The "virus" of fear and the Christian's response

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Jul 18, 2017
15,025
7,238
113
#1
Everyone wants to talk about Wuhan virus (coronavirus) but no one wants to talk about the virus of fear which has led to thousands of suicides since the lockdowns began. The suicide rate in Japan had increased by 38% in October 2020, and more died from suicide than COVID. In India suicide rates increased by about 68% during the pandemic. But even without suicides, the very fact that people were wearing masks continuously was a sign of fear (since masking did nothing to prevent infections).

Fear changes the biochemistry of the body for the fight or flight response. And if it becomes anxiety (which is chronic fear), it affects health negatively and reduces resistance to infections. So what happens in the body when people are fearful?

  1. The breathing rate increases
  2. The heart rate follows suit
  3. The peripheral blood vessels constrict
  4. The central blood vessels around vital organs dilate
  5. Levels of glucose in the blood spike
  6. Levels of calcium and white blood cells in the bloodstream increase
  7. Muscles tighten and are pumped with blood, ready to react
  8. Goosebumps appear
  9. Hair stand on end
  10. Many hormones are released.
The fight-or-flight response begins in the amygdala (a portion of the brain). When we are afraid, it sets off a sophisticated, coordinated response in our brains and bodies. The amygdala is able to trigger activity in the hypothalamus, which activates the pituitary gland, which is where the nervous system meets the endocrine or hormone system.

The pituitary gland secretes adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) hormone into the blood. At this time, the sympathetic nervous system — a division of the nervous system responsible for the fight-or-flight response — gives the adrenal gland a nudge, encouraging it to squirt a dose of epinephrine into the bloodstream.

The body also releases cortisol in response to ACTH, which brings about the rise in blood pressure, blood sugar, and white blood cells. Circulating cortisol turns fatty acids into energy, ready for the muscles to use, should the need arise. Catecholamine hormones, including epinephrine and norepinephrine, prepare muscles for violent action. These hormones can also: boost activity in the heart and lungs; reduce activity in the stomach and intestines, which explains the feeling of “butterflies” in the stomach; inhibit the production of tears and salivation, explaining the dry mouth that comes with a fright; dilate the pupils; and produce tunnel vision and reduce hearing.

The hippocampus, which is a brain region that is dedicated to memory storage, helps control the fear response. Along with the prefrontal cortex, which is part of the brain involved in high-level decision-making, these centers assess the threat. They help us understand whether our fear response is real and justified, or whether we might have overreacted somewhat. If the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex decide that the fear response is exaggerated, they can dial it back and dampen the amygdala’s activity.

The idea of our bodies preparing to fight or fly makes good sense from a survival standpoint — but how would freezing be of any use? An animal that simply stands rooted to the spot would make an easy snack for a predator, you might think. When they are frightened, most animals freeze for a few moments before they decide what to do next. Sometimes, staying motionless is the best plan; for instance, if you are a small mammal or if you are well-camouflaged, staying still could save your life. But people can also become paralyzed with fear and that is the issue that people have to face today. Will all the fear-mongering affect them negatively, or will they simply ignore all the lies that are creating fear and anxiety?

What should Christians do? Read every passage in the Bible which says "Fear Not" and make that a daily habit. "fear" AND "not" occurs 331 times in 144 verses in the KJV, including 63 exact phrases. Which means that God knows that His people can become fearful but must not do so.
 
Apr 20, 2021
481
231
43
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England UK
#2
Everyone wants to talk about Wuhan virus (coronavirus) but no one wants to talk about the virus of fear which has led to thousands of suicides since the lockdowns began. The suicide rate in Japan had increased by 38% in October 2020, and more died from suicide than COVID. In India suicide rates increased by about 68% during the pandemic. But even without suicides, the very fact that people were wearing masks continuously was a sign of fear (since masking did nothing to prevent infections).

Fear changes the biochemistry of the body for the fight or flight response. And if it becomes anxiety (which is chronic fear), it affects health negatively and reduces resistance to infections. So what happens in the body when people are fearful?
  1. The breathing rate increases
  2. The heart rate follows suit
  3. The peripheral blood vessels constrict
  4. The central blood vessels around vital organs dilate
  5. Levels of glucose in the blood spike
  6. Levels of calcium and white blood cells in the bloodstream increase
  7. Muscles tighten and are pumped with blood, ready to react
  8. Goosebumps appear
  9. Hair stand on end
  10. Many hormones are released.
The fight-or-flight response begins in the amygdala (a portion of the brain). When we are afraid, it sets off a sophisticated, coordinated response in our brains and bodies. The amygdala is able to trigger activity in the hypothalamus, which activates the pituitary gland, which is where the nervous system meets the endocrine or hormone system.

The pituitary gland secretes adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) hormone into the blood. At this time, the sympathetic nervous system — a division of the nervous system responsible for the fight-or-flight response — gives the adrenal gland a nudge, encouraging it to squirt a dose of epinephrine into the bloodstream.

The body also releases cortisol in response to ACTH, which brings about the rise in blood pressure, blood sugar, and white blood cells. Circulating cortisol turns fatty acids into energy, ready for the muscles to use, should the need arise. Catecholamine hormones, including epinephrine and norepinephrine, prepare muscles for violent action. These hormones can also: boost activity in the heart and lungs; reduce activity in the stomach and intestines, which explains the feeling of “butterflies” in the stomach; inhibit the production of tears and salivation, explaining the dry mouth that comes with a fright; dilate the pupils; and produce tunnel vision and reduce hearing.

The hippocampus, which is a brain region that is dedicated to memory storage, helps control the fear response. Along with the prefrontal cortex, which is part of the brain involved in high-level decision-making, these centers assess the threat. They help us understand whether our fear response is real and justified, or whether we might have overreacted somewhat. If the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex decide that the fear response is exaggerated, they can dial it back and dampen the amygdala’s activity.

The idea of our bodies preparing to fight or fly makes good sense from a survival standpoint — but how would freezing be of any use? An animal that simply stands rooted to the spot would make an easy snack for a predator, you might think. When they are frightened, most animals freeze for a few moments before they decide what to do next. Sometimes, staying motionless is the best plan; for instance, if you are a small mammal or if you are well-camouflaged, staying still could save your life. But people can also become paralyzed with fear and that is the issue that people have to face today. Will all the fear-mongering affect them negatively, or will they simply ignore all the lies that are creating fear and anxiety?

What should Christians do? Read every passage in the Bible which says "Fear Not" and make that a daily habit. "fear" AND "not" occurs 331 times in 144 verses in the KJV, including 63 exact phrases. Which means that God knows that His people can become fearful but must not do so.
This is true about anxiety. That is why if you have complex ptsd or any kind of ptsd from abuse even if you forgive the abuser you still may need healing for your limbic system, amygdala etc. Many well meaning and Godly Christians tell those of us with PTSD from domestic violence and sexual abuse that if we just forgave and forgot we would be ok. Forgiveness is a big part of the healing, yes. But the physical effects on body need dealing with.

I know this is kind of off topic though!