Fear and Anxiety

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Fear causes anxiety, and anxiety can cause fear. Throughout our lives, we experience circumstances that make us feel different emotions. Some situations make us experience positive feelings and emotions, such as joy and excitement. At other times, we experience things that bring about feelings of loneliness, loss, sadness, fear and anxiety. Anxiety and fear both produce similar responses to certain dangers. Also, they both often cause similar symptoms, such as muscle tension, increased heart rate and shortness of breath brought about by the body’s “flight-or-fight” instinct. It is no surprise that for many of us fear and anxiety pretty much mean the same thing but indeed there is a difference. Fear is known to be a cognitive and an emotional response to a situation in which someone feels threatened, related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance. The cause of the threat is realistic in nature. For example, if someone is chasing you with a knife, human instinct of fear is to run! Often times, fear of a certain situation or event is caused by a traumatic event experienced earlier in life. The effects of this traumatic event are carried by the person throughout his or her life to such an extent that when the individual finds himself or herself in a similar situation, he or she begins to feel the symptoms of being threatened. As a child I was bitten by a dog and ever since then I have a fear of dogs. When I see a dog, I immediately start to run away. Another example, I have a fear of driving because one of my older brothers’ passed away due to a car accident so I try to avoid driving. In short, fear is the ability to recognize a dangerous situation leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it.

My fear of driving can also be related to anxiety because when I do drive I tend to feel nervous and worried. Some of my friends may even say I drive as slow as an old lady because of how slow and cautious I drive.

Anxiety is considered to be a...
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