and apply them to make the best decisions we can possibly make without having the gifts of hindsight.


Intuition will not always be correct, but it is the best we can do with the resources and knowledge we have to make a decision about what is best for us.


Help us to determine what is right or best for us.

Intuition often kicks in simply to let us know that something “just feels right”.  Intuition lets us know, “This feels safe or good to me.”



Problems with Intuition



I someone is raised in an unhealthy environment — an environment of abuse or neglect — they grow to feel comfortable with abuse and neglect to the point that even intuition says, “This is comfortable for me.” “This is best for me.”  “This is safe for me.”

This causes environments and relationships that are NOT abusive and neglectful to feel uncomfortable, not good and unsafe.

So many people living with bipolar disorder struggle with the way fear and intuition function in their daily lives.

Awareness is a step towards developing fear and intuition in ways that work best for you.