Chemistry of fear

It’s 12’O clock in midnight! You are alone and watching television in home!

Suddenly the front door and windows are thrown against the door frame!

You reached the front door to close it and it’s very dark out side!

Doors and windows fasten up flopping!

In the same time some horror scene coming in television!

Then suddenly,

Your breath speedup and started shivering!

Your heart beat rose!

Your muscles tighten!

Your body got wet with sweat!

After these incidents in your brain some emotion is running and because of that you tensed a lot!

A few second later you realized that there is nothing outside, its just wind.

The emotion behind all these reactions which took place in your brain is nothing but

1] Did anybody know about fear?

2] How it is generated in brain?

3] How chemistry plays its role to get fear in you?

1] Fear — It is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it. Fear can also be an instant reaction to something presently happening. Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles, among other things, also known as the fight-or-flight response.

2] & 3] There are certain areas of the brain at least peripherally involved in fear

  • Hippocampus
  • Amygdala
  • Hypothalamus
  • Thalamus
  • Sensory cortex

Amygdala — The amygdala is an area of our brain with almond-shaped and receives a large amount of information in our environment, for example, smells, sights, sounds. The signals from the amygdala reach the hypothalamus, the area where corticotropic releasing hormone (HCT), which in turn is responsible for the release of cortisol (stress hormone).

Cortisol is the substance responsible for leading the fight or flight through connections with our metabolism, since it directly influences the amount of glucose you should get the muscles.

When the amygdala oxytocin dominates the person is calmer in situations of danger, while if more vasopressin increases anxiety, uncertainty and, ultimately, fear grips us and our body prepares for fight or flight

Vasopressin

There is a particular dysfunction involving an abnormal deposit of calcium in the amygdala that produces an impairment of those nuclei to sense and experience fear.

How to overcome fear?

According to current research work on animals like mice scientists proved that by deleting cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) results in a loss of ability to regulate fear.

CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain, to be specific in the basal ganglia and in the limbic system, including the hippocampus. They are also found in the cerebellum and in both male and female reproductive systems.

Cannabinoids are a class of diverse chemical compounds that activate cannabinoid receptors. These include the endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by humans and animals), the phytocannabinoids (found in cannabis and some other plants), and synthetic cannabinoids (produced chemically by humans).

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