When faced with an overwhelming fear, people’s flight-or-fight response jumps into action Image Credit: Stock photo/Pexels

You might have heard someone say they are “scared to death”. But did you know it’s actually possible to die when in a state of fright?

Click start to play today’s Word Search, where you can spot the word “fear”.

When faced with an overwhelming fear, people’s flight-or-fight response jumps into action. According to US-based science news website Live Science, the frightened person experiences a rapid heart rate, dilated pupils and increased blood flow to the muscles. Moreover, calcium rushes into the heart’s cells, causing muscles to contract.

But if the person crosses a certain threshold, and doesn’t calm down, he/she can develop ventricular fibrillation – an irregular heart rhythm that becomes deadly because the heart stops pumping blood to the rest of the body. So, it’s true, a person can literally be scared to death!

Another common phrase you might hear is “love conquers all”. Believe it or not, love is actually one of the few things that can put an end to a phobia.

According to a 2014 study published in US-based science news website Science Daily, when someone goes through an accident or any other incident that evokes anxiety, certain images or noises become closely intertwined in the brain with the experience of pain or fear. Scientists call this conditioning. But with various coping techniques, people are able to overwrite the painful memories through a process called extinction.

The hormone oxytocin, which is often called the ‘love hormone’ because it is released during social bonding experiences, is considered to be anxiolytic, or able to reduce anxiety. In the study, researchers found that when their subjects received oxytocin through a nasal spray, the amygdala or the fear centre in the brain was overall far less active than in the control group. Scientists hope that the love hormone can help provide fast relief to patients going through episodes of anxiety.

What are you most afraid of and how do you cope? Play today’s Word Search and let us know at