Fear of Harm defies those traditional notions of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment precisely because it has a known biological marker. Simply put, Fear of Harm is a disorder that has a cause; it is not “cause neutral”. This represents a paradigm shift that changes how we conceptualize Fear of Harm's origins as well as how it can and should be treated. Knowledge of Fear of Harm's biomarker allows us to treat the disorder at its biological and causal roots.
Fear of Harm's biomarker is a thermoregulatory disorder that underlies and triggers the cascade of other symptoms. It causes the brain of the Fear of Harm patient to be unable to regulate body temperature. When the body inevitably starts to overheat we see involuntary behavioral symptoms such as elevated levels of fear & hypervigilance, reactive & defensive aggression, the misperception of threat levels in the environment, and non-age appropriate tantrums & oppositional behaviors. The temperature dysregulation also triggers sleep disruptions including difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, experiencing horrific nightmares, and sleepwalking or talking.
But underlying these behavioral symptoms is a biological cause. When the temperature dysregulation is treated the behavioral symptoms begin to dissipate.
Fear of Harm is revolutionary, and representative of a paradigm shift precisely because it can be diagnosed through the presence or absence of its biomarker, just as we would in other medical conditions. Fear of Harm is a psychiatric diagnosis that follows this medical model, and its presence can be proven, but more important for scientific purposes, it can be disproven when the biomarker is not present.
JBRF's research into Fear of Harm and its biological underpinnings is opening doors to better understanding, better treatment, and better outcomes for those living with Fear of Harm.
If you'd like to learn more about our groundbreaking research, click the link below to go to our YouTube page. You'll be able to view talks from our research director who is the leading authority on Fear of Harm, psychiatrist Dr. Demitri Papolos, as well as from our board chair, world renowned neuropsychologist Dr. Steven Mattis.