Filtering Fear

I am an anxious person. This is not news, but as I continue to navigate my way through life I continue trying to find the “why” behind my feelings/emotions/behaviors. Fear and anxiety are hardwired into our psychology for good reason – these intuitive emotions help to protect us from dangerous situations. Fear can act as […]

Filtering Fear

The Real Virus is Fear.

Why fear and stress are the real virus. When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system. Fear can have a direct and noticeable effect on the body. “Fear is a feeling that is internal and is conscience,” said Mary D. Moller, PhD, DNP, ARNP, PMHCNS-BC, CPRP, FAAN, associate professor, Pacific Lutheran University School of Nursing, and director of Psychiatric Services, Northwest Center for Integrated Health.

It arises when sensory systems in the brain have determined an external stimulus poses a threat. Outputs of threat detection circuits trigger a general increase in brain arousal and can result in altered threat processing: fear and anxiety disorders. The consequences of fear effects the physical, emotional, environmental, and spiritual health. The potential effects of chronic fear on overall health include: -Immune system dysfunction -Endocrine system dysfunction -Autonomic nervous system alterations -Sleep/wake cycle disruption -Eating disorders -Alterations in hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis The potential effects of chronic fear on emotional health include: -Dissociation from self -Unable to have loving feelings -Learned helplessness -Phobic anxiety -Mood swings -Obsessive-compulsive thoughts The potential effects of chronic fear on physical health include: -headaches turning into migraines, – muscle aches turning into fibromyalgia, -body aches turning into chronic pain, -difficulty breathing turning into asthma.

Lastly, fear affects the ability to learn. “The brain’s capacity to retrieve previous learning is dependent on specific chemical states,” “Chemical alterations can distort perception of sensory information thus distorting storage.” Be Aware, not afraid. The real virus is caused by you. The real virus is FEAR.