Deutsch: Angst / Español: Pavor / Português: Pavor / Français: Terreur / Italiano: Terrore

Pavor, in the psychology context, refers to an intense, overwhelming sense of fear or terror that goes beyond typical fear responses. It is a profound emotional reaction that can be triggered by perceived threats, traumatic events, or even the anticipation of a feared situation. Unlike ordinary fear, which can serve a protective or motivational role, pavor is often paralyzing and can significantly impair an individual's ability to respond or function normally.


Pavor within psychology is recognized for its deep-rooted impact on an individual's mental and sometimes physical state. It is characterized by extreme anxiety and discomfort, often leading to physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, or even panic attacks. This level of fear can stem from specific phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, or acute stress reactions. The experience of pavor can be so intense that it disrupts daily activities, interferes with social interactions, and can lead to avoidance behaviors, where individuals steer clear of situations or environments that they associate with such intense fear.

The history of understanding pavor in psychological terms has evolved significantly, with early interpretations often linked to supernatural or religious explanations. Over time, advancements in psychology and psychiatry have framed it within the context of mental health, recognizing it as a response that can be treated and managed. Legal basics concerning the treatment of conditions associated with pavor, such as PTSD, have also evolved, ensuring rights and support for affected individuals.

Application Areas

Pavor is relevant in various psychological fields, including clinical psychology, counseling, and psychiatry. It is particularly significant in the treatment of anxiety disorders, phobias, and PTSD, where understanding the nature of pavor is essential for effective therapy. This understanding informs treatment plans, therapeutic interventions, and coping strategies to help individuals manage their fear responses more effectively.

Well-Known Examples

Instances of pavor can be found in various case studies and clinical reports related to anxiety disorders and PTSD. For example, veterans returning from combat often report symptoms associated with pavor when exposed to triggers reminiscent of traumatic experiences. Similarly, individuals with severe phobias may experience pavor when confronted with the object of their fear, such as spiders (arachnophobia) or heights (acrophobia).

Treatment and Risks

The risks associated with pavor include the potential for it to develop into chronic anxiety disorders, depression, and significant lifestyle limitations due to avoidance behaviors. Treatment typically involves psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and sometimes medication to manage symptoms. The goal is to help individuals confront and reduce their fear, learn coping mechanisms, and ultimately lead a less restricted life.

Symptoms, Therapy, and Healing

  • Common Symptoms: Symptoms include intense fear, panic attacks, avoidance of fear-inducing situations, physical symptoms like shaking, and psychological distress.
  • Treatment Options: Effective treatments include CBT, exposure therapy, and medication. These approaches aim to change the thought patterns associated with pavor, reduce avoidance behavior, and manage physical symptoms.
  • Healing Process: Healing involves gradually facing the feared situations or thoughts, building coping skills, and regaining confidence and control over one's emotions and reactions.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Fear
  • Terror
  • Phobia
  • Anxiety


Pavor represents an extreme form of fear that is psychologically impactful and can significantly disrupt an individual’s daily life. Understanding its causes, manifestations, and treatment options is crucial for those affected to find relief and regain control. With appropriate psychological intervention, individuals can learn to manage their responses to fear-inducing stimuli, reducing the impact of pavor on their lives.


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