Causes and Consequences of Fear

Normal fear.

We all understand that fear is a necessity. Without fear we would put ourselves in great dangers. Fear, on itself, is normal… it is the ABSENCE of fear that is not. But somethimes fear can take proportions that are maladaptive or pathological, how can we understand that?

1. fear in development
there are fears that start at an early age and then go away, and then there are also fears that start later and can stay throughout the persons lifetime.
The common childhood-limited (or fears that start at an early age, but who also can stay at a later age) fears are fear of dark, fear of abandonment/separation, fear of strangers, fear of animals, fear of heights…
Most of these fears are evolutionary necessary. A child needs to learn how to deal with his environment, needs to know what is dangerous and what not.
Children are very good observators and will “learn” to be scared of things that his parents show a reaction of fear for.
A lot of these early childhood fears will lose its gravity or will completely vanish.

During the school age, the child will start to make a distinction between reality and fantasy. Fears that can occur in this faze are fears of possible situations, like a car accident, death of a parent or fear for bad prestations.

The closer a child comes to adolescence, the more social fears it can develop. The most common fear in this area, as far as i know, is judgment from the other sex.

2. consequence of no fear
Imagine a person without fear. How would you describe him? A hero? A steady person? Or someone that endangers himself and others?
It is all dependent on the situation and circumstances of course. Sometimes we would be able to do more without fear, and sometimes we would be dead without fear.
A very obvious consequence of no fear is danger. If we don’t fear, we will bring ourselves and maybe others in danger, it is as simple as that.
An other consequence is developing an antisocial behavior.
The last thing that i can think of at the moment is that people need to be stimulated, and fear stimulates us. We try to bend our boundaries, young and old alike, just for the kick. Where would a person without fear get his stimulation? Drugs, and extreme behavior are the first things that pop in my mind. For sure, this would be an interesting field for scientific study.