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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.

5620 people found this helpful

How To Deal With Hereditary Heart Diseases?

MBBS, DM - Cardiology, MD
Cardiologist, Hyderabad
How To Deal With Hereditary Heart Diseases?

Ever wondered why you needed to share your family’s health history at a doctor’s clinic? Specific questions regarding health issues of your immediate family or close blood relatives give your doctor an insight into various health risks you might have now or in future. Those are medical conditions inherited by parents or grandparents through genes. Genes are passed from parents to children in DNA of eggs or sperms. Even a single mutation (fault) in gene can influence body systems and may lead to disorders. If any of the parents have a faulty gene, there are 50:50 chances of the child inheriting it.

Hereditary heart diseases are also a result of mutation in one or more genes and tend to run in families. Genes control almost all aspects of cardiovascular system including strengthening blood vessels, pumping capacity or communication of cells in the heart. A single genetic variation is enough to alter cardiovascular processes increasing the risk of developing a heart disease, attack or a stroke. Some of the most common hereditary cardiac disorders include; Arrhythmias, congenital heart diseases and cardiomyopathy. A family history of heart attack or stroke is also an established high-risk factor for the family members. High blood cholesterol, medically known as familial hypercholesterolemia also tends to run in families.

Unfortunately, many of these conditions cannot be prevented since they are acquired through genes. But there are many ways in which these could be managed before they become complicated or fatal.

Let’s look at some ways by which we can deal with hereditary heart diseases and increase a patient’s chances of survival:

  1. Early Diagnosis And Treatment: When one person in the family is diagnosed with a heart disease, it is strongly advisable for other family members to go in for screening. An early diagnosis can help in better treatment and management of the disease and impacts positively on patients’ life. Medical screening of siblings is highly recommended in case a person suffers a sudden cardiac death especially at a young age.

  2. Watch out for these symptoms at a young age: Abnormal heart rhythm, asthma that does not get better with inhaler, seizures that do not improve with medication, extreme fatigue or shortness of breath are warning signals and need immediate medical attention.

  3. Genetic Testing: Family members may opt for genetic testing to check if they carried genes of an inherited disorder.

  4. Genetic Counselling: Genetic counselling deals with problems like anxieties and fear of attacks, confusion over disease and emotional difficulties in accepting the situation.

We may not be able to change the family history but we can surely change our environment, lifestyle and habits. Eating healthy and following an active lifestyle does help in prevention and management of such diseases. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cardiologist.

3511 people found this helpful

Hymenoplasty - What Are The Benefits And Procedure?

MCh - Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, DNB (Plastic Surgery)
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Aurangabad
Hymenoplasty - What Are The Benefits And Procedure?

These days everything is available, including a new body. You can get a new nose, jaw, perky breasts and yes, a brand new hymen as well, all through plastic surgery. The procedure of hymen restoration or reconstruction is called hymenoplasty, hymenorrhaphy, virginity surgery or just hymen reconstruction surgery. The hymen, as you know is a ring-like membrane in a woman’s vagina. It usually ruptures due to vigorous exercise or sexual penetration. This is also usually the reason many women, egged on by families, decide to go for the reconstruction of their hymen because certain cultures value female virginity and losing one’s virginity before marriage is a taboo.

Benefits: The benefits of hymenoplasty , if any, are that it allows women to take control of their futures in conservative societies. If she has been sexually active pre-marriage, she can still decide to go for a traditional marriage without the fear of ostracization. Hymenoplasty surgery restores the ability of the hymen to bleed at intercourse on the wedding night. Victims of sexual assault can also use the procedure to get over the traumatic event and its memories. Some women like to get a hymen rejuvenation to feel young again.

Procedure: Hymenorrhaphy can be done months or years after a woman loses her virginity. It must be performed only by a plastic surgeon. In this procedure, the torn edges of the hymen are sutured back together. If done correctly, the touched-up hymen appears as good as new and bleeds on sexual penetration. Sutures dissolve by themselves after a few days. Hospital stay is only 5-6 hours post hymenorrhaphy. The procedure is done under anesthesia and it usually takes less than an hour to finish. Patients are discharged from hospital the same day and are advised not to do any vigorous activity like playing games, climbing stairs, and of course sex.

Risk involved: There are no documented risks of hymenoplasty and there are no complications either, if the surgeon is good. If an adverse reaction occurs, it’s temporary. Usually any discomfort in the private parts and swelling in the outer parts of the vagina usually subsides within days.

Recovery: The recovery time is minimal and the patient can return to work next day, if she wants. Complete healing, though, takes approximately 4 weeks. Good hygiene is important to avoid infection. Patients are advised to contact their doctor immediately after a hymenorrhaphy if there is fever, abdominal pain, bleeding from vagina or the reconstructed hymen. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

3065 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!

4650 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Respected sir, I am very phobia person on health issues. Recently I got married and I am working in the government organization. Recently In my office, one of my colleagues died of cancer from that day my phobia of cancer is increasing because previously I was a drinker but not continue. He also used to drink with more smoker but I didn't smoke. Now my phobia is on cancer. Recently I am facing a little bit difficult to take a breath as well as fully stomach even if I take a small amount of food. Please suggest me what I suppose to do for my phobia of cancer?

MD, DNB, EPGDHA, MBBS
Oncologist, Mumbai
Hello, phobia is more of a psychological phenomenon and will need psychological assessment and possibly counselling. I would recommend that you meet your family physician and get an assessment of your health first, if the physician feels that your fear of Cancer is serious problem then he may refer you to a counsellor or a psychiatrist. Along with this what may help to reduce the fear is to maintain a Healthy lifestyle with appropriate diet and regular exercise. While we still don't know what are the exact causes of many of the cancers, we do know that good diet and exercise is likely to keep you more healthy.

Hi Sir, I have fear of mental disease. Whenever I read of them I feared a lot. My mind keeps thinking. My mind making images in head. Whenever that I saw anything about them e.g. I heard a voice that I feared and think about depression and anxiety and other diseases. Because I have read more about them on internet. I always feared. How to overcome it and stop wandering mind.

Msc in Psychology
Psychologist, Bangalore Rural
Mr. lybrate-userfirst do not think do you have an anxiety. Second one is when ever you reading about that you feel like accepted. And this can make you to think negatively, this negative thinking make you more worry, fear, and keep on thinking about them. Do ignore what you getting negative in your mind, Do not make judgment about them, Do not compare also Do some physical exercises like briscky walking Do yoga, Meditation Keep on note down your negative thoughts. All the best.

My Son 24 years, early very shy, and fear to face any groups, even driving, we have consulted many psychologists and psychiatrists, mostly diagnosed that avoidance psychology & depression, around 2 years of treatment mood improve medicines plus scholar talks, no changes, while these days last Dec 2017, suddenly started a hearing sound his throat & psychiatric hospital admitted, first day loosed his memory, while 2 days was violent shouting with ugly words he never used, psychiatrist found schizophrenia due to avoidant physiology strong, many medicines was resistive for him, now Clozapine 200 mg, plus Aripiprazole 10 mg while this medicine, involuntarily muscle movements and epilepsy symptoms showing, now taking Valprol CR 300 twice a day with above medicines, present he is laying and stay at home only, no moving out or any activity, any contacts care of these type patients to bring them social active? South India, Kerala? Expecting your early reply.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma in Psychological Medicine, Diplomate in professional psychotherapy
Psychiatrist, Nadiad
Thanks it seems to be a case of mixed. Schoaffective disorder with psychological problem. It n eeds to be assessed with psychologist n then cousneling of the parents on the way of handling. By chnaging the communication as per the age of the child.& then psychotherapy to the child for ventilation .& if required latest therapy with RTMS therapy can be given. For early recovery.
1 person found this helpful

Hello,I have fear facing the job after 2 years leave because of my health issue rheumatoid arthritis. My fear is that I have prolonged gap because sometimes I can manage to go but fear stops me. How can I overcome this?

Senior Resident Medicine
Rheumatologist, Chandigarh
Fear is for unknown. Walk step by step. You will know your fear better. Then only you can overcome that. If no problems arise good If problems arise. These will make you better.

Hello doctor I am 25 years old born and raised in lower middle class family I am 3rd among 5 children to my mother when I was around 1 years my mother sent me to my grain although I returned soon but I have a troubled childhood having faced child absued I never ever shared it to my parents may be because I was sent so I might have a communication problem. I know my parents love is unconditional, they do care for me but they never understood me, my mood, my attitude. Now when I am all grownup. I still have that fear, scared of going out, meeting people ,just want to stay alone. The actual problem is, my parents are looking an alliance for me. How can I share my life with someone when I have not forgot my past .how can I trust someone that he can pull me out of the dark.

Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Psychologist, Bangalore
You are absolutely right: you need to sort yourself out before bedding and boarding with someone in such intimate settings! Now your parents cannot read your mind or know anything about you if you don't tell them. If you are afraid of your own parents that shows you are afraid of some rejection from them. In my opinion, I think that your problem lies in the fear of rejection. This rejection is usually founded in your family of origin, and is somewhat manifest in some descriptions you have given already. This is not to find fault in your parents: they may have done a lot of things with good intentions but may have inadvertently set up rejection. If you go way back, and see if there was any rejection prenatally or postnatally (again all this with intention or without), the child will pick up the sensation or feel like she is not wanted or even rejected. As you can see, I am presuming all this. You will have to give it substance, if you so have the substance. Without reaching to any conclusions, just indulge in this thought to see if there is any semblance of truth to explore it further. Your parents may throw light on this but don’t share too much of what I saying until it has been verified. Also find out, if there was an abortion or miscarriage before or after you were born. Whether you were wanted by both parents at birth. Whether they expected a male child and were disappointed that you were a girl. How long were you breast-fed by mom etc? These will all throw some light on my proposal of rejection, if there is any truth. If this is true, you must seek some professional advice. As for your marriage you may seek the help of an uncle or aunt to explain your predicament and buy some time to sort yourself out.

Table of Content

What is Fear?

What does Psychologist says :

More about Fear :

Play video
Fear Of Being Without Your Mobile Phone
With technology surpassing human relations today , its really difficult for anyone to imagine a life without mobile phone. Earlier it used to be just a means of communication but now it has become more of a necessity.
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.
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