Published December 20, 2012
The Mayan calendar ends Dec. 21, and some experts say this is the end of civilization.
A recent survey found more than 6 million Americans expect Thursday to be their last full day on Earth, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
But clinical psychologist Scott Bea of the Cleveland Clinic, said this is all about the “fear of the unknown,” rather than the world coming to an end.
“Some people really respond with fear to uncertainty- things they can’t predict,” Bea said. “There are media reports of cataclysms: tsunamis, things of that nature that get people guessing at the end of the world. Now you add the Mayan calendar thing, which may be misinterpreted by many, and this just fuels the fire for people who are anxious about these sorts of things.“
Bea said the majority of people do believe we’ll wake up on Dec. 22 – but they are having fun with the Mayan notion anyways.
He does agree some people still need to be convinced – because this ‘phenomenon’ is hard to ignore.
News reports, documentaries and websites will keep us guessing, he added, but it’s ultimately the way you handle the situation that matters – and that will depend on what sort of person you are.
“If you’re optimistic about the future, it’s going to be hard to imagine the world ending in just a few days,” Bea said. “If you tend to be pessimistic, fearful, have a hard time tolerating uncertainty, than you may be a little more prone to taking action for the possibility that the world may end.“
Bea said everyone should focus on keeping calm and preparing for the holiday season; after all, he believes life will go on.