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Author Topic: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?  (Read 11658 times)

Offline The Chief

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What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« on: 31/01/2006 19:49:28 »
Hi Everyone,

Could any of you possibly offer a definition as to the cause of the following:

1. Fear
2. Anxiety
3. Phobia

If at all possible could you give seperate answers and be general and non technical please. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

The Chief.


 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #1 on: 31/01/2006 20:19:14 »
Hi Chief

Smoking weed. Canabanoids bring about all of the symptoms you list.

"The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct."
K.I.S. "Keep it simple!"
« Last Edit: 31/01/2006 20:19:37 by Andrew K Fletcher »
 

Offline The Chief

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #2 on: 31/01/2006 20:47:09 »
Andrew,
Thanks for that...not what I was looking for though, I am in the middle of a work related project and need some help with definitions for each feeling/emotion rather than causal factors such as drug abuse.
Cheers though,
The Chief
 

Offline neilep

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #3 on: 31/01/2006 21:16:08 »
quote:
Originally posted by The Chief

Hi Everyone,

Could any of you possibly offer a definition as to the cause of the following:

1. Fear
2. Anxiety
3. Phobia

If at all possible could you give seperate answers and be general and non technical please. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

The Chief.



1. Fear......the cause of fear are things that make you scared.
2. Anxiety.....the cause of anxiety are things that make you nervous
3. Phobia......the cause of a phobia are things which give you an irrational fear.

there !...i hope tha was general enough ;)


good luck in getting more detail:)


...what an interesting work related project...what's it for ?

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!
« Last Edit: 31/01/2006 21:18:01 by neilep »
 

Offline The Chief

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #4 on: 31/01/2006 23:06:09 »
Hi Neilep,

I am looking into driving problems associated with the above for my sector (traffic cop). Even in the force we have had staff who have had to overcome these issues, I am looking more broadly at issues affecting the public and how it may be overcome to a proper conclusion in order to prevent fears, anxieties and phobias becoming a causal factor in RTAs'.

Regards,

The Chief
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #5 on: 01/02/2006 02:50:12 »
Hi chief and welcome back to the forum.
I thought I would add a little to this one if I may.

Fears are good and one of the main reasons we have survived as a species.
There are many reasons for fear and the biggest one is probably our subconscious mind which is in charge of most of what we do.
 
Fears, anxiety, phobias are also all related, and their purpose is to make us think before we act and are all caused by different levels of worry, and unless you get used to doing something, they can't be prevented in most cases without the use of drugs as worry is a natural human feeling designed to make us think before we jump, its there to keep us from harm.

Genetically everyone has different levels of fear and they are never irrational, it’s just that different people are frightened of different things. To me my wife’s fear of spiders is irrational but to her and many others its not. Often if you dig deep enough you will find a find a valid reason for their fear.

Chief do fears really cause accidents. I would have thought the reverse would be a truer statement as the lack of fears etc takes away the thinking factor from our driving, autopilot takes over and we drive carelessly.

It’s a human trait and unless we’re highly trained not to, everybody will occasionally switch off their fears and stop thinking when they become used to something, (driving isn’t an exception.). And the only way to get them fears back and to make people think more which would prevent most accidents is to shock us. Occasionally we need to be brought back to reality ,we need to be shown how easy it is for something bad to happen to us or someone we love.

PS Keep up the good work...Hopefully i will never experience how good you work:)


Michael.




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« Last Edit: 01/02/2006 04:24:13 by ukmicky »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #6 on: 01/02/2006 03:10:39 »
GOOD LUCK with this study.

I must admit, there are times when I feel nervous on the road and that is when you guys are behind me   ;). Even though I am driving like a model driver.

I wouldn't be surprised if I'm  not alone in thinking that !


Try looking here for a good online resource http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/fear

cheers


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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #7 on: 01/02/2006 11:03:07 »
Chief

Fight or flight reaction might be to blame, for causing people to become frozen and unable to act instinctively when faced with making a fast reactive decision. In the confined area of a vehicle, the flight reaction maybe overridden and like a rabbit about to be attacked, the only option is to freeze, as the option to fight does not apply here.

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another_someone

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #8 on: 02/02/2006 01:33:35 »
OK, here's my tuppence worth.

I would disagree with UKMicky, I don't think that any of these either make us think, or are rational.

I do agree that they are survival strategies, but one of the consequences of fear is that one tends to switch into automatic reaction mode, and switch out of rational thought mode.  That is why people who are expected to enter into situations that would normally engender fear must be highly trained, because their automatic reactions must be the right reactions for the situation, because they simply will not have the time or state of mind to properly think out a strategy once they are in the fearful situation.

Fear is a set of physiological reactions, such as raised heart rate, and the shutting off of non-essential functions of the body, and concentrating all resources towards those components of the body that might best respond to an immediate physical threat.

Anxiety is a prolonged state of low level fearfulness.

Phobia is an endemic and unjustified fear of a very specific situation.  I do not mean that it is unjustifiable, only that the person who labels the fear as a phobia believes it to be unjustified.
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #9 on: 02/02/2006 02:52:06 »
Hi george

quote:
but one of the consequences of fear is that one tends to switch into automatic reaction mode, and switch out of rational thought mode.


They may not be acting rationally but a cause, a given circumstance can make an irrationally act reasonable and therefore rational:), and that would of course be dependent on the level of fear. And of course the level of fear which would cause someone to switch into the automatic reaction mode (flight or fight) or cause someone's thinking process to shutdown would be at the most extreme end of the scale where even the most well trained person can on occasions react unwisely.

Most levels of fear which you or I will experience would cause you to stop and think before you act. And therefore thinking is a main consequence of fear

quote:
Phobia is an endemic and unjustified fear of a very specific situation. I do not mean that it is unjustifiable, only that the person who labels the fear as a phobia believes it to be unjustified
.

Which doesn’t make  it unjustified because one persons personal thoughts on a given situation cannot be used to label it for others.


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« Last Edit: 02/02/2006 03:31:44 by ukmicky »
 

another_someone

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #10 on: 02/02/2006 09:26:24 »
quote:
Originally posted by ukmicky

They may not be acting rationally but a cause, a given circumstance can make an irrationally act reasonable and therefore rational:), and that would of course be dependent on the level of fear. And of course the level of fear which would cause someone to switch into the automatic reaction mode (flight or fight) or cause someone's thinking process to shutdown would be at the most extreme end of the scale where even the most well trained person can on occasions react unwisely.

Most levels of fear which you or I will experience would cause you to stop and think before you act. And therefore thinking is a main consequence of fear



I think there is probably a slight distinction one can make here between being in fear of something, and being in a state of fear.

One may be in fear of the consequences of not returning one's tax return by the due date, but this would normally induce a state of anxiety, not IMV a state of outright fear.

quote:


quote:
Phobia is an endemic and unjustified fear of a very specific situation. I do not mean that it is unjustifiable, only that the person who labels the fear as a phobia believes it to be unjustified
.

Which doesn’t make  it unjustified because one persons personal thoughts on a given situation cannot be used to label it for others.




It is very common for one person's judgement to be used to label something, and that thing being labelled differently from another persons perspective.

An endemic fear of spiders is commonly labelled a phobia, but an endemic fear of having loaded guns pointed in your direction is not normally regarded as a phobia, because most people would regard that as a justified fear.
 

Offline The Chief

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #11 on: 02/02/2006 16:11:38 »
quote:
Originally posted by ukmicky

Chief do fears really cause accidents. I would have thought the reverse would be a truer statement as the lack of fears etc takes away the thinking factor from our driving, autopilot takes over and we drive carelessly.



Hi Michael,

Thank you for your input here. Yes, fears can and do cause not accidents but crashes. Accident is a term we are trying very hard to move away from. Most crashes occur as some form of driver error. Fear of certain situations that drivers have found themselves to be in has been used in mitigation on interview and at court proceedings, sometimes they have been accepted as valid reasons for those who have caused the crash to be admonished.

This is the reason why I have been charged with this project. To attempt to find out if fear is representative as a causal factor and what then needs to be done in order to attempt to remove that fear.

In addition to my original posting here, if any of you actually drive a car, could you mention in your replies if you have ever had a fearful or intimidating experience when driving and help me to understand what caused it and how you managed the situation you were in.

I know this is a lot to ask of you but I really would appreciate it and it might just help me to keep you safe on the road in future.

Thank you all for the replies so far, very interesting indeed and with your permission I will use this as part of my research, with holding names to protect the innocent. LOL.

Regards,

The Chief.
 

another_someone

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #12 on: 02/02/2006 21:52:53 »
Yes, I do drive.

It is difficult to clearly answer the question about fearful or intimidating situation because there are so many different types of situations one comes across.

There was a period in my early years as a driver when I went through period of having far too many accidents, and this knocked my confidence for a while, which then undermined my judgement, which the caused further accidents, and thus a vicious circle, until I finally managed to break out of it.

Since then, I have been in situations where one can be frightened when one looks back at it, but at the time one's mind seemed totally calm and mechanical, and everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, and one was intensely aware, but unemotional, about every detail of what was going on.  While I was functioning and responding to my environment, from an emotional perspective it was as if it was really happening to someone else.

« Last Edit: 02/02/2006 22:08:30 by another_someone »
 

Offline The Chief

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #13 on: 02/02/2006 23:10:37 »
Hi Another Someone,

In your opinion, would better driving education either prior to the driving test or post test have been beneficial to you in any of these circumstances.

I can tell you all that the EU parliament is passing legislature that will mean that everyone will have their driving reassessed at 5 yearly intervals, so that means I'd better brush up a bit too.

It ain't easy to drive like Joe Public when you have been submitted to the training that I have had.

Finally, if any of you are considering driver training for your kids, a recent research document has shown that intensive training offers the best quality of learning to drive and works out cheaper in the long run.

Regards,

The Chief.
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #14 on: 03/02/2006 00:44:18 »
quote:
I can tell you all that the EU parliament is passing legislature that will mean that everyone will have their driving reassessed at 5 yearly intervals, so that means I'd better brush up a bit too.


Hi chief

Can you help as i would like to read up on this as i find it quite disturbing. Not because i'm a bad driver but due to me losing my present driving licence rights without breaking the law,the cost of such a scheme which all drivers will have to bear,and the fact that many people will lose their jobs due to the simple fact that some people could and would fail due to there nerve's and not their everyday driving ability etc.

If this is true i could imagine mass protests in every country in the EU ,there would be uproar and i can't see anything like that ever coming into force. (Hopefully i wont ever have to eat my words) :)
I have searched many websites including those ran by the EU and have not come up with any information regarding the proposed changes. Have you got a eu  directive number for this particular piece of legislation or a web link to a site where i can read up on it.

I have found proposed legislation regarding the administrative renewal of new licence's every ten years, and 5 years  for heavy goods vehicles,buses etc but have been unable to find any information on what you have told us they are proposing.

Thankyou

Michael

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    
« Last Edit: 03/02/2006 00:50:23 by ukmicky »
 

another_someone

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #15 on: 03/02/2006 00:57:16 »
In my time, most of the training was technical (i.e. know the highway code, and know driving theory).  More intense situation awareness would have been more appropriate, and in particular (as with commercial pilot training) training in emergency situations and how to manage them (when things start going wrong, how to avoid making them worse) – as well as trying not to get into those situation in the first place.  There should also be much more training on the psychology of driving – both in terms of one's own stress management, and in terms understanding the psychology of other drivers.  Included in this psychology is to instil in the driver the same standard of personal responsibility as one would expect of an airline pilot – when an airline pilot believes it is unsafe to fly a plane, he is expected to have the confidence to tell his bosses that the plane is not going to fly, but car drivers are not taught to say no – that is simply something they are expected to develop their confidence in over time.

I took my test while at university, but then I spent several years when I just could not afford to own a car, then I had a small car for a year in which I almost exclusively drove for pleasure, with no stress involved.  It was after that time, that I got a company car, and was expected to drive under pressure (i.e. if you only drive at weekends, you can choose not to drive if you don't feel up to it; if you are driving for work, and its a miserable day, you had a bad nights sleep the night before, maybe you overslept, but you know you have to get to a meeting in the morning, and the traffic is worse than you expected, and you just don't have the experience to cope with the pressure, and you start to make mistakes) – that was when the worst of the problems happened.  The fact that I was beginning to accumulate accidents simply added to the pressure.

I should add another factor.  As I said, I had acquired my first company car, but when I started the job my car was not yet ready, and so I was given a hire car.  The hire car I was given, which was more powerful than anything I had driven before, even if most people would not have considered it a particularly powerful car, but clearly had poor tyres.  Being young, and it being the second day working for the company, I did not have the confidence to refuse to drive the car.  On my way in to work, the roads were damp, and the back wheels of the car just lost traction, and I spun off the road, writing off the car.  This being on the first day of driving the company car, and never having had an accident before, I was very literally it tears as I rang the company to tell them I would not be in to work because I had just written off their car.  Although the company were very good about it, but it shook me up badly, and became the start of the pattern.

Many years later, when I was given a loan car that was not up to scratch, I simply refused to accept it; but that was after I had developed a lot more experience and a lot more confidence (maybe a lot more bolshiness?).

In general, I think there is far too much emphasis placed upon rule based driving – knowing the highway code, etc.  What I have learnt, the things that have subsequently helped to avoid accidents, is to be able to read other people's driving, and know what they are going to do before they do it.  I have also learnt ways to manage stress while driving (ok, one way is that if I know I am going to be late, then phone ahead to let them know – it may be illegal to use the phone while driving, but in my view, it is the best safety device invented, because after I have made that phone call my stress levels drop immediately).


One thing I will add is that over the last few years the mileage I drive has significantly reduced, and I believe that my driving skills have consequently deteriorated over that time.  That does not mean that the number of accidents, and near misses, have increased per unit time, but I do believe the number of near misses has increased per mile driven (although I must admit that this is subjective, and so without objective evidence, it might be argued that it is merely that I am more aware of the number of near misses) – this despite the fact that I probably drive more conservatively than I did in previous years.  Certainly, the number of misjudgements while parking has increased – although in part this is probably because my present car does not have as good a rear visibility as some of my previous cars.

One other thing I would add, and this is not so much about training, and in many ways it is not even specifically about driving but about society as a whole, and that is to get away from this blame culture.  Making people constantly feel inadequate and guilty about their imperfections does not improve anything, but giving them the confidence to do better will achieve a lot more.

If I was being really adventurous, I would suggest another possibility.  At present we are kitting out our libraries with computers.  Could we not also kit out our public libraries with driving simulators.  These simulators could be used to teach even young children about situation awareness and defensive driving, and they could issue certificates that the kids could feel a sense of achievement about.  It might even occasionally be used by adults who have not driven for a while and want to brush up on their skills, or maybe want to test themselves in extreme situations that they are not often likely to encounter on the real road.
« Last Edit: 03/02/2006 01:31:39 by another_someone »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #16 on: 03/02/2006 10:31:13 »
Chief, you will probably find that the boredom of driving is more dangerous. Falling asleep at the wheel, or even a minor relapse in train of thought may be causing more accidents.

I understand exactly why this is happening, and took the main boardroom at Jaguar Cars for two hours on this subject, convincing all that attended. Yet, "due to design constraints within the Jaguar cars, adopting your proposal of modifying car seating would not be practical at this point in time". was the reply from them.

If you want to trully understand why these crashes are happening and how they can be dramatically reduced with a simple modification to the posture, then I can help you.

Andrew

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Re: What causes fear, anxiety and phobias?
« Reply #16 on: 03/02/2006 10:31:13 »

 

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