The fear response mechanism in humans, often referred to as the flight or fight response, evolved to provide all animals with an ‘early warning system’ that will identify and deal appropriately with real threat.
We have all experienced it and we all know that it can make us stronger and faster when legitimately required.
The little-known effects of the fear response on the human anatomy are more subtle, but most vital and despite often experiencing these as sensory disturbances, both when fear, in its disordered state, becomes anxiety the disorder, but also during the fear response.
This state is called hyper-vigilance and for those who are unfamiliar with the term, it is the state your mind places your neurology in when it detects risk; it’s a state of high-level sensory awareness.
Pupils dilate, skin sensitises, the mouth, ears and nose become hyper-sensitised… all as part of the process that keeps us ‘safe’ – the fear response.
Imagine this… news is spread that a killer virus has escaped that originates in certain animals; animals that we, in the Western world, would deem unsafe to consume; dirty; unsavoury… animals that carry disease. The world is disgusted but also fearful.
Then it appears that the virus is killing people in unprecedented numbers and it’s spreading… globally.
The media takes hold of this news and does what it does best… exaggerates, sensationalises and repeats and repeats the news, disregarding fact, disregarding human frailty and sensitivity.
Over weeks, the media frenzy increases, fuelled by the journalists’ own anxiety, sparked by a constant stream of inaccurate data and reporting but also driven by that modern human need for reward, notoriety, fame and money.
The public, meanwhile, have launched their own campaigns of misinformation; fuelled by ignorance in some cases, but mostly by inevitably raised fear.
Every day, they awake and reach for the latest posts, not wishing to miss out on a story they can copy and paste under the eyes of millions of people who are following the same obsessive, compulsive, chemically fuelled urges, created by the mind… the reward centre in the brain… the one that chemically creates addiction… all frenetically doing the same, world over to get that ‘hit’… the ‘high’ as endorphins fuel the social media race.
At this point, fear is high, in fact, higher than it has ever been for humanity within our current generations’ lifetimes.
The fear response mechanism gives rise to a cycle of risk assessments; neurological signals asking the senses for data in an attempt to glean truth from the external environment and make fact-based decisions about how to appropriately respond.
Fear fuels many emotional experiences – scepticism, distrust, catastrophizing, conspiracy theorising and paranoia; all have evolved in all of us to, under ‘normal’ circumstances, keep us safe, identify risk and avoid catastrophe.
And my point is…
When we experience something novel, when it is outside of our field of normal understanding, expectations and belief… it excites the fear response.
For some, when the potential threat has subsided, that fear will fall back to balanced normality, but for those predisposed to suffering from anxiety… disordered fear… it will not.
Panic, phobias, obsessive compulsive and other systemic disorders of the emotions will be activated and with it carry the disorders categorised as anxiety disorders. OCD, panic disorder, agoraphobia, eating disorder, health anxiety, self-harming to name but a few.
Conspiracy is rife during times of extreme fear and anxiety – looking for ‘worst case scenarios and outcomes’ during fear response is both normal and expected – all fuelled by the search for threat.
Whether you have heard that:
• COVID was created as a weapon in a lab
• It’s all a cover-up for a global economic reset
• It’s all about 5G and a conspiracy to control us with RFR
• It’s about a global conspiracy to create an Orwellian state
• It’s about creating a single global currency
• Or anything else…
It MIGHT be… but one thing is for certain; it probably isn’t and even if it is… what the hell can we do about it?
Fear is like plutonium… it’s a constant fuel for high level responses; adrenalin is the activator of fear in tandem with the neurology responsible for the activation of risk assessments.
When you add house-arrest, boredom, frustration, isolation, screaming babies and squabbling teenagers, frustrated house-mates and dreadful TV to a seemingly, ‘shrinking’ home… it doesn’t take a psycho-physiologist to recognise the signs of stress and the responses it naturally produces.
Fear has always driven humans to:
• Create deities
• Self-medicate with substances
• Turn to spirituality and spells
• Insure themselves
• Run away and hide; both physically and mentally
But despite knowing all this, humanity forgets or ignores the science and focuses only on the superficial manifestations and outward expressions of those responses.
It may turn out all to be a mass conspiracy or deception but one thing is for sure; until that either does, or does not, come to fruition, me, my family and friends will abide by the wishes of our elected officials and do what we can to mitigate the loss and impact to humanity; and at some point in the, hopefully, not too distant future, all will be, relatively, well again.
I love humanities foibles and quirks. I love the adventure of life; trying to unravel people’s language and decipher the truth of their words and responses. I love life and until the moment it is tugged away from me, I will do what I can to assist all people in their journey.
Much of my work involves getting ‘behind’ language, uncovering core truths and beliefs and working with clients to understand themselves genetically, physiologically and sociologically.
Our places in this world aren’t guaranteed… they’re a gift, moreover a loan… one we should learn to repay in kindness, truth and love.
Charles Linden Linden Tree Education
©Charles Linden 2020