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Fear as a defense mechanism

Fear as a defense mechanism

Fear protects organisms against a perceived threat to their integrity or existence. Fear can be as simple as moving away from a negative stimulus, or as complex as existential anxiety in a human.

Some of the brain's main chemicals that contribute to the "fight or flight" response are also involved in other emotional states such as happiness and excitement. It makes sense that the high arousal state we experience during a scare may also be seen in a more positive light.

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The fear reaction starts in the brain's amygdala region and spreads through the body to prepare the body for the best defense or flight reaction. Fear also triggers the release of stress hormones and the sympathetic nervous system.

We learn fear through observation, personal experiences, and through the instruction of spoken or written notes. The perception of control is vital to how we experience and respond to fear.

The main factor in how we experience fear has to do with the context.

An imbalance between excitement caused by fear and the sense of control may cause too much or too little excitement.

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