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Overview

Fear - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Fear?

Fear is a feeling which is created by perceived threat or danger that happens in certain organisms. Fear can cause a change in organ functions and metabolism which can ultimately lead to a behavioral changes, like fleeing, freezing or hiding from the perceive threat.

Fear in human beings can happen because of a specific stimulus that is occurring in the present or even from an expectation of a future threat perceived on the person’s life or body. Response to fear from the perception of danger leads to confrontation or escape by avoiding the threat which is also known as fight-or-flight response. Fear in extreme cases can also lead to paralysis.In animals and human beings, fear is a resultant factor that occurs due to the process of cognition and learning. Thus fear can be classified into two types. The first one is a logical fear and the later illogical fear. Illogical fear is also known as phobia.

What does Psychologist says :

Psychologists have suggested that fear in one of the few innate emotions found in all human beings. Other innate emotions found in human are anger, anxiety, angst, joy, horror, panic, and sadness. However, there is a difference between fear and anxiety. Although both these emotions are closely related to each other, anxiety often happens as a threat which is perceived to be unavoidable or uncontrollable. The amygdala is the place in our brain, which is associated with fear. The amygdala is located behind our pituitary gland. Amygdala generates the secretion of hormones that influences aggression and fear. Once the stimulation of fear and aggression is generated, amygdala elicit the release of the hormones, which put the person into a state of alertness, which makes the person run, move, take a flight and others.

More about Fear :

The fight-or-flight response in human is regulated by our hypothalamus which is a part of our limbic system.

It is interesting to learn over here that once the person returns to the safe mode, and there are no signs of potential threat around, the amygdala sends the information which created fear to the mPFC (medial prefrontal cortex), which stores the data for similar future situation. This process of learning by the brain is also known as memory consolidation.Some of the hormones and chemical elements that are secreted because of fear are epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol and calcium.

These hormones and chemicals are responsible for regulating the heart rate, blood flow, dilation of the blood vessels and air passages and others.

Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks
Symptoms
Muscular tension on the skin leading to goose-bumps. Fight-or-flight response. Acceleration in breathing and heart rate. Sweating and blushing. Sleep disturbances.

Popular Health Tips

Anxiety Disorders, Phobias and Their Management

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Anxiety Disorders, Phobias and Their Management

Anxiety is one of those things that almost every individual faces at some point of time in his/her life. You can be anxious about many things. Sometimes, however, these can lead to a more complex set of problems called ‘phobias; where a person develops anxiety towards a seemingly benign object/situation. For example, a person would be uncomfortable in water, and develop a phobia of swimming, or a person can be allergic to insects and get a phobia/fear of insects. 

Anxiety can lead to an emotional pain - a pain where there are no physical attributes. Having an anxiety disorder can hamper a person from performing his/her regular activities. Let us have an in-depth look into anxiety disorders, and their possible management. 

Understanding Anxiety: 

Sometimes, there may be no underlying cause of anxiety. Sometimes, the environment or the incidents a person experiences in his lifetime, can precipitate anxiety disorders. There are several symptoms of anxiety, and some of them can include mood swings, confusion, decreased self-esteem, fatigue, weakness, and general fear of one's surroundings, lack of concentration, and a general feeling of helplessness. The person's sleep pattern gets disturbed, and as a result, insomnia sets in. He/she might be unable to perform the activities that they were able to earlier. Anxiety sometimes causes the blood pressure to shoot up, and can result in heart-related complications. In severe cases, anxiety can lead to depression and complete helplessness, and this can result in suicidal tendencies. 

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems that individuals face today. Our changing lifestyle too has contributed a great deal towards it. Modern day urban living is highly stressed with long working hours, unhealthy diet, and frequent smoking and drinking, all of which can trigger anxiety disorders. 

Treatment: 

Anxiety management is not a single step process, and it involves layers of planning. The primary part of the treatment involves the evaluation of the patient first. The underlying cause of the anxiety has to be addressed first and evaluated. The trauma related to that particular cause has to be analyzed, and only then can the physical treatment start. The psychiatrist can help only if the person who is suffering is more open to treatment. Medication certainly works, and anti-depressants, as advised by the physician, should be initiated. Sometimes, a change of job or the environment can help a great deal in minimizing anxiety levels. Friends and family members should also pitch in, offering the support the individual needs. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychiatrist.

5622 people found this helpful

Bladder Cancer Surveillance: Understanding The Challenges Associated With It!

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), MS, MBBS
Urologist, Delhi
Bladder Cancer Surveillance: Understanding The Challenges Associated With It!

Cancer is probably the most dreaded disease of our time. There are many different types of cancers, based on the parts of the body affected. As the name suggest, bladder cancer originates in the bladder. It typically affects elderly people but can occur at any age. In most cases, bladder cancer is treatable as long as it is detected in the early stages. However, it has a high risk of recurrence and hence cancer surveillance is needed for many years after treatment.

There are a number of challenges associated with bladder cancer surveillance, such as: 

  1. Anxiety: As expected, it can be quite nerve wrecking to be constantly tested for cancer and have to wait for the results of your tests. A cystoscopic examination is one of the main methods of testing for bladder cancer. Most patients show both pre-procedural and post-procedural anxiety. To deal with this anxiety and stress try meditating or practising yoga. Going for a walk regularly can also help ease the symptoms of anxiety and improve your overall health. Connect with other bladder cancer patients who can understand your experience and fears.
  2. Adherence: After the cancer has been cured, bladder cancer patients need to be tested at least once every 3-6 months for the first three years and annually thereafter. This frequency increases for Nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer patients. Many patients prefer to use urine-based tests rather than a cystoscopic examination, but this may lead to more unwanted stress and anxiety and these tests do have false positive results at the time. Adhering to this schedule is often difficult and most patients do not strictly adhere to this schedule. However, this is completely in the hands of the patient. The more regularly you get yourself checked up, the higher the chances of detecting bladder cancer tumours in the initial stages and getting it treated.
  3. Related infections: Bladder cancer patients have a higher risk of developing tumors in the ureter and kidneys. Tumors may also develop in the inner lining of these organs. The risk of these tumors depends on the stage and grade of the initial disease and the response of the tumor to treatment. As with any other infection and health disorder, your food and water intake plays an important role in keeping toxins at bay. While there have been no proven supplements to help prevent bladder cancer, drink plenty of water to flush your system and keep it clean.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3414 people found this helpful

How To Deal With Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour?

D.N.B. Psychiatry, Diploma In Psychological Medicine (Psychiatry), MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Psychiatrist, Navi Mumbai
How To Deal With Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour?

Obsessive compulsive behaviour is form of anxiety disorder in which unreasonable thoughts and fears, which are obsessions that lead one to do repetitive compulsive behaviour. Root causes of obsessive compulsiveness are complex and often deep seated. The underlying emotional states may include the fear of unknown, not being in control, negative outcomes, failure, rejection, shame, annihilation or embarrassment

You can eliminate mild obsessive compulsion easily, whereas, severe obsessive compulsiveness, require support of medical and mental health professionals.

When you start pondering or obsessing over an activity, you must try to stop the negative pattern, and provide control and security. A good anchor code stops an obsessive thought pattern and provides fact-based security for new action. One can get it under control and recover from it

The treatment for obsessive compulsive behaviour depends on the how much the condition is affecting the daily life of the person. There are two main treatments-

  1. Firstly cognitive behavioural therapy, which involves graded exposure and response prevention. The cognitive behaviour therapy emboldens one to face one's fear and let the obsessive thoughts occur without neutralising them with compulsions.
  2. The second being the medication. In this case, treatment is by medication to control one's symptoms by altering the balance of chemicals in brain.

Obsessive compulsive behaviour that has a relatively minor impact on one's daily life is usually treated with a short course of cognitive behavioural therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy involves exposure and response prevention that is used to help people with all severities. People with mild to moderate behaviour usually need about 10 hours of therapist treatment, combined with exercises to be done at home between sessions. Those with moderate to severe symptoms may need a more intensive course of therapy that lasts longer than 10 hours.

During the sessions, one works with therapist to break down the problems into their separate parts like physical feelings, thoughts and actions. The therapist encourages you to face your fear and let the obsessive thoughts occur without putting them right. It requires motivation and one should start with situations that cause the least anxiety first. These exposure exercises need to take place many times a day, and need to be done for one to two hours without engaging in compulsions to undo them. People with Obsessive compulsive behaviour find that when they confront their anxiety without carrying the compulsion, the anxiety goes away. Each time, the chances of anxiety reduces and last for a shorter period of time. 

Once you have one exposure task, you can move on to a more difficult task, until you have overcome all of the situations that make you anxious.  It is important to remember it can take several months before a treatment has a noticeable effect. It is extremely vital to remember that no one is perfect, nor can anyone recover perfectly.  Even in well maintained recoveries, people can occasionally mess up and forget what they are supposed to be doing. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4653 people found this helpful

How Hypnotherapy Helps To Deal With Fear And Phobias?

Cert.in MS Course- Counselling & Psychotherapy
Psychologist, Pune
How Hypnotherapy Helps To Deal With Fear And Phobias?

Jumping at the sight of a cockroach is normal, but some people won't even step into the room if they see one. Such people are said to suffer from a phobia of cockroaches. A phobia can be defined as the irrational fear of an object or situation, though it may not pose any real danger. A phobia often develops during childhood and gets aggravated as the person gets older.

Hypnotherapy has proven to be an effective form of treatment for phobias and fear. Hypnosis identifies the root cause or event that is the underlying cause of the phobia. A Hypnotherapist then attempts to change the person's reaction to the phobia trigger.

Some common phobias Hypnotherapists deal with are:

  • Fear of heights
  • Claustrophobia
  • Fear of insects and small animals
  • Fear of flying
  • Fear of technology

To do this a Hypnotherapist must ensure that the mind of the person is in a calm and relax state. This is because the root cause of a phobia is often a repressed memory. Thus, it can be accessed only when a person is in a state of heightened relaxation or trance. In this state, the mind is very receptive to suggestions. Once the memory has been addressed, it can be brought back to the conscious awareness. Addressing this conscious memory allows the therapist to make the patient feel less threatened by this trigger. The patient can then begin to form new thoughts and responses to the object or situation. This process is also known as Hypnotic regression.

A person normally needs 3-4 sessions of Hypnotherapy to be rid of a phobia. However, the number of sessions required varies from person to person and it may take additional sessions to cure a chronic phobia.

No. of sessions required depends on a number of factors such as:

  • How long the person has had the said phobia
  • His personality
  • How severely his life is affected by the phobia
  • How determined he is to free himself of the phobia

When you decide to work with a Hypnotherapist to get rid of your phobias, it is essential that you make the right choice in terms of the Hypnotherapist. You should ensure that you are being treated by a licensed professional Hypnotherapist. Also, make sure that you can trust the person and are comfortable in his or her presence. Take your time finding someone who you can open yourself up to and get started on conquering your fears.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2521 people found this helpful

Causes And Symptoms Of Androphobia!

MBBS, M.D Psychiatry , Diploma In Psychological Medicine
Sexologist, Navi Mumbai
Causes And Symptoms Of Androphobia!

Androphobia can be described as the unfounded and often overstressed fear of men. This phobia can affect both the genders, though younger females are more known to suffer from this kind of phobia.

Causes and origin:
Many psychoanalysts are of the opinion that women who had been victims of sexual assault or any kind of male aggression are more prone to androphobia. An unsympathetic and rude father figure can trigger this phobia in both the sexes. Many young girls are taught by their parents or caregiver to stay away from the opposite sex this can also instil a sense of fear for men in the young mind.

Symptoms:
Intense and irrational fear of men is one of the commonest manifestations of this phobia. In many cases, the individual might experience disturbing thoughts about being assailed by men. In spite of realizing that the fear is unfounded, they still avoid any kind of association with men. In some cases, the person is extremely panicky and alert in presence of men. Extreme cases of androphobia are characterized by panic accompanied with tremors, increased heartbeat, dizziness, nausea, stomach ache and chest ache.

Androphobia and sex life:
Androphobia can gravely affect the personal life of an individual particularly his/her sex life. Androphobic women intentionally keep away from male company which definitely has a negative impact on their sex life. Even mildly androphobic women are known to feel uncomfortable while talking to men. The androphobics are generally depressed individuals who prefer to keep to themselves. In spite of having feelings for a man or having the urge to have sex, an androphobic woman will hardly be able to convey her feeling because of her intense fear of manliness. The loneliness and alienation which is associated with this kind of phobia often prompts a woman to contemplate suicide.

Treatment:
As with most other phobias, androphobia is also a curable condition. Your psychiatrist can suggest various medications and psychotherapies to cure your condition. The exposure therapy in which the phobic is slowly exposed to the much feared subject is known to work well in many cases. The CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is another treatment for androphobia where counselling sessions are conducted so that the phobic can express and share her nature of phobia. During the sessions, the counsellor suggests ways of dealing with the phobia and keeping it under control. The objective of the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is to recognize the pessimistic images related to men and turn them into positive ones. When none of these therapies work, the psychiatrist usually suggests anti-anxiety and anti depressant medications which improve the temperament of the androphobic. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist.

6030 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi, I have some issue I am afraid of darkness, ghosts and being alone in a room. so I am not getting sleep at night. I am not able to control my thoughts so I was thinking and imagining things that doesn't happen. I am not able to concentrate on my work. I consider others opinion and am acting according to it.

PhD - Clinical Psychology, Diploma in Clinical and Community Psychology, MA - Clinical Psychology, BA - Psychology
Psychologist, Delhi
Hello Lybrate user The above mentioned symptoms are indicative of fears that lead to anxiety and negative thinking. These could be due to negative life events in the past or conditioning in your childhood which has led to such thoughts. Anxiety often affects sleep and mood of the person and decreases concentration levels due to preoccupation with the fear. However these are manageable symptoms through psychotherapy sessions. Try consulting a clinical psychologist for regular counselling sessions and to learn healthy coping strategies and techniques for positive thinking. Try talking about your fears and feelings with someone close and share your thoughts. Try deep breathing exercises along with regular exercise routine to feel mentally and physically relaxed. For any further guidance you can also reach out to me through the Lybrate app.
1 person found this helpful

Hi, I am 34 years old. I have been unemployed for the last 4 years. During this time I prepared for government jobs, but couldn't get a job. Now I am planning to go back to private jobs. I have been working hard on my skills to get a private sector job, and I'm happy to have acquired a lot of skills. I managed to get a fake work experience letter for those four years, when I was not working from a friend is company. My problem is, I keep on thinking what if I get caught using a fake letter (though the probability of getting caught is extremely low, as the company went out of business few months back) .This fear is always on my mind and consumes a lot of mental energy from me. This fear is always holding me back from going to interviews and applying for jobs. Please help me to start a new positive life and how do I overcome this thinking habit.

Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Psychologist, Bangalore
This is actually a good sign: it only shows that your conscience does not accept your unethical action. You cannot leave your conscience behind and just forget it. therefore I suggest to have a clean mind and remove that letter and the mention of that sabbatical in your resume. You would rather face life telling the truth than be successful by lying. The job scene is competitive but that does not mean it is acceptable to use deception even if others do to somehow get a placement. With a clear conscience life will be better and your mind will be free of any guilt. If you believe in karma and if you believe in Christ's famous words, 'You reap what you sow' , you may pay a price in some form or the other in life, that is for sure. Sometimes far worse than the crime.
4 people found this helpful

I don’t usually nap in the afternoon. But when I do, I always wake up after a horrible, scary dream. And it takes me a few seconds to tell whether it’s day or night. This has been the pattern for 2 years. Sometimes I have the same dream for a few consecutive times, sometimes different, but they are all similar in content, and when I wake up I’m usually scared and sad for a few minutes. I don’t eat much junk or fatty food and usually keep fit. I am a 28 year old woman. What could this be?

Diploma in psychology, PVA ayurveda
Psychologist, Bangalore
Hello Friend, Good that you are seeking a help here. Dreams tells us stories from our sub conscious mind. Generally dad, scary dreams give the hint of stress full mind. Suggest you to consult a Psychology expert to discuss in detail about your other mental condition to analyze the reason behind such dreams. First try and avoid afternoon nap.
1 person found this helpful

Hi Sir, Mujhe nind bhut kam aati h aur raat ko akaale me dar bhi lagta hai aur mai khi socail jagah per jata hu to bhut daar tension aur kuch bool nahi paata hu aur muje bhut daar lagta h, mera bp bhi thik h ecg aur jhaach ki sab thik h Kirpya Muje medical advise de.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. The following are the medical conditions that can cause INSOMNIA: Nasal/sinus allergies. Gastrointestinal problems such as reflux. Endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism. Arthritis. Asthma. Neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease. Chronic pain. Low back pain. Other than these, stress, anxiety, depression, obsession, lack of exercises etc can also cause insomnia. Consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Take care.

Table of Content

What is Fear?

What does Psychologist says :

More about Fear :

Play video
Know more about Fear
Positive and Negative aspects of Fear
Positive and Negative aspects of Fear

Hi I am Dr. Priyanka Srivastav a practicing psychologist in Noida and with Lybrate. Today lets understand what is fear. I know fear is a very common issue which everyone is facing in their day to day life situation. So what is fear? It is nothing but feeling of stress, apprehension or alarm caused by a sense of impending nature. Fear is generally within ourselves, but we all feel that fear is controlled by external factors. As human beings we all believe that if logic or reason is being given to a problem then we are not in a fearful situation. We can manage that situation so very well. So fear is very within our own selves.

Let us take an example, it is a very day to day life example. If we have to go to the railway station to catch a train, and we find the train is late, and we don t get the reason why the train is late we can get a apprehensive feeling, we will feel restless about the situation. But if the train is late because of some logic or rational reason behind it then we are relaxed and we will wait for the train to come. So fear can be easily overcome if there is a logic or reason behind that particular situation. So as a human being if a logis is given surely this feeling can be overcome.

Let's take another few examples related to this. In a dark room if we enter we have fear that some animals will be crawling over the floor, but if we switch on the light and see no animals on the floor, although we had a fear before entering to the room but if we switch on the light and see no animals it's just our imagination and the fear, so fear is again within our own selves. It is not controlled by the external factors. There are both positive and negative aspects to this fear and we generally experience fear in a very negative aspect. The positive aspect of fear is that it leads to more understanding more thoughtfulness of our mind. It leads to more creativity, we tend to think more into the details to come to the right and rational solutions to the situations which we are encountering.

So this fear can be overcome if we are very rational to the situation. Secondly the fear can be overcome if we forget the situation which has happened with us, if we forget certain past bad experiences of our life, then we can surely overcome fear. For example the bad experience can be one with our friend, with our college-mate, if we had a bad experience and after a couple of years or after a decade or so we meet with the same person and if we encounter with same type of fear then it is not the right way of managing the situation. The right way would be to analyse the situation, to understand it and to forget what has happened during that past time, so that we can easily manage our fear.

If you want to consult furthermore related to the queries about fear you can contact me through Lybrate online or offline mode of it.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice