The word Delshoreh in Farsi has an appealing meaning in itself since the word explains what is happening when you have delshoreh. Simply you’re Del or stomach is being excited, upset, or stimulated, then you know or feel that something is wrong. The verb Shoridan means having extreme or unusual emotions about something or in some situations. So having delshoreh means that your stomach is being attacked by a feeling that almost washes your calm away.
During those moments of feeling the pain of anxiety or delshoreh, person does not have any sense of what is going on. In Persian we say: I am having delshoreh, meaning I am suffering from something vague. This is the similar explanation in English, having anxiety is due to a fuzzy feeling about something that is not right. Delshoreh is culturally known as a sign for something bad happening, a blurred idea of a threat to one’s integrity. This feeling might get confused with the burden of shame and guilt. As we Iranians have never been encouraged to understand our own feelings, we mix and mingle feelings in a cycle of superstitious beliefs.
The bodily response to this deep level of pain causing by Delshoreh is usually not explained in words. What do I mean by this vague definition of a vague feeling? It is our cultural understanding that delshoreh is the same as fear, while psychology says something else.
Anxiety and fear are two constant problems in huge number of mental health issues everywhere and surely in our daily Iranian life. There is of course no research supporting this idea, however, we all have experienced horrible situations that are indeed anxiety provoking itself. For all the level of insecurity that we Iranian face every day in our lives having delshoreh or fear is a comprehensible response to our tough reality. This is a normal response to what is not normal undeniably.
It is significant to identify how to deal with our feelings as they are always with us.
Anxiety is an alerting signal; it warns us of impending danger and enables a person to take measures to deal with a threat.
However the definition of anxiety for people who are living in constant terror may or may not be an altering signal. In horrible life circumstances that many people struggle with in Iran and Middle East, all those warning signals something get confused with many physical conditions.
Sometimes those external circumstances create reason for having anxiety and fear. What are those circumstances?
Any time we have endured the pain of having been forced to live a certain lifestyle; we know that anxiety has been there to tell us what we do not like.
All those years when bombs were falling on our people’s head, we were dealing with the anxiety and fear of not knowing what would happen to us next hour.
All those people whose children, whose family members were killed, disappeared, tortured, left to exile, and are victimized one way or another, they know how painful and devastating anxiety is.
Many of our Iranian citizens have been victimized one way or another due to the level of unstable situation back home. We have all experienced the severe pain of anxiety as an alerting signal that something is going to happen or is happening right now. The anxiety of having lost a loved one or not being able to return to homeland could be devastating and it has been for many of our fellow Iranians.
What is the definition of Fear and anxiety then?
Fear is a response to a known, external, definite, and real threat, while anxiety is a response to an unknown, internal, vague, and a conflictive threat. The feeling of anxiety/ delshoreh is unknown: When our child is leaving that door, we may fear his/ her safety due to possible harm outside. We fear about the possible dangers out there, yet we can never know for sure what can happen in our future. If you need help to understand your anxiety and fear contact mental health professionals.

March 31, 2008