More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Panic - a sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior, and that often spreads quickly through a group of persons or animals. Isn't it strange how we react when something goes wrong. We tend to go into this irrational state of emotion known as panicking.

Yesterday, I experienced a little bit of panic. I was supposed to go on a training course in the city. Since it takes ages to get to the city, I had changed my alarm clock to wake up much earlier than usual and also checked out which trains to take. I was all prepared, even going as far as packing my bag with a book to read on the train. When I awoke the next day, I felt unusually refreshed. I wondered why the alarm clock hadn't gone off yet. Then when I saw it was 8:40am, I went into slight panic mode. I was supposed to be in the city by 9am for my training and it takes about an hour to get to the city.

After about 30 seconds of being unsure what to do, I slowly shook myself awake and formed an action plane. I rang the training place and informed them that I would be late. Then I quickly brushed my teeth and got changed. Next I rang my friend John to ask him what was the quickest way to get to the city via the freeway. He gave me instructions on how to get to my training place. I grabbed a drink and bbq pork bun from the pantry and rushed out to my car. I drove as quickly as I could while still being safe. I felt a bit of panic, but it wasn't too bad. I was already late and panicking would not help. So I concentrated on the music in the car and sang along to distract myself. Eventually I got to my training, a bit late, but others were also late so I hadn't missed much.

Panic is such a common human emotion when what we expect to happen, doesn't happen. In changing my alarm time, I had also accidentally switched the alarm off. Although there was intial panic from me, I quickly started to formulate a plan after that. I was told by my manager that the common misconception of people running around and screaming when there is some disaster is so inaccurate. We work in the fire business and know from a lot of data that people may panic initially, but they quickly start to find ways to escape the fire. Hence, the common practise of not informing people of imminent danger so that they don't panic is so wrong. It just gives people less time to react when it does occur.

I guess the level of panic also depends very much on the situation. I remember another time when I panicked much more was when I once again overslept for a uni exam. I had thought that the exam was in the afternoon, but it turned out to be in the morning. This time I did pace around a bit unsure what to do. I walked back and forth swearing and not sure what to do. Once I got over that, I quickly brushed my teeth, got changed and rang the exam department. They said that since the exam wasn't over yet, I could come in and complete the exam in a separate room. I'm glad to say that I actually passed that subject with a high distinction.

I'm not sure what purpose panic has for us. Why has evolution chosen to keep this emotion. Does the panic help release the initial fear and frustration so that your mind can think clearly afterwards. What have been your experience with panic. Has there been any situations where you have panicked to such an extent that you did run around screaming your head off?


Blogger Geosomin said...

It's odd how people deal with panic better than others. Me? Not so much. I tend to freeze up and run around my head in cirlces for abit before I can function...unless it's work related. Then for some reason I'm OK. I often wonder why panic only hits in certain situations. I've had panic in a few cases make me a nervous wreck, but only in things very important to me.

I think panic is the "get away it's dangerous!" thing leftover in your head that tries to get you to safety so you can think things over. Otherwise you'd be saying "hey what's that? It's coming right at me...I wonder what to do about that?" *splat*!

4/06/2007 1:05 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Goesomin, everyone panics to different degrees, but the end result though is that they then switch modes and try to find a solution out of the problem. I talked to a friend about it and we both agreed with what you said, that its your body's natural way to alert you to danger and therefore you should react.

I guess we panic at things that are important because those things can affect our own personal life, and that's what our brains are trying to control. Other things that don't involve us too much become secondary factors hence do not warrant as much panic.

4/06/2007 9:30 AM  

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