Thursday, May 20, 2010

Symptoms Of Fear

While this is not an exhaustive list of what you may see or experience with the emotion of fear, it includes many symptoms. Fear of course shows up in different ways for different people based upon their own life experiences and the current stimuli they are facing. Some people may be more aggressive and others may be paralyzed from the fear.

For me, fear often paralyzes and immobilizes me. In fact at one time, I was completely paralyzed by fear. The condition of course is termed a "conversion disorder" or hysterical paralysis. When I get very stressed and the fears get high, one of the things I quickly notice is that my legs become difficult to move and feel as if I am dragging around lead weights.

Fear is part of the sympathetic nervous system which plays a major role in the fight or flight response. Hopefully after the fear has passed, our bodies return to a more restful and relaxed state through the parasympathetic nervous system.

Please feel free to leave a comment with other signs of fear that I may have missed and I will edit this post to include them.

Physical Signs Of Fear
- Wide Eyes
- Raised Eyebrows
- Flared Nostrils
- Clenched Mouth
- Larger personal space
- Slouching or hunching to minimize their exposure
- Taller or squared shoulders as in an aggressive response
- Feet may be pointed to locate a way out of the situation
- Crossed arms and hands
- Drumming of fingers
- Fidgeting
- Rapid Breathing
- Shaking or tapping legs
- Breathing more rapid and shallow
- Increase in blood pressure
- Increase in pulse rate
- Dilated Pupils
- Dry Mouth
- Body hair standing on end
- Tense and energized muscles
- Increased perspiration
- Digestive and Immune systems slow down
- Trembling and shaking
- Peristalsis reduced
- Increased glycogen to glucose conversion
- Norepinephrine and epinephrine secreted
- Sweaty Palms
- Nervous Ticks
- Increase in thoughts and Mind Racing
- Screaming, yelling or inability to do these things
- Immobility or paralysis
- Hives or skin rashes, skin conditions

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog


  1. Writing an essay this helps a lot. Thank you!

    1. I am glad that it helps. Hope your essay comes out well and please feel free to share it with me if you wish to do so.

  2. I'm doing a speech in class on fear and this helped a lot. Thank you so much! :)

    1. Thank you for the feedback and I am glad to hear it helped. Hope you get an excellent grade on your speech.

  3. You listed "nervous ticks" but I get twitches. My finger will move a considerable distance once in a while and while not slowly, not as fast as an eye blink. I also get "internal vertigo" or a feeling that inside my abdomen things are shuddering or turning. My vision will get "blurry" for a moment or two as if the muscles of my lens are shuddering. It seems to me that something takes over my motor control in specific spot like a second intelligence that is trying to communicate something but lacks fine motor skills.

    1. While I won't try to diagnose anything you have, twitches are the same thing as nervous ticks in my view. Each of us reacts differently to events and circumstances we have been through in our life. It is an intelligence within us that is trying to communicate with us. The only way to know what it is trying to say is by listening and staying open. It is something you will feel and sense through the body, and at the appropriate time, it will become part of your consciousness. The key is to allow it to unfold and watch for it - feeling every part of it (even the uncertainty and not knowing parts).