The stress responses conversation has been ramping up on social media as we move closer to becoming a more emotionally intelligent and trauma-informed society. But what are stress responses, how do they work, how can I recognize if I am in one; and is it me, or do they keep changing? These are all valid questions that we will try to break down in this blog series.
By now, most of us have heard the terms “fight, flight, and freeze,” to describe unconscious reactions to stressful situations. You may have also started hearing words like,“fawn, tend – and -befriend, and flop on social media. That’s a lot of words to use to say that our bodies naturally react to highly stressful situations and that you can never be sure which response your nervous system will choose at any given time. Let us break it down for you.
This article will walk you through the freeze response when faced with a catastrophic life-threatening event, or what we call a “Big – T” trauma. The freeze response presents differently in social situations. We can look into that later, but first please be warned that this article may be graphic for some readers. Trigger warning!