How fear affects your system?

I started working in medicine more than 20 years ago. During med school I used to take nightshifts at intensive care. I liked this work, liked to be the master of all those little blinking lights. Well, kind of master..

Observing my surroundings I noticed sometimes there were patients who weren’t that bad but they died anyway. And other ones kept fighting and surviving. The nurses used to say ‘Well, we could see this (death) coming. He/She was just to scared.’

Later on being responsible for intensive care patients myself as a doctor it came back to me. I’ve seen it time and time again. Today we know from science that fear has a very devastating effect on our health.

Heart rate and blood pressure go up and your immune system shuts down. Why? Fear produces a fight or flight mechanism in our body. Meaning a lot of adrenalin and cortisol. Those two substances can save your life. Longterm high levels of adrenalin and cortisol suppress immune functions.

A good immun system is not needed in a fight!

Now, think about how often you are scared, how often you fear something. Your body doesn’t know if your fear is real or just in your head. It still reacts the same way.


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  • Laurel

    Thanks for this wisdom and the reminder it brings of how chronic fear and worry can be so damaging. I will keep this more in mind when I am tempted to let worry take over.


    • Dr. Tiny Jaentsch

      thanx laurel. anything i can help with?

      have a good sunday.

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