>> Wednesday, March 11, 2009
According to a paper released in February, a team of Dutch researchers have found a way to reduce the fear response. Using propranolol, the researchers were able to weaken the fear memory in human test subjects. They started by giving all of the test subjects a similar fear using images of spiders with an associated pain. When the image of the spider associated with pain stimulus was show, the subjects acted in "fear." The subjects were then treated with either the propranolol or a placebo and the ones with the placebo still reacted in fear. The ones given the propranolol did not startle.
I think it is okay to have a healthy fear of things. I love the ocean and all sports associated. I still have a healthy fear. It is powerful and I must maintain a certain level of awareness at all times. However, this is not something that is an overpowering fear. I know there are certain people with very different and extreme phobias. This can hinder various activities in their lives. This could work great for numbing those types of extreme responses from people.
Now a confession:
I fear bugs. A lot. Odd since I love practically any other type of invertebrate like centipedes, worms, spiders, etc... but there is something about 6 legs and 2 compound eyes that really freak me out. That is why I study them. It is an irrational fear. I know this. I was terrified of the butterflies when I started at the farm. Really. Who is scared of butterflies? I was. Forcing myself to work with insects has really put an end to my phobia. I love bugs of any kind now! A lot! Ok, except for roaches... I still have an issue with them.
What's your phobia?