Why Is There a Fear of the Unknown?
There are many things to fear. Imminent danger from a would-be attacker or a close call with another car while driving are both incidents where anyone would feel justifiable fear. But, there are times where people feel afraid of things that they do not or cannot anticipate. Why is there a fear of the unknown?
One of the biggest fears of the unknown that affects most anyone is that of death. All people wonder at some time or another what will really happen after they die? Does anything happen?
There is a term for the fear of the unknown and it comes from a Greek term. Fear like this is called xenophobia. It applies to the fear of anything that is not known so it goes beyond defining fear of death.
It can be used to describe someone who is afraid of people from other cultures. It can also mean someone who is afraid of anything that is irrational and unable to be put into specific terms.
Xenophobia can be triggered in people as the result of a bad experience. For instance, a person may have a horrible fear of the ocean. They fear it not because of how it appears to them on the surface. They may enjoy looking at its beauty but they will never step close to or into it. This is because they are terrified of what lies below or what they cannot see.
If a person starts having symptoms of panic when thinking of their worst fear of the unknown, they can get help for those symptoms. Symptoms might include sweating, heart palpitations and shaking.
It is natural to be somewhat frightened of the unknown. For instance, if a person is afraid of the court process their whole life can seem like torture. When it develops into a phobia, there are many treatments available for a person to overcome it.