Fear and anxiety

The memory of that experience terrifies me even now
The idea of going out and going there scares me a lot
I have to avoid certain situations, otherwise the fear paralyzes me

If there is a danger or suspect there it can be, fear is there to prepare for action and reach safety. Fear is perhaps the emotion more automatic and "antique" in the history of our evolution and is intuitive to understand its importance for survival.

We experience fear whenever we perceive that some of our goal or purpose is threatened: starting from losing the bus until putting on risk our own safety. When the threat is obvious we talk of fear while in the case of anxiety the fear of the hazard is blurred, vague and place in the more or less immediate future. Emotions are therefore of vital importance, fear and anxiety are sentinels that inform us of the dangers and we have to react in a way that the threat and the danger is averted. When will these emotions become harmful?

Fear and anxiety become a disorder basically when the difficulty or inability to recognize fear and anxiety is not as danger signs but the danger itself: you are afraid of fear!

The person who suffers from anxiety overestimates the danger signals both internal and external and underestimate their ability to handle the feared situation. In phobias such as panic disorder, there are situations, places, objects or animals that the person prevents with all his strength even in the face of evidence that the threat from which we protect ourselves is unrealistic to say the least: the phobic person knows for example, that he will not die if he remains locked in an enclosed place. What he fears most is to experience a sensation experienced as uncontrollable, irrepressible, almost deadly.

Social phobia in the person is afraid of being exposed because they are afraid of being exposed to the judgment of others, afraid of not being up to, the source of his terror is to be embarrassed and ashamed in public.

In Obsessive Compulsive Disorder behaviors and rituals, often extravagant, are put in place in order to avoid events experienced with terror.

Fear and anxiety are also at the basis of continuous attention to the body message that could mean an illness as in Hypochondriasis, as the fear of gaining weight of the person who has a of eating behavior disorder.

Particularly negative and traumatic memories can be remembered with extreme anxiety and fear as in the case of post-traumatic stress disorder.


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