Which place would you consider as the most terrifying place in the world?
To me, the human mind is the most terrifying place in the world. As weird as it sounds, you may agree with me by the time you're done reading my reasons for this belief.
Have you ever wondered why someone may be extremely scared of height — acrophobia, and another person wouldn't? Or why a sibling may be extremely scared of water — aquaphobia, while other members of his family enjoy swimming? You may be wondering already. Please don't go too far. :) It's quite simple. It all boils down to the human mind.
Most interrogators know how powerful the human mind is, and how to exploit its vulnerabilities. Some implement specific hallucinogens that stimulates the hippocampus with perceptual anomalies, thus enhancing the amygdala fear response. You don't always need medications to distort the processing of contextual information to trigger extreme fear in a person. Others utilise external or environmental factors.
For instance, blindfold a person whilst transporting him or her to an unfamiliar location. Notice how his heart rate and blood pressure rise. Now, isolate that person in a dark, empty and soundproofed basement for 30 days.
Within the first few hours, as he begins to lose track of time, his brain becomes hyperalert, the bronchi dilate, pupils dilate and breathing accelerates. Blood flow and stream of glucose to the skeletal muscles increase. And organs not crucial to survival such as the gastrointestinal system slow down.
The person is forced to feed and defecate in that dark place. At this point, he may want to take his own life, but can't, as every means possible have been eliminated. By the 14th day of confinement, confusion, mental distortion, abnormal perceptions may have set in. To make it worse, on the 20th day, extremely loud electric music is played non stop for 24 hours. The person may yell, scream, shout, weep and cry for help. Then realise this may never end and he is totally helpless. Even death have refused to help him. By now he has almost gone nuts, that is, if he still has a mind to lose.
On the 30th day, suddenly, he is set free. Barely opening his eyes, as he is seeing light for the first time, to him in years. Now, he is extremely susceptible to manipulation. He is definitely not going to be himself after this experience, not anymore.
Seems I went too far, my apologies. Well, you asked for the most terrifying place in the world. All I did was give an answer. However, another place I consider terrifying is the mind of an extremely negative and pessimistic person.
Imagine having to live in that kind of mind, where every possibility or outcome of an event is negative. It's like being imprisoned by your worst fears.
Fear in itself is fundamental for survival. It protects us against perceived threats to our existence or integrity. It is part of what assist in the production of chemicals that contribute to the “fight or flight” response. However, abnormal levels of it can lead to cognitive dysfunction, significant distress and limit a person’s ability to achieve success and joy of life.
Sometimes, psychotherapy and medications can effectively balance abnormal levels. Other times, we just need to confront them to be in control.
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