Garner 1 Jayla Garner Kayla Sargeson English Seminar in Composition December 1 st , 2018 Fear: An Addiction of Arousal Fear, an emotional and biochemical human response to the presence of danger or a threat, has been an emotion some deem unpleasant; however, those that find pleasure in being afraid are thrill-seekers that enjoy the unpredictable. Although the emotional response is personally categorized by each individual, the biochemical response is universal and includes sweating, increased adrenaline levels, and rapid heart rate. Our bodies react to perceived threats and utilize this reaction as a survival mechanism. In today’s climate, there is a myriad of different things to be afraid of spanning from urban legends and horror films to current events circulating violence and real-life circumstances. Fear can be characterized as an immediate response to outside forces that may startle someone or an ongoing feeling that makes one anxious and uneasy. Phobias and paranoia describe irrational fear that causes one to avoid certain objects or situations and are present among a broad range of different types of people. Fear creates complex perceptions that allows the mind to produce its own variation of what one is truly afraid of and can either be stimulating and arousing or create a traumatizing, unsettling feeling. When our bodies sense danger the brain sends signals to the nervous system that triggers the fight-or-flight response. The release of hormones causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and a rush of adrenaline. People similar to myself that enjoy the experience of being scared receive a sort of high from the acute stress response that is pleasurable. Psychology professor at Vanderbilt University, David Zald, explains that the chemical response during thrill-
Garner 2 filled situations differ amongst different groups of people. During a thrilling situation, the hormone dopamine is released and certain people receive some type of satisfaction with its effects. Zald explains that some brains lack “brakes” once the dopamine is released meaning they enjoy scary and risky situations more compared to others. For instance, fear of roller coasters and
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- Horror and terror, Horror film, Jayla Garner