The fear factor
Fear is a natural human emotion. This emotion is needed to react properly on dangerous situations. For instance, you see a wild animal and you can flea because fear set you into a higher gear. You can run away instantly. This will save your life. After you could flea, the fear can sometimes remain, because the body stays in fight or flight mode. This will wear you out.
Symptoms of fear:
How fear works in our body:
There are small glands in the brain called the amygdala, this glands behave as a kind of information filter. They decide if the information about danger is sent to the brain. When the amygdala is damaged, there is a total lack of fear and aggression. Scientific evidence shows that people with a damaged amygdala, for instance after an accident, become very sociable figures. (Damasio 1994). They know no fear so they also have no aggression, because they don't see any danger. The amygdala signalling fear is missing. Male brains are more susceptible to danger then female brains. That is why men act faster on danger and they possibly stay longer in that mode. Scientific evidence shows the amygdala is working differently in autistic people. (Cohen, Ring, Wheelwright, Bullmore, Brammer, Simmons en Williams 1999).
Autistic very often people suffer from extreme fear. There is a possible coincidence between autism and PTSD (Kees de Vries 2004). Research shows that autistic people are incapacitated in coping with feelings. They overreact to signals of danger and stress from other people. The coincidence between the two groups is probably shown in a lower degree of sociable behaviour of war veterans. When veterans come home they have very often marital problems, high level of stress, extreme fear, tension, high muscle tension, sleeping disorders, aggression and criminal behaviour. This list compares to known information about the autistic group.
Reactions on a danger situation:
The hypothalamus, a part of our brain, gives a signal which leads to production of stress hormones. Some of them are:
These hormones lead to a state where the body can react adequately to danger. This results in:
Higher rate of heartbeat Increased air intake The pupils of the eye widen
The reaction on the increase of hormone production makes that the human being comes in the state of fear (Damasio 1994). the weight of this fear comes from the amount of hormones produced not from the amount of danger. So if the body overreacts too much hormones are produced which could lead to extreme fear. That is possibly a key point in the comparison between oversensitive people and a higher rate of PTSD (Kees de Vries) From scientific research we know that Americans of Japanese origin, and the battle exposure in Vietnam only have 1.5% PTSD. compared to a much more sensitive people, the Americans from Indian background, which show 54% PTSD.
Because men and women react differently on danger (Eisenberg, Murphy, Shepard, 1997) there is a possible relation between this reaction and affected PTSD is more common in men men than in women. (Kees de Vries 2004)
When there is danger, there is fear. There is only one thing to cure fear and that is ACTION. It doesn't matter what this action is as long as there is action. Just give way to the fight or flight behaviour. Action can be fighting, discussing, singing, cleaning a room, etc. Even the famous stress balls can do miracles. Through this action hormones in your body will be transformed and broken down. When the level of hormones decreases your stress decreases. If the feeling of stress is not turned into action, these hormones were stay active in your body. The consequence is that you cannot sleep with all these stressful thoughts. This is called worrying. This will lead to fear and fear will lead to stress and still more hormones. This is one of the vicious circles we need to break down.
Testosterone and adrenalin together can bring your body into action. There needs to be a balance between these two. testosterone gives decisiveness and adrenalin takes care of action. When the level of testosterone is to high, we speak of aggression instead of action. Because the testosterone level of men is nine times higher than the level of women, it is logic that men are more aggressive than women. The level of testosterone in the body is dependant on the situation the body is in. when there is a sense of stress, the level of testosterone increases. Also physical action can generate an increase of testosterone. From scientific evidence we know that testosterone not only increases aggression, but also stimulates dominating behaviour. testosterone also lowers the level of emotions. this lower level of emotions we see very often with PTSD. testosterone is connected to aggression.
A high level of testosterone is generated by stress and extreme physical strain. So indirectly stress and physical strain give aggression as an end result. You see here a recipe that comes directly out of military action.
If there is and enough testosterone and adrenalin, there can be action. If both levels are too high, aggression will occur. In short: too much testosterone = more aggression, too little testosterone = more fear.
If there is an imbalance between testosterone and adrenaline, a few things can go wrong.
To much adrenalin:
Too much adrenalin = too little action = apathy gives sense of danger --->danger increases production of adrenalin. This vicious circle increases adrenaline on and on with the effect that fear gets greater and greater by not taking action.
Too much testosterone:
Too much testosterone improves decisiveness---> at the same time too little adrenaline supplies to little action capabilities ---> there is no action and that gives a feeling as if you will explode ---> his gives a sense of danger ---> danger produces adrenalin. The consequence is that somebody shows very explosive behaviour. This will show itself in a range, angry, aggression to others and to . From scientific evidence we now at high level of testosterone coincided with anti-social behaviour. Increased testosterone leads to more conflicts.
Imbalance between adrenalin and testosterone:
Too much hormones can lead to an imbalance and give psychological and emotional problems. foodstuffs, especially coffee and sugar, her very strong influence on the production of some hormones, like adrenalin. Extensive use of coffee and sugar can even exhaust the adrenals which can lead to stress and burnout
Burnout leads to:
Toxins of stress:
Scientific evidence shows that people with an anxiety disorder carry a lot of toxins in their body. These toxins come from unused hormones like Cortisol, adrenalin and testosterone. The body tries to remove excess hormones if there is not any action following on fear. If the human body is not able to remove all the hormones, the result will be hyperactive behaviour. This reaction "burns" the excess hormones. This same behaviour is seen in autism and ADHD. when people are not able to express themselves emotionally, they start moving, walking back and forth and many other activities. The main objective of all this activity is just getting rid of adrenalin.
A part of our research will focus on harmless methods that clear out human toxic waste. Our intent is to break another vicious circle.