The Physical Effects of Fear

875 WordsJun 18, 20184 Pages
Fear is an emotion that most everyone is familiar with. The psychological effects of fear are readily apparent but many people are unaware of the physical effects. Some of these are major; others are so minor they go unnoticed. The philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti who lived during the 20th century said “What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.” Understanding the physiology of fear may provide a foundation for better coping and treatment strategies in the future. In order to fully understand the effects of fear on the body, it is…show more content…
Since anxiety is experienced commonly, it is important to be aware of the body’s response. These effects are completely normal, and act as a natural coping method of the body. The physical response to phobias is a bit more extreme. The basic, minor effects begin with sweating, trembling, hot flashes or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, a choking sensation, rapid heartbeat, chest pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest, and a sensation of butterflies in the stomach. These increase to symptoms such as nausea, headaches and dizziness, feeling faint numbness or pins and needles, dry mouth, ringing in your ears, and feeling confused or disorientated. Paranoia is similar, but manifests itself through mainly psychological effects. Terror differs from anxiety and phobia in that there may be lasting physical effects. The immediate response is an adrenaline rush called the ‘fight or flight’ response. When this is triggered, the person experiencing this intense fear will either face the problem head on, or run from the cause of the terror. The short term effects (those that last for a few days or weeks) are the body’s way of dealing with a particularly frightening trauma. These feelings are those that each person tends to be aware of whenever a situation goes wrong in their lives, and the feelings should seem
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