Editorial: To Fear or Not
By Shinedip Kundlas
Image Provided by iStock
The human psyche is made up of complex structures of thoughts, actions, and emotions which make up the human conscious and unconscious. As the human psyche influences a thought, an action, and certain behavior, the emotion of fear also similarly influences the human psyche. Humans and nonhumans alike experience fear, one of our strongest and most primal emotions. Whether it be arachnophobia or pogonophobia, fear causes everyone to act a certain way when dealing with situations. Fear affects the human psyche for it influences abnormal behavior and responses from an individual.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on humans not only financially but mentally as well. Amid the outbreak, people started to panic buy and loaded up on supplies. As Americans faced the possibility of a lengthy stay at home, toilet paper demand increased dramatically and so did their fear of a supply shortage. In the face of fear, individuals turn to different behavioral patterns than normal such as panic buying. This fear influences abnormal behavior such as the unnecessary buying and overloading of toilet paper. This abnormal behavior caused by fear can also be seen in other situations such as natural disasters or storms. When the news channel broadcasts that there is going to be a superstorm or hurricane hitting a person’s town, that person and along with many will run to the nearest grocery store to load on water, bread, canned goods, etc. News channels will often show empty grocery store shelves and aisles with a single person with 3 carts full of supplies. These situations demonstrate how fear, can drive a person to do abnormal things such as load up on abnormal numbers of food and supplies.
The process of fear starts with a frightening stimulus and ends with the body preparing for its own protection. There's nothing more frightening than hearing a door slam in an empty apartment, sensing a knife pressing against your neck, or for some, seeing a spider. For some people, a fear of a spider may trigger abnormal responses. For instance, a person who has arachnophobia jumps in fear as they see a spider skittering across their bedroom floor. Now, that same fear response will trigger every time the person comes into their room, fearful of that spider. The person will make sure they don’t enter that room until they are sure the spider is gone or every time, they look at their bedroom floor, they will confuse other things for the spider. Some individuals who suffer from extreme arachnophobia are so afraid of spiders that they cannot even go into their basements or garages for fear of finding one there. In order to avoid dealing with spiders, they will actually leave the house when they encounter one. This may seem abnormal to some, however, the person who suffers from this fear, has this fear not only affecting their behavior but other aspects of their psych emotions as well.
Fear is an aspect of life where the human psyche can either be positively or negatively affected. The constant fear causes abnormal thoughts and behavior which can lead to negative impacts on the human mind. The psyche of an individual is very sensitive and complex and the simplest thing as fear, can affect it to major extents.