It’s one of the most basic human emotions.
Fear is programmed into the nervous system and works like an instinct. From the time we’re infants, we’re equipped with the survival instincts necessary to respond with fear when we sense danger or feel unsafe.
Fear helps protect us. It makes us alert to danger and prepares us to deal with it. Feeling afraid is very natural — and helpful — in some situations. Fear can be like a warning, a signal that cautions us to be careful.
Like all emotions, fear can be mild, medium, or intense, depending on the situation and the person. A feeing of fear can be brief or it can last longer.
How Does Fear Work?
When we sense danger, the brain reacts instantly, sending signals that activate the nervous system. This causes physical responses, such as a faster heartbeat, rapid breathing, and an increase in blood pressure. Blood pumps to our large muscle groups to prepare the body for physical action (such as running or fighting). Skin sweats to keep the body cool. Some people might notice sensations in the stomach, head, chest, legs, or hands. These physical sensations of fear can be mild or strong.
This response is known as “fight or flight” because that is exactly what the body is preparing itself to do: fight off the danger or run fast to get away. The body stays in this state of fight–flight until the brain receives an “all clear” message and turns off the response.
Sometimes fear is triggered by something that is startling or unexpected (like a loud noise), even if it’s not actually dangerous. That’s because the fear reaction is activated instantly — a few seconds faster than the thinking part of the brain can process or evaluate what’s happening. As soon as the brain gets enough information to realize there’s no danger (“Oh, it’s just a balloon bursting — whew!”), it turns off the fear reaction. All this can happen in seconds.
What Scares Laurie Kendrick?
I’m scared of being alone when I’m old.
I’m scared of confined places. I developed adult-onset claustrophobia rather late in life.
I’m not a big fan of spiders and if I’m feeling vulnerable, severe thunderstorms can make me crazy.
Most of all, I guess because of all the ridiculous expectations I place on myself, this scares me the most.
Yes, that’s right…I’m scared of barefoot men with prehensile toes, dressed in ugly too-much-chlorophyll-in-your-diet shit green shirts and red polka dot ties.
Seriously, his feet and attire are frightening, but my biggest fear is failing.
This also scares me:
I’m terribly frightened by the unknown. Some people like surprises. So do I, but in moderation. No knowing what will happen next and living on the edge all the time is an adrenaline rush for some, but for me; a consummate control freak, surprise makes life a living hell.
Are any of my fears irrational? I don’t think so (I don’t obsess–much), but these fears and concerns are never far from my mind, either. Depending on the situation, they can be both debilitating and motivating at the same time.
But I did some checking and apparently, I’m far from being the only whack job on the planet. I’m in good company.
Cher has a very real fear of flying
These bastards scare the hell out of Johnny Depp:
I find this next phobia incredibly ironic, but ours is a crazy world. Pam Anderson–of all things–is frightened to death of mirrors.
One must wonder of what it is that frightens Pam about mirrors. Is it her reflection? That which forces her to see who she really is? Or are mirrors painful reminders of who she isn’t?
Billy Bob Thornton is “creeped out” by really baroque antique furniture.
And I completely get that in a skewed way.
This is furniture that in some cases, is hundreds of years old. Furniture that’s been sitting in someone else’s home, absorbing all the energy, both good and bad. You bring it into your home. One must then ask, can these old pieces of furniture also become a transmitter of the same energy it once absorbed?
Texas actor and Hunk O’Plenty, Matthew has a great fear of any and all tunnels.
Odd too, because we hear he’s straight!!
Cameron Diaz will tell you that Justine Timberlake is scared of commitment, but he’ll tell you that he suffers greatly from arachnophobia.:
He hates all spiders, but the potentially deadly Brown Recluse spider is the pinnacle of all that frightens him.
And then there’s William Shatner. Can anyone of us from the TV Generation ever forget what scared him?
In the years before he made Captain Kirk a hero for nerds across the globe; in the days when he was a struggling neophyte in Hollywood; when was still a fresh-faced, decent looking Canadian export, he was something of a favorite character actor of Rod Serling’s. He was in several memorable “Twilight Zone” episodes back in the early 1960’s.
He starred in one production in particular entitled, “Terror at 20 Thousand Feet” , in which he played a very tense, uptight cat who looked out of his passenger window and saw this ape-like monster traipsing up and down no the airplane’s wing, pausing on occasion to squat like a Southeast Asian rice farmer to rip out it’s wire guts.
No one else could see the creature .
The gist of the episode focuses on the trauma of trying to get others to see that the flight is in danger. He yells, he screams, he disrupts the peace. He upsets other passengers. At one point, he closes the curtains on the window and refuses to look out, but temptation and morbid curiosity being what they are, he elects to take on more look. When he does, the monkey monster’s face is pressed right up against the window.
Cue scary music and Shatner’s ability to overact.
Well, that does it for Willie boy. Apparently the whole experience of knowing that a big, hairy critter no one else can see is destroying his aircraft in mid-flight, is a bit much for his delicate constitution and he eventually has a full nervous collapse before the shows last Maxwell House commercial is aired. In the last scene, he’s smiling maniacally, while confined in a straitjacket and lying on a gurney as orderlies wheel him away to the nearest asylum. But as the camera pans off into a wide shot, it includes a shot of the wing and true to Billy’s “hallucination”, the wing is ripped up all to hell.
Proving what Billy S. saw was real.
Serling was a master when it came to writing scripts with interesting psychological twists and plot turns. One must wonder what the beast on the wing really represented.
Did it exemplify man’s fragile psyche?
Was it a Seratonin imbalance in the character? One that incited bouts of paranoia and irrational, almost violent behavior?
Was it Serling’s attempt to explain how accidents happen? That accidents occur because of mischievous monkey-monsters; gremlins maybe, who know a thing or two about airplane mechanics and ways to defy of gravity and aerodynamics?
Or when he looked out on the airplane’s wing in mid flight, did the monkey-monster portend a sense of foreboding with regard to the future? You have to wonder what exactly he saw; what it represented to him. What Serling intended for it to represent.
I think I know.
In fact, I think I’m sure I know what he saw. I think I know all too well what it was that sent Shatner’s character straight to Happy Acres in one of those “special” binding Nehru jackets that save us from ourselves.
What he saw was in fact, the sum of all…ALL our fears.
That would explain his hysterics.