Which comes first, the feeling of fear or the physical expression of it? Surprisingly, in Nerve: Adventures in the Science of Fear, the author presents scientific studies showing that the physical symptoms are interpreted by our brain into the feelings—rather than the other way around.
The author of this book uses current neurological and psychological theories to attempt to quiet her own phobias. Phobias are the “feared that need not be feared” or irrational fears. The author’s phobias are of heights, driving (after a series of car accidents), and losing her loved ones (after her mother’s recent death).
For heights, she tries skydiving to shock herself out of her fear. When that doesn’t work, she tries rock climbing to do some do-it-herself exposure therapy with slightly better results. However, the best success story is how she completely removes her fear of driving using the most modern of treatments.
For anyone who has phobias, fears, or past traumas, Nerve: Adventures in the Science of Fear is an engrossing and informative look into both past and modern treatment options. The section on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was particularly enlightening. 4.5 stars!
Thanks to The Experiment and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.