It seemed like another routine day at the small, rural hospital. The doctors were busy with the usual colds, sores, fractures etc.
Little did they know that their clinical lives were about to change dramatically. A 30 year old, blonde woman who worked as a cashier in the local drug store, presented with an unusual complaint. For the last many years of her life, she felt as though there was something wrong with her. She could stand on ledges and peer down with no problem. While on a holiday in Africa, she was face to face with a lion but felt nothing. The game warden was stunned, and said.. "it looks as though you have no fear"! Over the next years she often thought about it. Last evening she had a narrow escape, when she was in her room and noticed something coiled under the table. It was rather large and slowly started to uncoil itself, but even after she realized it was a snake she had no urge to leave the room. Now she knew there was something thing wrong with her. The doctors at first did not believe her, but after the first couple of test their doubts faded away.
Researchers spent many days trying to scare her. They exposed her to everything from spiders to scary movies. Her reaction to the spiders was the strange urge to want to pet them and during the blood curdling scenes of the movies she did nothing but yawn.
This lady had a genetic disorder that disabled a part of her brain know as the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain that emotional memories and fear are processed.
Even though this sounds pretty cool, not having a sense of fear, this genetic disorder put this lady's life in jeopardy.
Parts that help with fear
Hippocampus creates stimuli so that context can be established
Thalamus determines where to send incoming sensory
Amygdalae identifies the threat and stores it your memory
Hypothalamus activates your fight-or-flight response
Sensory cortex interprets data
Kinds of fear
Regular fear, is the emotion that people feel when a danger is actually present
Anxiety, fear connected with worrying about danger that might happen
Phobia, very worried about the possibility of seeing the feared object or experiencing the feared situation
Everybody has childhood fears. This is because there is so much in this world which is new to a child, they may end up fearing certain things until they have a better understanding of them. Childhood fears are important for our wellbeing, because they protect us from danger. For example, if you see a kid get bitten by a dog you are less likely to stick your hand out the next time you see a dog or till you get a better understanding of them
Response to fear
Have you ever wondered why when you see a spider you either scream and run