“Anything you want is on the other side of fear”: Kwambie with Dr. Akili Timamu/ Dr. Fear Not

“Anything you want is on the other side of fear”: Kwambie with Dr. Akili Timamu/ Dr. Fear Not

Happy New Year, readers of Wacha niKwambie Uzima! Glad to have made it to the new year, with all its dreams, hopes and aspirations. Today, we are glad to have in our studio Dr. Akili Timamu or Dr. Fear Not  as you wish to call him. He comes all the way from Sydney, Australia where I chanced upon him as we toasted to the new year at the steps of The Sydney Opera House where we both ushered in 2016. He is a mental health expert having gained international expertise in his practice that spans across three continents. He has a special interest in Fear and related conditions like Anxiety and Phobias that ail the human mind. He will be with us this month of January where Wacha niKwambie Uzima will focus on ‘Conquering Fear’.
Kwambie: Hello Doc, good to see you right here in my home city, Nairobi, Kenya.
Dr. Akili Timamu: Oh, Kwambie I am really excited to be here. When you told me that Kenya was this beautiful I must admit that I thought you were exaggerating, it is indeed quite something. I am just from Malindi, which has some of the most scenic beaches in the world. Actually on transit to the Maasai Mara for the weekend
Kwambie: I told you so!!!  I am glad you love our country.
Dr. Akili Timamu: You will definitely be seeing more of me here in future. But now to the topic at hand, Fear. You mentioned to me that several of your readers are ailed with Fear and Anxiety and some even suffer from debilitating Phobias.
Kwambie: Yes. Actually one mentioned to me that the sight of spiders literally makes her freeze in her tracks. We hope to dedicate this month of January to tackling our Fears and understanding what Fear is; what causes it, its symptoms, how to deal with it and eventually  conquer it. Will you help us do that, Dr. Akili Timamu?
Dr. Akili Timamu: Absolutely, Kwambie! But allow me to first clarify that all fear is not bad. Remember that fear is what shields  us from anticipated danger and protects us from real danger. Fear only becomes bad when the source of fear is imagined or is exaggerated such that it debilitates us  from carrying out our  day to day to day activities.
Kwambie: Thank you for that clarification, I had assumed that all fear is bad fear.
Dr. Akili Timamu:Also we need to clarify the difference between the terms Fear, Anxiety and Phobias which some people use interchangeably because they are not at all the same. Fear is about a sense of specific danger and Anxiety as a result of a heightened sense of awareness, or being alert, looking out for danger. Any idea what Phobia is Kwambie?
Kwambie:From browsing certain medical sites, I discovered that phobias are excess anxiety when exposed to a feared object or situation. The fears in phobias may be unreal, exaggerated  or imagined.
Dr. Akili Timamu: Spot on, Kwambie. Several types exist too, from animal fears like the fear of cats, to fear of phenomena in the natural environment like the fear of heights, the excessive fear of blood or injury to name but a few.
Kwambie: Like the fear of the darkness in some little children?
Dr. Akili Timamu: Yes.
Kwambie: Tell me doc, are their certain fears common to mankind?
Dr. Akili Timamu: Yes, and they are several. From Kent, Washington State, U.S.A. to Capetown, South Africa and any town in between like the ‘City in the Sun’ there are common fears that plague mankind. Take the fear of failure which is arguably the greatest fear of mankind. This is very common in people  who had high standards set for them as children and failure was never an option.Other common fears include the fear of the unknown that stops many from discovering new passions, exploring new opportunities and instead sticking to their comfort zones. The fear of rejection and death also rank very highly. With the former being the main reason many  do not pursue objects or relationships they desire. The fear of rejection is so real and most human beings would not wish  to lose membership to the social groups that they belong to.
(Kwambie, squints her eyes in deep thought)
Kwambie: What about the fear of ridicule and loneliness Dr. Akili Timamu are those common fears too?
Dr. Akili Timamu: In my almost two decades of practice as a mental health expert, I must say that the fears of ridicule and loneliness are very common. Take the case of the fear of ridicule, it could be the reason that several of us fear speaking in public or voicing our opinion. I remember suffering  from this particular fear in my student and early employment days. I mean I virtually had the right answer to a question  and solution to a problem but the fear of ridicule would stop me from articulating my thoughts, small wonder I missed out on several job opportunities as several people would pass me by articulating themselves well. The fear of loneliness also make several people stick it out in abusive relationships  or those that do not add any value to them which is a paradox since abusive relationships are the epitome of loneliness.
Kwambie: Amazing.
Dr. Akili Timamu: Other common fears and in no particular include the fear of losing ones freedom, the fear of pain, the fear of misery and the fear of disappointment. Kwambie, I am excited to take the readers of Wacha niKwambie Uzima through the topic of Fear in weeks to come as someone once cited that , “Everything that you want  is on the other side of fear”. Hence it is imperative that we conquer debilitating fears if we want to achieve our utmost this new year and life in general.
Kwambie: That quote is attributed to Jack Canfield.
Dr. Akili Timamu: Damn, Kwambie you are on top of your game. I am going to address one of my fears and ask you out for coffee?
Kwambie: That would be awesome. I need to pick your brain on causes of fear and symptoms of fear.
Dr. Akili Timamu: Well, That is not exactly what I had in mind ‘Manzi wa Nai’,  since I will answer all your questions on causes and symptoms of Fear  in next week’s session.
Kwambie: Dr. Akili Timamu! Let’s keep this strictly professional.(As Kwambie blushes hot pink)
So there you have it dear readers of Wacha niKwambie Uzima…. We now go into the  weekend having a clear definition of Fear. Let us catch up  next week when Dr. Akili Timamu will address the causes and symptoms of fear.
To all an awesome weekend conquering your debilitating fears.
Kwambie Nyambane,

January 2016.

Disclaimer: Dr. Akili Timamu and any testimonials shared in the article are  a figment of the writer’s imagination and any resemblance to any real  person or event is highly regrettable.