Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Susan Forward and Donna Frazier first coined the acronym FOG which stands for Fear Obligation & Guilt. It describes feelings that a person has when involved with someone with a personality disorder. WHAT IS FEELS LIKE: It can make you say and do things that you are uncomfortable with. FOG can produce a sense of hopelessness and dread. Because of FOG, people have stayed in abusive marriages and homes, suffered physical pain without medical care, sacrificed their entire savings and others have sacrificed their lives. EXAMPLES OF FOG: A man tells his wife- "I will kill myself if you ever leave me". A mother tells her adult children- "You can't possibly care about me if you won't come to Christmas Dinner". A teenager tells his parents- "I hate you. You have ruined my life!" when they refuse to grant a request. A young girl overdoses on pain killers after her boyfriend ends the relationship. An office employee falsely states "everyone agrees with me" after a disagreement with a co-worker. DESCRIPTION: FEAR When confronted by a threat, fear is a mental process that triggers a physical response in humans. By preparing us for the classic "fight or flight" response, fear produces adrenaline. We anticipate the possibility that something bad is going to happen when we fear. As we prepare for immediate physical action, our bodies shut down all long and non-critical functions. Our digestive systems shut down and releases unnecessary waste. As we prepare to deal with sudden threats, our growth and immune systems are put on low priority. To provide increased oxygen to our muscles, our heart beat and breathing quickens. Our peripheral long range thoughts are relegated and our senses heighten. Prolonged fear is also known as stress or anxiety. It is not good for us and can lead to increased risk or long term health issues. OBLIGATION We are born with an instinctive sense of obligation. A sense of community responsibility is where obligation comes from. Historically, only those who contributed to the community were accepted. This is why our communities have evolved into a way that those more likely to be accepted by others and produce children are those who have a strong sense of community responsibility. In forming communities, obligation has served our ancestors well. When a ruthless person takes advantage of our instinctive sense of obligation, however, they can manipulate our gut reaction to do things which do not always help us prosper and thrive. GUILT: When we do something we think hurts others or disappoints others most feel guilt. It is not socially acceptable to deliberately hurt others. Those who do are often jailed, ostracized and condemned. When we refuse to help another person, our instinctive gut reactions of guilt can be activated. Often in the process of setting boundaries is when a non-personality disordered personality individual will experience guilt. Non-sufferers will have to choose whether or not to give the personality disordered person something they want even if it comes at a great personal cost when the non-suffer says "NO".

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