Do you fear your child will be gobbled up?
Over millions of years, living beings have evolved and part of this evolution included our instinct to survive. Back in the mists of time, when there were lots of dangers waiting to claim those who were unprepared, survival instincts were likely needed on a regular basis. The concept of experiencing real fear is a prime example of what was needed to kick our mind and bodies into gear to keep us safe. But things have changed, and for most of us this heightened level of fear is no longer necessary to survive.
Worst or best scenario
Now imagine you are out and about, maybe even trudging through the darkness on your own. Suddenly, from the trees nearby comes the loud snap of a twig. You might respond to this sound by:
itself physically, and prepare to take action. Your body will be flooded with adrenaline meaning your heart will beat faster, your breathing will accelerate and your senses will be on maximum alert. If, indeed, that snap turns out to be a hungry lion, you are ready to run and, if you can’t outrun the lion, at least you might outrun the person next to you!
It is clear that, as humans, we can have a general fear about many things in life and, though unpleasant, the majority of the time such fears do not tend to affect our daily lives significantly. It is when fears become too overwhelming that a phobia may develop. When you have an extreme reaction towards a particular object or situation, and your response feels out of control, that reaction may be termed a phobia.
o I am in danger if I do this
o no one understands how serious this is
o I can only cope if my mum goes with me
o the dogs on the street are going to attack me
o if I step on the line, someone is going to die