Fight, Flight, or… Freeze?

Most people have heard of “fight-or-flight,” which takes place when someone perceives that they are in imminent danger. But have you heard of the “freeze” part? This happens when your body decides that it’s not safe to fight back or to try and run away, and it feels like you become physically and mentally paralyzed.

Afterwards, people might look back at the situation and blame themselves for not getting out of there or not fighting back, which can result in shame and embarrassment, and can lead to or reinforce Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

The video below, which can be found on the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine’s website, gives a short but helpful explanation of how this freeze response is actually a protective mechanism during times of danger.  In other words, your body’s doing what it’s supposed to!

Take a look (it’s only 3 minutes!) to learn more about how your body responds to trauma and start letting go of that shame!

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