Fear and Its Effect on The Body
By: Wyatt Paddock
What is fear?
Fear is the aversion to or dread of a certain thing and/or person.
What does it do?
Fear affects your cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, and skin systems. When you feel afraid, a little pouch-like structure in your brain, the amygdala, sends a signal to the rest of your body to be ready to fight or take flight. Hormones and adrenaline are released, your breathing quickens, your heart beats faster, and you start sweating. These are only a few of the common effects of fear. Also, the amygdala reacts faster than your brain is able to process the situation, hence why jumpscares startle you before you are able to really see what it is.
Who does fear affect?
No human lives without being afraid of something, but it is most common to children or those who have experienced something emotionally horrific. Most children experience/have experienced the fear of the dark, or just slight paranoia that there might be something or someone under the bed. Most childhood fears go away as they mature, but others can follow them to adulthood.
Signs and Symptoms
You can normally tell immediately when you are afraid. (See the effects in 'What Does it Do?') It clouds your thoughts of rational thinking. When scared, your body prepares you for action, pumping more blood, taking in more oxygen, and fueling you with enough adrenaline to face the situation.
Why Do We Like To Be Scared?
Is there a cure?
There are multiple methods that people have used to try to get rid of their fear. Some use self help, while others try meditation. Others try hypnosis, but some go to therapy. Whether these methods work or not depends on the person and fear.
The chances of you dying of fright are very slim. You may faint at the most, but unless you have a heart-attack, you'll live. Mentally, though, some fears can drive people to insanity, even to the point of suicide.
How can other people tell when you're scared?
While yes, it is obvious to most, some prefer a more scientific approach to see what the fear really is. Therapists use ink-blots, for instance. Another example is the picture test. It's when someone flashes different images in front of you while monitoring your heartbeat and reaction.
Why did I choose 'fear' out of all things? -_-
I chose fear for 3 main reasons. 1) I'm absolutely fascinated with the topic and what it does to you mentally. (I know, I'm weird.) 2) It was a different choice. While everybody else was doing topics on things that some people have, I chose one that everybody has, but nobody else would think of doing a project on. 3) I wanted to learn more about it. In doing a project about something I already know about, I learned even more about the physical effects not just the mental effects.