Haven’t you had situations when you felt yourself weakened and crippling down? That moment when you are in the middle of danger? The moment when something you dread calls you out? Or simply, when your little brother decides to scare you by hiding behind curtains? Situations may vary, reactions and responses may vary but the emotion each situation gives and the dread it causes is the same. Gulping down our throat, fisting our clammy palms and vigorously moving our leg to hide the shivering, we define that devil emotion as Fear. Out of all the emotions, fear is something even the most emotionless person has experienced. And it’s such a emotion whose reasons are hard to find. There are various causes of fear. It’s one of the most powerful emotions and can affect your mind and body equally. And it’s dangerous if you don’t understand what fear is and remove it from your subconscious mind.
What is fear?
Fear has many definitions. Fear has many types. The simplest definition and the most meaningful one that can be given to fear is that it’s an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined.
The definition Wikipedia have taken the liberty to give is that Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organic functions and ultimately a change in behaviour, such as fleeing, hiding or freezing from perceived traumatic events.
Biologically, fear can be defined as the instinctual response to potential danger due to the excess release of adrenaline and stress hormones into the blood stream.
The changes in behaviour and reactions or response fear causes are various. Some of them are:
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Weakening of whole body
- Quivering of voice
- Shivering and cold limbs
- Increased sweating
- Dilation of pupil
What are the causes of fear?
Before analysing the causes of fear, one should always remember that the word FEAR cannot be narrowed down to a single entity. An emotion can never be explained in a simple sentence. Nor can the causes of fear.
There different types of fears in the world. Listing them down is unimaginable. Haven’t you seen people who have fear of fire, fear of birds, fear of water etc? Remembers me of my friend who have fear of shower! Sounds funny, but once you know what caused her the fear you would agree that the fear is acceptable. One another strange fear is of famous pop star Liam Payne, of One Direction, who have fear of spoons!
Some of the causes of fear can be analysed. They are:
Fear caused by childhood incidents
Childhood is the period when we learn things. It’s the time when we develop a perception and establish a judgement over some things. Thus, the incidents that happen in our childhood stay imprinted in our minds forever. The anxiety it gives impacts their growing up and health negatively.
This is where my friend with phobia of shower comes in.
She was three years old when her father decided to give her a bath. He took his daughter to the washroom and switched on the shower. For a three year old, she didn’t know what shower was and how it works and the little mind was scared to death when water suddenly hit her head with force. She was habitual to rain but the water had much force than rain and her subconscious mind declared it as a threat. And the threat follows her forever! She still doesn’t use shower!
Fear from trauma that tragedies caused
This can be divided into infinite classifications.
For example, someone who have lost his father will live the rest of his days fearing whether he will lose his mother as well.
Someone who has experienced sexual assault will have the fear and dread whenever a person of the same sex as the assaulter approaches them.
Take the case of a person who was locked inside a dark room. The person initially wasn’t afraid of dark. But it so happened that when he was locked inside some rats ran by his legs, wind blew the curtains and it was a stormy night. Obviously the person will be scared. The incident might traumatize him for the next few times he enter a dark room, or sometimes his entire life.
We should be surprised that how something small like blowing wind and thunder, which we face every now and then, can ignite the feeling of fear when it comes with the right complete package of terror.
Fear from lack of confidence
It’s something everyone faces.
Don’t some of us feel terrorized when we have to walk up to a stage and deliver a presentation?
The fear of exams we have every now and then? Doesn’t that belong here in this category?
Sometimes we declare that we’re worthless. The feeling that WE CAN’T DO IT is what we call lack of confidence. This is unknowingly followed by fear. Our mind prevents us from doing the task. Why wouldn’t it? Didn’t we ourselves decide that we cannot do it? We shouldn’t blame the fear then!
Causes of fear are various. You will never see a person without at least one fear. I have seen many people who try hard to hide their fears. Why? A claustrophobic person admitting that he is claustrophobic wouldn’t tarnish his image, would it? It was only then I realized. The person is not afraid of closed and tight spaces. He is afraid of his fear of closed and tight spaces. Reminds me of the famous words by the infamous author Douglas.
What is to be feared is fear itself
Doesn’t it scare you? The impact fear has on you is terrifying. It weakens you, scares you and scars you! It will follow you like a demon chasing its prey for a lifetime. Douglas is right! What is to be feared is fear itself!