The Types and Range of Fears in Fear of Harm

THE FEAR

Everyone knows what it is to be afraid of something. But the type of fear that affects a person characterized by Fear of Harm (FOH) is better thought of as an extreme perception of threat.

Over the course of human development, our brains have become hard-wired to pick out threat. After all, the primary, most ancient drive in human beings is to survive. So we developed patterns of vigilance and response which would help us with that survival.

In its most basic form threat is thought of as predators, enemies, pain, hunger, violence, and exposure to toxins, germs, and weather extremes. But it becomes much more complicated than that. It also includes things that are unfamiliar, depleting and unpredictable. It extends to the protection of property, territory and status. It is everywhere. Threat plays out at all levels of intensity from small events that would threaten ones status-quo to urgent and serious events which could result in death. When the threat is high enough, it triggers the instinct of” fight or flight”.

In the animal world, it is easy see responses to threat.  Some examples include playing/fighting for dominance within the group, protecting territory, food, and the young, using vocal warnings and defensive posturing, avoiding or fleeing from predators, and even using camouflage.

While the threat of violence, deprivation, extreme weather and illness occur in our modern society, there are many other subtle things that we run up against in our daily lives that we might not even consciously think of as threats. These can include a brother taking the first helping of mashed potatoes, a person with a quizzical look, a bunch of kids standing on the playground ignoring, or alternatively, staring, at the child, the requirement to go to school when concentration or anxiety issues make it uncomfortably “boring”, blame for something (regardless of whether it is deserved), and of course, the very threatening “no” by a parent.  While that “no” may seem appropriate and benign enough, think of it instead as a refusal of perceived need by the person who is the most important gatekeeper to that child’s survival. (This may be why “mom” usually gets the brunt of it!)

Typically, people deal with many of these minor threats quite effectively. From a very early age, experience informs our brains that we don’t need to pay attention to many of them. For the minor threats that we do need to pay attention to, we learn to channel the fear into productive or negotiated solutions…or even just to bear it. The threats that exceed those levels result in what we commonly think of as fearful responses; usually they are appropriate and commensurate to the threat.

However, for children with FOH, the circuitry which modulates the perception seems to be stuck on high. This means that the same threat that others may ignore, those with FOH may perceive as very threatening or even a matter of life or death. This explains the 0-to-100 description that is often applied to their reactive behavior. When a pitched threat to survival is perceived, there is no time to measure and modify; instinct kicks and trigger the well-known fight-or-flight response.

THE REACTION

While one of the options of the fight-or-flight response to threat is to flee, children with FOH are primarily tilted toward the fight reaction.  The pairing of a heightened perception of threat with a defensively aggressive response is what investigators have called the fear-of-harm trait. They have determined that it the trait is genetically based. (click here for more) As with any genetically based trait, its effect will be expressed along a spectrum. Reactions will vary from child to child and from circumstance to circumstance.

That said, by understanding that their perception of threat is poorly modulated, it easier to understand why the reaction of a child with FOH can be so large: a lot of adrenalin gets pumping in matters of survival. When the genetic trait is strong, or when the child is particularly symptomatic, he or she can attack others and destroy property.  The extreme outbursts that can erupt often make these children difficult to manage in home and school.

But it is very important to remember that these responses are not premeditated or offensive; they are defensive in origin. A common response of authority figures is to restrain (or in some other way punish) them which only escalates the reaction as the child’s sense of threat increases.

RAGE IS NOT REQUIRED

The response to threat is not always aggressive. Just as an animal may growl rather than pounce, children with FOH do not always respond with rage. In fact, some children never rage nor do they behave aggressively. There are many more subtle and pervasive ways that the trait can express itself. Deflection of blame, non-compliance/refusal, and behavior which is considered bossy, argumentative, selfish, irritable and irrational are all ways of avoiding subordination and protecting the self.

Additionally, like everyone, children with the trait try to adjust as well as they can to the society in which they live. In addition to just wanting to have a happier, more balanced and productive life, the very loss of control in public and being “different” presents its own sort of threat. So as children grow and become more socialized, and as different parts of their brains mature, they work VERY hard at, and are often able to become better at, directing and/or managing their behavior.  Investigators have documented that as the children grow, they more often turn their aggression inward upon themselves in terms of injury and suicide.

TOO OFTEN THE FEAR ACTUALLY DOES INCLUDE MONSTERS

As if it weren’t enough that these children perceive so much threat from the real things they encounter every day, but they also confront “monsters”. They are frequently plagued with terrible nightmares of blood, gore, death and pursuit. Unlike most of us who don’t actually feel the pain, or get caught and killed: they do. Just as it is difficult for anyone to shake off a bad dream, these nightmares overflow onto an already difficult day.

Further, many of the children suffer from psychotic fears and paranoia which make them feel as if life-threatening situations are around every corner; snakes in trees, snipers in windows, monsters in bedrooms. But remember…this is their “normal”. Why would they not believe what they see, hear, smell and sense. Why would they not think that this is how the world is and that people who tell them otherwise are wrong?

FEAR’S COMPANION: ANXIETY

Imagine what it would feel like to live in their world. When highly symptomatic, everything can be a threat to safety; bridges may fall, something might happen to their parents, they may forget to do something, an evil creature may be hovering behind them, or they may get sick from going outside…and on and on. Even when in a more stable phase, there is a lot going on.

Anxiety is a natural partner to fear. It helps us stay away from threatening situations. But under these conditions, it can become all consuming. As life experiences accumulate the anxiety can become as profound as to be paralyzing…or at least highly impairing. Avoidance behaviors become well-honed and the worlds of these children become smaller and smaller while conflicts with school, friends and family may become larger and larger. Self-esteem plummets.

Further, when our brains are busy responding to or controlling threat and anxiety (either consciously or unconsciously), our brain’s ability to perform other things is diminished. On our brain’s priority list, thoughts and resources for survival trump thoughts which can produce committed concentration and creativity.  Rapid or distracted thoughts get in the way. Sometimes the manifestation is an actual absence of thoughts; something that would be hard for most of us to imagine and certainly uncomfortable. This secondary level of effect exacts a huge toll on the child’s ability to navigate forward in life and adds to the snow-balling experience of demoralization, isolation and pain.

IS THE TRAIT AN EXCUSE FOR BAD BEHAVIOR?

To the outsider, a child with FOH may appear to be the same as all the other children on the playground. What they see is behavior that is confusing, different, undesirable and often unacceptable. But in the world of these children, their responses are logical and adaptive.

Many people may consider the description we give here as an over-analysis or defense of what is just plain-and-simply socially unacceptable behavior. It is true that nothing is an explanation for everything.  Like all children, those with FOH test boundaries in order to inform themselves of what is and isn’t acceptable. The problem is that for children with FOH, the ability to adjust behavior based on that experience is not always possible because there may be so much more behind that experience.  The difficulty to differentiate which child is which is, in large part, why it is so controversial and difficult to talk about children and disorders.

NO, IT’S NOT AN EXCUSE

At this point, investigators are confident that that evidence in support of the trait will be gathered in a reasonably short period of time. We hope that the Clinical Intranasal Ketamine Study, started in February 2013 will provide the next step in that process.

Already, children with the trait can be identified with 96% accuracy.  This is important because it will allow for the replication of results –another requisite in science. The symptoms and behaviors associated with the trait include some measurable physiological conditions that are not open to observational interpretation.  These include, primarily, the symptoms related to thermoregulation.  It is conceivable that further knowledge of these symptoms may ultimately provide a diagnostic test for the condition.

 

 

385 Comments
  1. Pingback: Skydiving NYC
  2. Pingback: pickleball ball
  3. Pingback: burlington nc
  4. Pingback: hotels
  5. Pingback: interserver coupon
  6. Pingback: interserver coupon
  7. Pingback: Read More
  8. Pingback: click here
  9. Pingback: read more
  10. Pingback: new website
  11. Pingback: my company
  12. Pingback: a fantastic read
  13. Pingback: original site
  14. Pingback: look at this site
  15. Pingback: additional hints
  16. Pingback: Continued
  17. Pingback: Discover More
  18. Pingback: content
  19. Pingback: look here
  20. Pingback: read more
  21. Pingback: best info
  22. Pingback: new website
  23. Pingback: news
  24. Pingback: how to
  25. Pingback: about
  26. Pingback: useful reference
  27. Pingback: imp source
  28. Pingback: a fantastic read
  29. Pingback: my response
  30. Pingback: their explanation
  31. Pingback: Visit Website
  32. Pingback: her latest blog
  33. Pingback: check that
  34. Pingback: you could try here
  35. Pingback: Learn More
  36. Pingback: Get the facts
  37. Pingback: official statement
  38. Pingback: important source
  39. Pingback: click here
  40. Pingback: click here
  41. Pingback: click here
  42. Pingback: click here
  43. Pingback: read more
  44. Pingback: read more
  45. Pingback: read more
  46. Pingback: website
  47. Pingback: click here
  48. Pingback: read more
  49. Pingback: official site
  50. Pingback: her latest blog
  51. Pingback: Clicking Here
  52. Pingback: More hints
  53. Pingback: best value
  54. Pingback: new source
  55. Pingback: best news
  56. Pingback: click here
  57. Pingback: read more
  58. Pingback: important
  59. Pingback: find
  60. Pingback: figure out
  61. Pingback: continue reading
  62. Pingback: what to do
  63. Pingback: where to look
  64. Pingback: insight
  65. Pingback: quality article
  66. Pingback: quality article
  67. Pingback: sperry boots
  68. Pingback: useful reference
  69. Pingback: their explanation
  70. Pingback: Homepage
  71. Pingback: a fantastic read
  72. Pingback: find this
  73. Pingback: browse this site
  74. Pingback: my response
  75. Pingback: More hints
  76. Pingback: Get the facts
  77. Pingback: official statement
  78. Pingback: try this web-site
  79. Pingback: explanation
  80. Pingback: read more
  81. Pingback: check my blog
  82. Pingback: click site
  83. Pingback: useful reference
  84. Pingback: Get More Info
  85. Pingback: see here
  86. Pingback: this website
  87. Pingback: great post to read
  88. Pingback: my company
  89. Pingback: imp source
  90. Pingback: click to read more
  91. Pingback: find more info
  92. Pingback: see it here
  93. Pingback: Homepage
  94. Pingback: a fantastic read
  95. Pingback: find this
  96. Pingback: Bonuses
  97. Pingback: read this article
  98. Pingback: click here now
  99. Pingback: browse this site
  100. Pingback: check here
  101. Pingback: original site
  102. Pingback: my response
  103. Pingback: this page
  104. Pingback: news
  105. Pingback: click here
  106. Pingback: click here
  107. Pingback: click here
  108. Pingback: click here
  109. Pingback: read more
  110. Pingback: read more
  111. Pingback: read more
  112. Pingback: what is new
  113. Pingback: what is new
  114. Pingback: acne
  115. Pingback: aloe vera skin
  116. Pingback: more info
  117. Pingback: click here
  118. Pingback: read article
  119. Pingback: website
  120. Pingback: source
  121. Pingback: news
  122. Pingback: url
  123. Pingback: read more
  124. Pingback: niagen pill
  125. Pingback: read more
  126. Pingback: click here
  127. Pingback: find now
  128. Pingback: news
  129. Pingback: important
  130. Pingback: new article
  131. Pingback: best information
  132. Pingback: exceptional
  133. Pingback: see this here
  134. Pingback: keep reading
  135. Pingback: home page
  136. Pingback: more about this
  137. Pingback: hosting24 coupon
  138. Pingback: More Bonuses
  139. Pingback: click resources
  140. Pingback: Get the facts
  141. Pingback: official statement
  142. Pingback: click reference
  143. Pingback: you can look here
  144. Pingback: her explanation
  145. Pingback: why not try here
  146. Pingback: informative post
  147. Pingback: click here
  148. Pingback: read more
  149. Pingback: info
  150. Pingback: website
  151. Pingback: news
  152. Pingback: link
  153. Pingback: best source
  154. Pingback: ebook
  155. Pingback: next
  156. Pingback: click reference
  157. Pingback: visit site
  158. Pingback: look here
  159. Pingback: click to read
  160. Pingback: a knockout post
  161. Pingback: look at here now
  162. Pingback: important link
  163. Pingback: Niagen review
  164. Pingback: click here
  165. Pingback: read more
  166. Pingback: website
  167. Pingback: webpage
  168. Pingback: new source
  169. Pingback: important
  170. Pingback: news
  171. Pingback: best info
  172. Pingback: information
  173. Pingback: read more
  174. Pingback: information
  175. Pingback: website
  176. Pingback: webpage
  177. Pingback: best source
  178. Pingback: best source
  179. Pingback: click here
  180. Pingback: Source
  181. Pingback: have a peek here
  182. Pingback: Check This Out
  183. Pingback: this contact form
  184. Pingback: navigate here
  185. Pingback: weblink
  186. Pingback: this content
  187. Pingback: click here
  188. Pingback: Source
  189. Pingback: Check This Out
  190. Pingback: this contact form
  191. Pingback: navigate here
  192. Pingback: weblink
  193. Pingback: check my blog
  194. Pingback: his explanation
  195. Pingback: more info here
  196. Pingback: official site
  197. Pingback: look at this site
  198. Pingback: visit
  199. Pingback: check it out
  200. Pingback: see this
  201. Pingback: directory
  202. Pingback: see this here
  203. Pingback: see this here
  204. Pingback: feres
  205. Pingback: feres inşaat
  206. Pingback: feres
  207. Pingback: feres
  208. Pingback: additional hints
  209. Pingback: Bonuses
  210. Pingback: find more info
  211. Pingback: find more info
  212. Pingback: great post to read
  213. Pingback: my company
  214. Pingback: useful reference
  215. Pingback: click site
  216. Pingback: check my blog
  217. Pingback: this content
  218. Pingback: read more
  219. Pingback: midogen review
  220. Pingback: click here
  221. Pingback: midogen
  222. Pingback: click here
  223. Pingback: read more
  224. Pingback: niagen reviews
  225. Pingback: niagen
  226. Pingback: niagen reviews
  227. Pingback: check my source
  228. Pingback: Check This Out
  229. Pingback: navigate here
  230. Pingback: Source
  231. Pingback: additional reading
  232. Pingback: great post to read
  233. Pingback: more information
  234. Pingback: Related Site
  235. Pingback: useful link
  236. Pingback: useful link
  237. Pingback: pop over here
  238. Pingback: Full Article
  239. Pingback: read more
  240. Pingback: click here
  241. Pingback: pop over here
  242. Pingback: Full Article
  243. Pingback: read more
  244. Pingback: click here
  245. Pingback: pop over here
  246. Pingback: read more
  247. Pingback: read more
  248. Pingback: click here
  249. Pingback: pop over here
  250. Pingback: read more
  251. Pingback: click here
  252. Pingback: pop over here
  253. Pingback: Full Article
  254. Pingback: Full Article
  255. Pingback: read more
  256. Pingback: click here
  257. Pingback: Niagen Reviews
  258. Pingback: click site
  259. Pingback: news
  260. Pingback: click here
  261. Pingback: check over here
  262. Pingback: check my blog
  263. Pingback: my company
  264. Pingback: imp source
  265. Pingback: this page
  266. Pingback: Homepage
  267. Pingback: great post to read
  268. Pingback: useful reference
  269. Pingback: my review here
  270. Pingback: a fantastic read
  271. Pingback: official site
  272. Pingback: directory
  273. Pingback: his explanation
  274. Pingback: browse this site
  275. Pingback: read this article
  276. Pingback: original site
  277. Pingback: Bonuses
  278. Pingback: look at this site
  279. Pingback: More hints
  280. Pingback: page
  281. Pingback: her latest blog
  282. Pingback: additional hints
  283. Pingback: Continued
  284. Pingback: check over here
  285. Pingback: this content
  286. Pingback: weblink
  287. Pingback: navigate here
  288. Pingback: navigate here
  289. Pingback: this contact form
  290. Pingback: rialudi
  291. Pingback: zootopia 2016
  292. Pingback: Source
  293. Pingback: check my blog
  294. Pingback: great post to read
  295. Pingback: see here
  296. Pingback: Get More Info
  297. Pingback: see here
  298. Pingback: useful reference
  299. Pingback: Get More Info
  300. Pingback: click site
  301. Pingback: click site
  302. Pingback: news
  303. Pingback: my company
  304. Pingback: Ageless Male
  305. Pingback: lifecell reviews
  306. Pingback: read more

Comments are closed.