Your Biggest Fear


Kiara Florentino, Staff Member

What are phobias? The dictionary definition for a phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. The most common phobias are arachnaphobia (fear of spiders), ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), and acrophobia (fear of heights). More than 8.5 percent of American adults struggle with symptoms of specific phobias.

What is fear? Fear is an emotional reaction to the perception of danger, and it is recieved in the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for feeling emotions. When you recognize something to be harmful, whether real or unreal, the amygdala is stimulated and alerts your nervous system to set your body’s fear response into motion. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released, and the parts of your body that are involved in the preparation of the motor functions needed for flight or fight are activated. This is responsible for symptoms like feeling lightheaded or dizzy, a choking sensation, pounding heart/accelerated heart rate, chest pain, sweating, hot/cold flashes, shortness of breath, and nausea.