Fear – causes, treatment, types, psychology and feelings of fear

Fear is a strong negative emotion that arises from imaginary or real danger and poses a threat to life for the individual. Under fear in psychology, we understand the inner state of a person, which is caused by an alleged or real disaster.

Psychologists refer fear to emotional processes. K. Izarda defined this state to the basic emotions related to the congenital, which have genetic, physiological components. Fear mobilizes the individual’s body for avoiding the behavior. A negative emotion of a person signals a state of danger, which directly depends on numerous external and internal, acquired or innate causes.

Psychology of fear

Two neural paths respond to the development of this feeling, which should function simultaneously. The first person responsible for the basic emotions reacts quickly and is accompanied by a significant number of errors. The second response much more slowly, but more accurately. The first way helps us to quickly respond to signs of danger but often works as a false alarm. The second way gives an opportunity to more thoroughly assess the situation and therefore respond more accurately to the danger.

In the case of a sense of fear, the person who is initiated by the first path is blocked by the functioning of the second path, which estimates some signs of danger as unrealistic. If a phobia occurs, the second way begins to function inadequately, which triggers the development of a fear of incentives that are dangerous.

Causes of fear

In everyday life, as well as in emergency situations, a person is faced with a strong emotion – fear. A negative emotion in a person is a long or short-term emotional process that develops because of an imaginary or actual danger. Often, this state is marked by unpleasant sensations, while simultaneously being a signal for protection, since the main goal facing a person is to save one’s life.

But it should be borne in mind that the response to fear is the unconscious or rash actions of a person, which are caused by panic attacks with the manifestation of a strong alarm. Depending on the situation, the course of emotion of fear in all people vary significantly in strength, as well as in their influence on behavior. Timely clarified cause will greatly accelerate the disposal of negative emotions.

The causes of fear are both hidden and obvious. Often, the obvious reasons people do not remember. Under the hidden understand fears coming from childhood, for example, increased parental care, temptation, the consequence of psychological trauma; fears caused by a moral conflict or an unresolved problem.

There are cognitively-engineered reasons: a sense of rejection, loneliness, a threat to self-esteem, depression, a sense of inadequacy, a sense of imminent failure.

Consequences of negative emotions in a person: a strong nervous tension, emotional states of insecurity, the search for protection, inducing the individual to escape, rescue. There are basic functions of people’s fear, as well as the emotional states that accompany it: protective, signal, adaptive, search.

Fear can manifest itself in the form of a depressed or aroused emotional state. Panic fear (horror) is often marked by a depressed state. Synonyms of the term “fear” or close in status are the terms “anxiety”, “panic”, “fear”, “phobia”.

If a person has a short-term and at the same time a strong fear caused by a sudden irritant, then he will be taken to a fright, and long and not clearly expressed – to anxiety.

Such states as phobias are capable of leading to frequent, as well as strong experiencing of negative emotion by an individual. A phobia is understood as an irrational, obsessive fear associated with a particular situation or subject, when a person alone can not cope with it.

Symptoms of fear

Some features of the expression of negative emotions are manifested in physiological changes: increased sweating, palpitations, diarrhea, enlargement and contraction of the pupils, urinary incontinence, a fleeting look. These signs are manifested in the face of life threat or characteristic biological fear.

The signs of fear are forced silence, passivity, refusal of action, avoidance of communication, insecure behavior, the appearance of speech deficiency (stuttering) and bad habits (looking around, stooping, nibbling, teasing in the hands of objects); the individual tends to solitude and isolation, which contributes to the development of depression, melancholy, in some cases provokes  suicide . People who are afraid, complain about the obsession of the idea, which in the end prevents living a full life. The obsession with fear prevents initiative and forces useless. Deceptive visions and mirages accompany a person; he is afraid, trying to hide or run away.

The resulting sensations with a strong negative emotion: the ground is running out from under the feet, the adequacy and control over the situation is lost, internal numbness and numbness (stupor) occur. A person becomes vain and hyperactive, he must always somewhere to run, because it is unbearable to be alone with the object or the problem of fear. The man is clamped and dependent, punctuated with complexes of uncertainty. Depending on the type of nervous system, the individual defends himself and goes on the offensive, manifesting aggression. In fact, this is a disguise of experiences, addictions and anxieties.

Fears are manifested in different ways, but have common features: anxiety, anxiety, nightmares, irritability, suspiciousness, suspiciousness, passivity, tearfulness.

Types of fears

Yu.V. Shcherbatykh identified the following classification of fears. Professor divided all fears into three groups: social, biological, existential.

He attributed to the biological group those that are directly related to the threat to human life, the social group is responsible for fears and fears in the social status, the scientist associated the existential group of fears with the essence of man that is celebrated in all people.

All social fears are caused by situations that can undermine social status, reduce self-esteem. They include fear of public speaking, responsibility, social contacts.

Existential fears are associated with the intellect of the individual and are caused by reflection (reflections on issues that affect the problems of life, as well as death and the very existence of man). For example, it is the fear of time, death, as well as the meaninglessness of human existence, etc.

Following this principle: the fear of a fire is attributed to the biological category, the fear of the scene – to the social, and the fear of death – to the existential.

In addition, there are also intermediate forms of fear that stand on the verge of two groups. They include the fear of disease. On the one hand, the disease brings suffering, pain, damage (biological factor), and on the other hand a social factor (separation from the society and the collective, turning out of habitual activities, declining incomes, poverty, and dismissal from work). Therefore, this condition is attributed to the boundary of a biological and social group, fear of bathing in a reservoir at the biological and existential boundary, fear of losing close relatives at the border of a biological and existential group. It should be noted that in all phobias all three components are noted, but one is dominant.

The individual is peculiar, and it’s normal to be afraid of dangerous animals, some situations, as well as natural phenomena. The fears of people appearing on this occasion have a reflex or genetic character. In the first case, the danger is based on negative experience, in the second it is recorded at the genetic level. Both cases control the mind and logic. Presumably, these reactions have lost useful value and therefore quite strongly prevent a person from living fully and happily. For example, it makes sense to be cautious about snakes, but it’s foolish to fear small spiders; you can reasonably fear lightning, but not a thunder that is unable to cause harm. With such phobias and inconveniences, people should rebuild their reflexes.

Fears of people who arise in situations dangerous to health, as well as life, have a protective function, and this is useful. And the fear of people before medical manipulation can damage your health, because they prevent timely diagnose the disease and begin treatment.

Fears of people are diverse, as are the spheres of activity. The phobia on the instinct of self-preservation is based and acts as a defensive reaction to the danger. Fear can manifest itself in various forms. If a negative emotion is not clearly expressed, then it is experienced as a fuzzy, vague feeling – anxiety. A stronger fear is noted in negative feelings: horror, panic.

State of fear

Negative emotion is the normal response of the individual to the vicissitudes of life. With an implicit, expressed form, this state acts as an adaptive response. For example, an applicant can not successfully pass an exam without experiencing anxiety and no worries. But in extreme expression, the state of fear deprives the individual of the ability to fight, giving a sense of horror and panic. Excessive excitement and anxiety do not allow the entrant to concentrate during the exam, he may lose his voice. Researchers often note a state of anxiety and fear in patients during an extreme situation.

The state of fear helps to remove for a short time sedatives and benzodiazepines. Negative emotion includes a state of irritability, horror, immersing in certain thoughts, and also marked by a change in physiological parameters: the appearance of dyspnea, excessive sweating, insomnia, chills. These manifestations increase with time and this makes the patient’s habitual life more difficult. Often this state turns into a chronic one and manifests itself in the absence of an external certain cause.

Feeling of fear

The emotion of fear will be more precise, but there is no clear boundary between these two concepts. Often, when there is a short-term effect, they talk about emotion, and in the long term they mean a sense of fear. This and these two concepts differ. And in colloquial speech, fear is attributed both to feeling and to emotion. In people, fear manifests itself in different ways: someone fetters it, restricts it, and someone, on the contrary, activates activity.

Feeling of fear is individual and reflects all the genetic features, as well as the characteristics of upbringing and culture, temperament, accentuation, neuroticism of each individual person.

[caption id="attachment_723" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Fear Fear[/caption]

There are both external and internal manifestations of fear. Under the external understand how the individual looks, and the internal include the physiological processes that occur in the body. Because of all these processes, fear is attributed to a negative emotion that affects the entire body negatively, increasing the pulse and heart rate, accordingly increasing the pressure, and sometimes vice versa, increasing sweating, changing the blood composition (releasing the adrenaline hormone).

The essence of fear is that the individual, afraid, tries to avoid situations that provoke a negative emotion. A strong fear, being a toxic emotion, provokes the development of various diseases.

Fear is observed in all individuals. A neurotic fear is noted in every third inhabitant of the Earth, but if it reaches the power of affect, it turns into horror and this takes the individual out of consciousness control, and as a result, stupor, panic, defensive aggression, flight. Therefore, the emotion of fear is justified and serves the survival of the individual, but it can also take pathological forms that will require the intervention of doctors. Every fear performs a certain function and it does not just happen.

Fear of height protects from falling from a mountain or a balcony, the fear of being burned makes you close to not approach the fire, and, therefore, protects from injuries. Fear of public speaking makes you prepare more carefully for speeches, take rhetoric courses, which should help in career growth. It is natural that the individual tries to overcome personal fears. In the event that the source of danger is indefinite or unconscious, the state arising, in this case, is called anxiety.

Panic fear This condition never arises without reason. For its development, a number of factors and conditions are necessary: apathy, anhedonia, anxiety,  depression, and anxiety, stress,  obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, hypochondria, psychopathy.

The suppressed psyche of a person reacts quickly to any stimuli and, therefore, restless thoughts are capable of undermining a person’s ability to act. Anxiety and concomitant conditions gradually turn into neurosis, and neuroses in turn provoke the emergence of panic fear.

This condition can not be foreseen, since it can arise at any time: at work, on the street, in transport, in a store. The panic state acts as a protective reaction of the body to an alleged threat or imaginary one. For panic causeless fear, the manifestation of such symptoms is typical: choking, dizziness, palpitations, tremors, stupor, chaos of thoughts. Some cases are noted with chills or vomiting. Such conditions last from one hour to two for one or two times a week. The stronger the mental disorder, the longer and more often the panic attacks .

Often, this condition can occur against the background of overwork, exhaustion of the body in emotionally unstable people. Under this category, in most cases women fall into emotional, vulnerable, reacting to stresses. However, men also experience panic unreasonable fear, but they try not to admit to others in this.

Panic fear does not go away on its own, and panic attacks will persecute the sick. Treatment is carried out strictly under the supervision of doctors – psychiatrists, and withdrawal of alcohol symptoms only aggravates the situation, and panic fear will appear not only after stress, but also when nothing threatens.

Fear of pain

Since it is common for a person to periodically be afraid of something, this is a normal reaction of our body, which reflects the performance of protective functions. To frequent experiences of this kind include the fear of pain. Having previously experienced pain, an individual on an emotional level tries to avoid the repetition of this feeling and fear acts as a protective mechanism that prevents dangerous situations.

Fear of pain is not only useful, but harmful. A person who does not understand how to get rid of this condition, for a long time tries not to visit the dentist or evades an important operation, as well as the method of examination. In this case, fear has a destructive function and this should be dealt with. Confusion before effectively getting rid of the fear of pain only aggravates the state of affairs and pushes to the formation of a panic reaction.

Modern medicine now has various methods of anesthesia, therefore the fear of pain has mainly only psychological character. This negative emotion is rarely formed on previously experienced experience. Most likely, the fear of pain from injuries, burns, frostbite in a person is strong, and this is a protective function.

Treatment of fears

Before the beginning of therapy, it is necessary to diagnose within the framework of what kind of mental disorder phobias appear. Phobias are found in schizophrenia, hypochondria, depression, in the structure of neurotic disorders, panic attacks, panic disorders.

Feeling of fear occupies a significant place in the clinical picture of somatic diseases (hypertension, bronchial asthma and others). Fear can act and the normal reaction of the individual to the situation in which he was. Therefore, the correct diagnosis is responsible for the tactics of treatment. The development of the disease, from the point of view of pathogenesis, should be treated in a combination of symptoms, rather than its individual manifestations.

Fear of pain can be effectively treated with psychotherapeutic methods and eliminated by therapy, which has an individual character. Many people who do not have special knowledge to get rid of the fear of pain, mistakenly think that this is an inevitable feeling and therefore live with him for many years. In addition to psychotherapeutic methods of treating this phobia, homeopathic treatment is applied.

Fears of people are very difficult to correct. In modern society it is not acceptable to discuss their fears. People publicly discuss illnesses, attitudes toward work, but it’s worth talking about fears, as soon as there is a vacuum. People are ashamed of their phobias. This attitude to fear has been vaccinated since childhood.

Correction of fears: take a sheet of white paper and write all your fears. In the center of the sheet, arrange the most significant and interfering phobia to live with. And be sure to understand the reasons for this state.

How to get rid of fear

Everyone is able to learn how to overcome their fears, otherwise, it will be difficult for him to reach his goals, realize dreams, achieve success and be realized in all life directions. There are various ways to get rid of phobias. It is important to develop a habit of actively acting in our own way, and not pay attention to the fears that arise at the same time. In this case, negative emotion is a simple reaction that arises in response to any effort to create something new.

Fear can arise because of attempts to do something against their beliefs. Understand that each person for a certain period of time develops a personal worldview, and, if you try to change it, you need to step over the fear.

Fear can be depending on the power of persuasion strong or weak. Man is not born successful. Often, we are not brought up the way that successful people are. It is very important to act, regardless of personal fear. Tell yourself: “Yes, I’m scared, but I will do it.” While you hesitate, your phobia grows, rejoicing, turning into a powerful weapon against you. The longer you wait, the more you raise it in your mind. But as soon as you begin to act, the fear will immediately disappear. It turns out that fear is an illusion that does not exist.

The medicine against fear – to accept your phobia and accepting, to walk towards it. Do not fight it. Admit to yourself: “Yes, I’m scared.” There is nothing wrong with this, you have the right to be afraid. At the moment when you recognize it, she rejoices and then wanes. And you start action.

How to get rid of fear? Evaluate the worst case scenario by connecting logic. At the appearance of fear, think about the worst case scenario, if suddenly you decided to act regardless of anything. Even the worst variant is not so terrible as the unknown.

What causes fear? The most powerful weapon of fear is uncertainty. It seems terrible, cumbersome and impossible to overcome. If your assessment is really real and the terrible condition does not go away, then it is worthwhile to think, maybe in this case the phobia acts as a natural protective reaction. Maybe you really need to abandon further action, because your negative emotion keeps you from trouble. If the fear is not justified and the worst option is not so terrible, then go ahead, act. Remember that fear lives where there is doubt, uncertainty and indecisiveness.

The medicine against fear is to remove doubts and there will be no room for fear. This state has such power because it causes negative pictures in the consciousness of what we do not need and the person feels uncomfortable. When a person decides to do something, the doubts evaporate instantly, because the decision is made and there is no way back.

What causes fear? As soon as there is fear in a person, then in the mind begins to scroll the scenario of failures, as well as failures. These thoughts influence negatively on emotions, and they just control life. The lack of positive emotions greatly influences the emergence of indecisiveness in actions, and the time of inaction rooted in the individual’s own nothingness. A lot depends on determination: get rid of fear or not.

Fear keeps the attention of the human mind on the negative development of the event, and the solution concentrates on a positive outcome. In making a decision, we focus on how wonderful it will be when we overcome fear and eventually get a good result. This allows you to positively tune in, and most importantly, fill the mind with pleasant scenarios, where there will be no room for doubt and fear. However, remember that if in the head there is at least one negative thought associated with a negative emotion, then immediately there will be multiple similar thoughts.

How to get rid of fear? In spite of fear act. You know what you are afraid of, and this is a big plus. Analyze your fear and answer your questions: “What exactly am I afraid of?”, “Should I really be afraid of this?”, “Why am I afraid?”, “Does my fear have grounds?”, “What is more important for me: to make an effort over yourself or never achieve what you want? “Ask yourself questions more often. Analyze your phobias, because the analysis takes place at a logical level, and fears are emotions that are stronger than logic and therefore always win. After analyzing and realizing, a person comes to the conclusion that fear has absolutely no sense. It only worsens life, making it anxious, nervous and unsatisfied with its results. Are you still afraid?

How to get rid of fear? You can fight against fear with feelings (emotions). For this, sitting comfortably in the chair, scroll in your head scripts of what you are afraid of and how you do what you are afraid of. The mind is incapable of distinguishing imaginary events from real ones. After overcoming an imaginary fear in your head, it will be much easier for you to cope with the task in reality, because the model of events has already become stronger at the subconscious level.

Effective and powerful will be in the fight against fears of the method of auto-suggestion, namely the visualization of success. After ten minutes of visualization, the state of health improves and it’s easier to overcome fear. Remember that in your phobias you are not alone. All people are afraid of something. This is normal. Your task is to learn how to act in the presence of fear, and not pay attention to it, distracted by other thoughts. Fighting with fear, a person weakens energetically, because a negative emotion sucks out all energy. A person destroys fear when he completely ignores it and is distracted by other events.

How to get rid of fear? Train and develop courage. Feeling fear of failure, there is no point in fighting it, trying to minimize the number of failures. People who are unable to cope with fear, reduce such situations to naught and, in general, do not do anything, which makes them unhappy in life.

Imagine that training courage is like pumping muscles in the gym. First there is a training with a light weight, which can be raised, and then gradually we switch to a heavier weight and try to raise it already. A similar situation exists with fears. Initially, we exercise with little fear, and then switch to a stronger one. For example, the fear of public speaking before a large audience is eliminated by training in front of a small number of people, gradually increasing the audience several times.

How to overcome fear?

Train ordinary communication: in line, on the street, in transport. Use neutral topics for this. The meaning lies in first overcoming small fears, and then moving on to more significant ones. Practice constantly.

How to overcome fear by other methods? Increase your self-esteem. There is a certain pattern: the better you think about yourself, the fewer phobias you have. Personal self-esteem protects from fear and does not matter its objectivity. Therefore, people with high self-esteem can do more than people with objective self-esteem. Being in love, people overcome very strong fear in the name of their desires. Any positive emotion helps in overcoming fears, and all negative emotions only hinder.

How to overcome fear?

There is a remarkable statement that the brave is not one who is not afraid, but one who acts, regardless of his feelings. Act step by step, taking minimal steps. With fear of height, gradually increase the height.

Do not attach much importance to some moments of your life. The easier and less important the attitude to life moments, the less anxiety. Give in affairs a preference for spontaneity, as careful preparation and scrolling in the head provokes the development of excitement and anxiety. Of course, you need to plan things, but you should not get hung up on this. If you decide to act, then act, and do not pay attention to the trembling of the mind.

How to overcome fear? An understanding of a particular situation can help in this. A person is afraid when he does not understand what exactly he wants and what he personally wants. The more we fear, the more awkwardly we act. In this case, spontaneity will help, and do not be afraid of failures, negative results. In any case, you did it, showed courage and this is your small achievement. Be friendly, good spirits help in fighting fears.

Self-knowledge helps in overcoming fears. It happens that a person does not know himself for himself and is not sure of his abilities, because of lack of support from others. With severe criticism, the confidence of many people is sharply reduced. This happens because a person does not know himself and gets information about himself from other people. It is important to know that understanding other people is a subjective concept. Many people often can not understand themselves in themselves, let alone give a real assessment to others.

To know oneself means to accept yourself as you are, and to be yourself. It is natural for a person to act without fear, when he is not ashamed to be himself. Acting resolutely – you express yourself. Overcoming your fears means learning, developing, becoming wiser, stronger.


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