We humans are complex creatures. We are incredibly intelligent in some aspects, but we also let irrational fears take control of us sometimes. Instinct can be very strong and very hard to repress, and all of this is what create our phobias! They don’t have to be rational, they don’t have to be real, but one thing is sure: they ceirtainly exist!
Does this image upset you? I’m afraid you have trypophobia!
There is a strictly biological component to phobias. A quick look at how the brain works when phobic people are triggered suggests the problem. When worrisome stimuli get into the brain, there are two ways they can go; to the amygdala and to the sensory cortex. The sensory cortex is a calm, rational part of the brain. It casts around the rest of the brain for more information and looks at general knowledge, present context, and past experience before it reacts.
The amygdala, on the other hand, is the part of the brain that gets an unpleasant stimulus and screams, “What are you doing? Run, stupid!” When people say that phobias aren’t rational, they’re right. The amygdala is not there to be rational. It’s there to get results. And it does, often in the form of a panic attack.
Sensory cortex: oh, it’s just a little snail, just take it to the garden
Amygdala: oh god, oh god, run for your life!!!!!
As a little story, I have always had a feeling of dizziness when looking up at the sky, specially at starry nights, provoked by the fear (an incredibly irrational one) of falling into the sky, like if gravity stopped existing suddenly. It has never been too bad, it just makes me feel a bit overwhelmed. But, the thing is, while writing this article i have found that what I suffer is actually a phobia called casadastraphobia, and as incredible as it sounds there are actually people who can’t even get out of their house because of this!
To end up this post, I want you, dear reader, to tell me in the comments if you have any type of phobia and, if so, to describe it to me. Bye!!