What is your greatest fear? Do you know the answer? A lot of people don't. We just know that we sometimes feel fear and most people don't like it. Sometimes, people like the feeling of fear. Have you ever heard the term "adrenaline junkie"? That's those people that like fear. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about fear and phobias.
The Origin and Reasons of Fear
The sensation of fear is related to 2 parts of the brain, the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. The prefrontal cortex is the body's "hub of safety" if you will. It receives stimuli and determines whether it's potentially dangerous, and sends signals to different parts of the brain to release adrenaline, hence the term "adrenaline junkie". This release of adrenaline is called the "fight or flight response". The amygdala, part of the limbic system, controls all strong emotions. It is what stores strong points of fear, causing us to have a phobia of that situation. It automatically sends a signal to the prefrontal cortex , which causes the prefrontal cortex to invoke the fight-or-flight response. This happens when the phobic gets near, sees, or, in severe cases, thinks about the thing they are phobic towards.
Picture of the limbic system.
Death by Fear
Yes, it is possible to die of fear. Usually, people who die of fear are old or have an underlying heart condition. What happens is you get scared enough to release a lot of adrenaline, causing your heart to overload on adrenaline, causing a heart attack.
To Fear or Not To Fear
Fearlessness has been achieved. It was found in a study of rats that stimulating the prefrontal cortex caused the rats to not feel afraid. They did this by making a bell tone, followed by an electric shock to the feet. This conditioned the rats to tense at the sound of a bell. They then put the rats in...