Fear is a term that derives from a Latin word which is “timor”, this defines a type of behavior that is characterized by trying to flee from what is considered dangerous. So it is a description of a personal perception, as to that a personal attack is suspected to occur. 

It is usual to use the word fear as a synonym for fear , although both describe similarities in human behavior, they are not the same. Both help to refer the anguish or displeasure before a threat can be real or imaginary.

Fear is a primary emotion that is considered part of the adaptive scheme of all living things. At a certain point in life a person will feel fear, it is a common instinct that occurs before a particular event. This will determine the decisions or actions that will be taken to avoid what has caused us rejection.

However, fear is irrational, it should be identified those factors that have triggered this reaction. It can become a condition that requires treatment because these people could at any time behave impulsively. Represents being a limitation affecting the daily life of the affected person.

In the most serious cases the fear turns into some kind of uncontrollable phobia , it is an illogical fear that is difficult to understand. It can be activated in the presence of certain objects or people, or when trying to face certain situations. Some describe fear as a type of “artificial emotion” because it is not based on real danger.

What is fear in psychology? 

In psychology, fear is defined as an emotion that manifests itself with anguish and restlessness, causes the person to paralyze due to its intensity. It is a reaction that can be identified when trying to avoid or flee from what is perceived as dangerous but without knowing how to do it. This feeling has its origin in the perception of a situation that represents being facing a risk.

In a broader sense, fear is also associated with suspicion or suspicion , which arouses certain people or events in particular. It can be due to previous experiences or by association, then it is presumed that a possible damage has been recognized; This will eventually have an impact on us. It is even a term that can be used to refer to a belief or idea, which describes something or someone has negative intentions.

Generally it is a term that describes the physical mechanism that is unleashed from fear, both terms are related to each other but they are not synonymous. One is the consequence of another, fear is the result of fear that is generated from a complex mental process. Physiologically it has its origin in the brain amygdala , which is capable of controlling emotions.

Fear is an automatic response , which can make a person paralyze, also decide to face or flee from what they fear after a state of lethargy. There is a varied diversity of manifestations, both physical and psychological. It is important to mention that some physical symptoms are the change in heart rate and breathing.

It is important to know the difference between fear and fear. The latter is described as a natural emotion related to protection against real danger. Instead, fear arises from it as a consequence of a complex process in which a person’s psyche begins to create scattered thoughts and surprising reactions . Understanding it differently, this is an emotion that limits the person and usually paralyzes him.

What are the characteristics of fear? 

Fear is characterized by a series of easily identifiable physical actions. Both humans and animals show similarities in their behavior when they are experiencing this emotion. The main characteristics are described below:

  • The most common thing is that the person enters a state of lethargy , paralyzes before the danger that causes fear. Also consequently a diverse variety of other reactions unfolds that will be carried out after overcoming this state. It can be running away or just walking away.
  • It arises spontaneously at the slightest perception of a signal that causes rejection or mistrust. This can manifest itself in different ways, some people are more prone than others to these same stimuli.
  • The physiological symptoms will change blood pressure, a greater amount of blood is pumped through the whole organism through the circulatory system.
  • There is muscle numbness , consequently the affected person will not be able to move agilely. Therefore, he will act clumsily and this prevents him from being able to defend himself or flee.
  • You will always react in the same way when faced with the same stimulus.
  • Unlike fear, fear occurs in situations that can be totally harmless. However, as it is a conscious reaction, this means that the person has already developed this rejection that affects them emotionally .
  • Regarding the psychological symptoms, the sensation of depersonalization can be mentioned . Other symptoms are excessive sweating, dizziness, vertigo , muscle aches, and loss of body control.
  • An alert posture is constantly maintained . Fear becomes frequent and for this reason in a serious problem, then the development of daily activities is considerably limited. You can suffer from stress and anguish.
  • There will be constant changes in the mood of the affected person. A series of different psychic pathologies are associated with fear, this is the case of panic attacks and phobias.

What are the types of fear?

Sigmund Freud was the first to define two distinct categories of fear. The first of them is called neurosis , which is described as the manifestation of this emotion in an intense and even disproportionate way. That is, the reaction can be considered exaggerated and impulsive , sometimes it arises from dangers that are not real.

The second is the real fear which is generated by the perception of a danger of a considerable dimension, causing the person to react in a way that corresponds to the intensity of said threat. Therefore, in this case it could be considered as a necessary emotion, as it helps to ensure personal safety.

It is also important to mention the reverential fear , this is related to doctrines such as Christianity and other religions. In psychology it is important to understand how people’s beliefs can influence their mental capacities. Before the fear of God, people can develop two types of fears, filial or servile.

Filial fear is related to sin, this action is repudiated because it is known that it can offend God. The servile fear occurs before the possible punishment that the realization or choice of these options entails. Therefore, the person will always be fearful of any type of action or decision that should be avoided.

Importance of the study of fear in psychology

In psychology it is important to understand how primary emotions work, including fear. Fear is a consequence of this emotion, it is a temporary reaction which creates in the person a particular reaction to a danger that is finally fictitious or really harmless .

It turns out to be essential to try to find suitable treatments for those who suffer from this condition in a chronic way. When they are aware of their own fears and do not know how to deal with them, long-term mental and physical conditions can develop that will require medical assistance.

It turns out to be a very painful condition that causes a person to experience a state of drowsiness that can be prolonged. So you cannot lead a normal life due to its consequences. Faced with the possible approach of that threat or danger that leads to the generation of fear, other types of reactions are accompanied that turn out to be equally uncontrollable.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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